Happy Women’s Day: 5 Empowering Women Around The Globe, Who Stopped At Nothing!
As the world celebrates International Women’s Day today, there is no day we should not be grateful to the ladies in our lives, for we are because of them. A woman is more than fragile hands, she is a wo-man, a wonder woman! From being a mother to a working woman to a loving sister, and a great confident, a woman can do it all and there is nothing that can stop her if she has paved her way to the top. Living in a patriarchal society, women have come a long way and there is a long road to go ahead and show the world that they can, and they will follow their dreams, reach up to the stars and there is nothing she cannot achieve.
1- Hima Das
Popularly known as ‘Dhing Express’, Hima Das is a 19-year-old Indian sprinter, who has accomplished far more than what one dreams of at the age of 19. Hailing from the state of Assam, she was born in the Kandhulimari village, near the town of Dhing. Being the youngest of the five siblings, Hima was born on January 9, 2000. After clearing the entrance of her 5th standard, Hima started playing football at her school with a dream to pursue a career in the same. However, God had different plans to make history with her name; and as advised by her physical education teacher, she took over to sprint running.
Making the nation proud at such a young age, she became the first Indian woman, more so, the first Indian athlete to win a gold medal in a track event at IAAF World U20 Championships. And being a sprinter, Hima does not stop here! Just recently in February 2021, she was appointed as the Deputy Superintendent in Assam Police. On being inducted as the DSP, Hima referred to the moment as a childhood dream coming true. On the sports level, Hima holds the Indian national record in 400 meters with a timing of 50.79 seconds, which she clocked at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia. While she owes everything to sports, she aims to work for the betterment of the state and continue her career in sports, while making Assam the best sports performing state in the country. The ‘Dhing Express’ has also been conferred with Arjuna Award by the President of India in September 2018. Hima is the second athlete from Assam to win a gold medal at an international event.
Dr. Swati Mohan, the Indian – American aerospace engineer, who played a prominent role in the successful landing of NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars, is also a full-time mother to two daughters and doing both her duties like a wonder woman. Born in Bengaluru, Karnataka, she emigrated to the United States when she was one year old.
With dreams in her eyes, she originally planned to become a paediatrician but was star-struck and interested in space upon seeing the ‘Star Trek’ movie. At the age of 16, when she took a class physics, she changed her plan of being a paediatrician and decided to study engineering to pursue a career in space exploration. Dr. Swati played a pivotal role in landing the US space agency’s historic Perseverance rover on the Martian surface. She was the first to confirm that the rover had successfully touched down on the Martian surface after surviving a particularly tricky plunge through the atmosphere of the Red Planet. She has worked on multiple missions such as Cassini (mission to Saturn) and GRAIL (a pair of formation flown spacecraft to the Moon). She started working on Mars 2020 since almost the beginning of the project in 2013 and is currently working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA.
Indra Nooyi, the Indian American business executive has come a long way in the business world. She started her career as a product manager at Johnson & Johnson, in India and is now the CEO of PepsiCo. With her career choices and her will, she has paved the way for many other women to follow in the footsteps and reach their goals. Indra is one of the most successful living examples of the phrase ‘woman can achieve anything if they want’. The 66-year-old mother of two has been juggling with her work and home to be where she is today. She has not been grabbing headlines only for being the CEO of PepsiCo but for doing phenomenal work in the projects and areas she has ventured into all these years. Besides being the CEO, Indra is serving as a member of the Board of Directors at Amazon too, and her move to join Amazon was praised by many for it made to the 45% of the women on the board, a new high in the industry. Born and brought up in Madras, she moved to the United States to earn her Master’s degree in Public and Private Management. Indra has consistently been ranked among the world’s 100 most powerful women on the Forbes and the Fortune list. She was named as one of the Best CEOs In the World by the CEOWORLD magazine in 2018. Consistently for five years, from 2006 – 2010, Fortune magazine named Indra number one on its annual ranking of Most Powerful Women in business. She has also been awarded by the President of India Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
4- Madhuri Kanitkar
While some women are reaching for the stars, some are staying at the ground and protecting their nation. Lieutenant General Madhuri Kanitkar is the third woman in the Indian Armed Forces to be promoted to a three-star rank. She started her journey in the Indian Army when cadets marched in sarees to become officers. She has made history by becoming the first woman paediatrician to achieve the second-highest post in the Indian army. Proudly serving the nation in uniform for over 37 years, in a male dominant field, she is the first lady officer in the history of Indian armed forces to share the same high-flying, three-star rank as her husband. She added a feather to her cap when she became the only doctor on the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council. Lt. General Madhuri has alone set up units to monitor kidney ailments in Pune and Delhi as she is the first trained paediatric nephrologist of the armed forces. Born into a Maharashtrian family to doctors, she joined the Armed Forces Medical College. She has been awarded the GOC-in-C Commendation Card and the Chief of the Army Staff Commendation Card five times. Besides, she was also awarded the VishishtSeva Medal in 2014 and the AtiVishishtSeva Medal in 2018.