Women’s Day: 5 Indian Women who fought the odds and inspired the nation

Another year and once again we are here today celebrating the Women’s Day. With the advent of the social media, we have developed a new trend of displaying our concern and empathy through status, posts, pictures, etc. That is to be appreciated but is it not too lazy when there is a lot that can be done instead of lying on sofa, posting some stuff on social media and then counting the number of likes and comments. No matter if it is a festival or a day marked for expressing importance of something, it must be celebrated in a way that it creates an impact on the people and society.

As a little girl in my childhood a question always intrigued me. Why we celebrate Women’s Day and not Men’s Day. Why a lady or a women is being given importance for being what she is.

Well! Now things seem clear to me when I grew into a woman.

Women are celebrated not because of their gender (or what people say weak gender) but because of the courage and strength they portray against all odds and accomplish their goals. We cherish the achievements of those who managed to do something that was earlier being done only by men. This isn’t all about this day.

With every year, through this day we project the women’s strengths and try to convey a message demanding for equality and not feminism. Feminism and equality isn’t same particularly for moderates like me.

The ordeal of women is not hidden from anyone and I would rather refrain from mentioning how their counterparts exploited them over years and still do not leave any opportunity to do so. Instead let’s focus on the positive aspect on how things have started changing for the better. All over the world many women gained fame for their exemplary achievements and Indian women have been no less. From the Gandhi’s Dandi march to the Nirbhaya protest women have learned to come forward, express their emotions of apprehensions or joy and boldly face the criticism. This is what makes them special and worthy of this day.

Here are those who became renowned for their skills and work not only in India but worldwide.

Sushma Swaraj

Image: Sushma Swaraj

Her speech being fierce and her personality formidable, a lawyer and politician, she is no other than Sushma Swaraj. Second lady after Indira Gandhi to become Minister of External Affairs she managed to find her way in this patriarchy driven field of politics. Politics has never been a women’s affair. This is what we heard while growing up, so that even if by mistake any girl even thinks of choosing it as a career option, it is crushed in the initial stage. Mrs. Swaraj defied all these sayings and from her childhood days showed propensity towards public matters and politics. And today when she speaks in the parliament, rarely someone dares to counter her. Her skills of leadership were apparent when she won the award for best hindi speaker for 3 consecutive years organised by Language Department of Haryana. Also, she has been voted as the most influential woman in the field of politics leaving behind Kiren Bedi and Sonia Gandhi, in a survey conducted by country’s leading discovery and commerce platform Magicpin.

Mary Kom

Image: Mary Kom

Being the mother of three children she did not hesitate from fighting as a boxer from India.Nicknamed “Magnificient Mary” she needs no introduction.Priyanka Chopra acted in her famous biopic movie. Yes! She is Olympic boxer from Assam Mary Kom. An inspiration for many girls who seek career in boxing and other sports she is the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships. She proved that being a women is no barrier since she continued to play even after giving birth to a baby.

Swati Maliwal

Image: Swati Maliwal

Swati Maliwal, not known to many, is a software engineer who chose to work for the betterment of the society and selflessly dropped the job offer of a multinational company. Today, she is the head of the DCW(Delhi Commission for Woman). Her refusal of job made her the protagonist of the fight for women’s rights. From the moment she joined her office, there was not a single day she did not address the grievances of the women. She initiated the recent “Rape Roko” campaign where she aroused the silent souls of the capital to participate in the movement. Also, she started a march with 40 people and took along with her 5.5 lakhs letters from people who demanded death penality for those who raped children. She was supposed to carry those to the PM. Even though she gave prior information to the authorities for her march, still she was detained on her way to parliament. A leader in true sense and indefatigable in spirit, she has started a new wave of hope and awareness.

Deepika Bhardwaj

Image: Deepika Bhardwaj

When Padman can manage to realise the peculiar problem related to girls then it should not come as a shock if a woman decides to fight for men’s right. While everyone was busy concerning about the women’s condition, a lady had a totally different perspective. She identified the odds being faced by the opposite gender and did not allowed herself to move along the wave of feminism, Deepika Bhardwaj decided to become an activist for Men’s rights.

An individual journalist and a documentary filmmaker, in 2011 she started her journey for helping those males who are being abused and harassed under section 498A of the anti-dowry law. She closely analysed the vulnerability of men and has been demanding for making this law less stringent. She has shown her documentary named “Marty’s of Marriage” to many officials, administrators and judges as well. She truly sets herself apart and made entire nation view a different side of the face.

Vibha Shrivastava

Image: Vibha Shrivastava

Not only activists and politicians, women have also started making their way as entrepreneur. Who knew that innovation, creation and art at home when done on a large scale could earn you huge profit and fame. Vibha Shrivastava hailing from Chappra district of Bihar was like any other common Indian lady until she decided to use her skill in Crosia art for production of jewellery and cloth. It was her hard work and determination that she kept struggling and today her products are being exported to America. She has also decided to pass on her art for free to children of a NGO Rainbow home.

Achievements by women are glorified,  as they never got opportunity in the past to showcase their talents. Let’s hope that women flying jets, winning Olympics, driving trains, etc does not remain a big deal and becomes a casual phenomenon.

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