8th March is celebrated as International women’s day. This day is marked as a celebration for women, both famous and not so famous, for their zeal and belief in themselves. Many women have taken the tough path of creating a mindset change in society.
These women have faced tremendous opposition and sometimes even life threatening situations to do something different and live a life that they are passionate about. Though it would have been our immense pleasure to write about all of them, we will cover 4 Inspirational stories which have touched us and we do hope the same would inspire one and all. At the same time we would like to express our support and encouragement to the millions of women who are fighting a lonely battle in the hope of a better future.
Let’s start with our Women’s Day Special – Inspiring stories of Indian Women. Today Lets look at four inspiring stories of Indian Women.
Sister Sudha Varghese (Social Worker)
Sister Sudha Varghese originally from Kerala, has dedicated her life for the upliftment of “Musahars” or dalits in Bihar. As we all know, the prevailing caste system has exploited the dalits and they are the poorest in our society. Untouchability was one of the major forms of discrimination. Sister Sudha has bravely fought for the rights and privileges of the poorest dalits.
There were many cases of high atrocities committed on the poor who were fearful of taking help from the police, village panchayat or others. It was only after her constant reassurance did they accompany her to file their complaints in the police station.
Her consistent focus on many of the prevalent issues facing the dalits had led to many developmental activites. She started education programs for the marginalised girls in 2005 and also set up a residential school in Prerna.Further she added vocational trainings like sewing and stitching programs. She started with 25 girls in the centre and today there are education centres at Danapur, Punpun, Phulwari, Naubatpur and Bihta.
After educating the girls at these primary centres they are then sent to government schools to get proper certified education. More than 2000 girls have received their matriculation certificates. Her aim is to educate the girl of the family so that the entire family is educated and uplifted.
After 5 decades of dedicated hard work amongst the poor who fondly call her “didi”, she was awarded the Padma Shri in 2006. It is truly an inspiring story.
Dr.Vijayalakshmi Deshmane (renowned Oncologist)
Vijayalakshmi was born in a poor family of the lower caste. They were a family of 10 people living in a small room in a slum area. They were so poor that getting a single meal a day was a privilege for them.
In order to make a living, her parents did odd jobs like cutting and selling wood or doing coolie jobs. Though poor, her father wanted his children to be educated. Her father had fondly named her Vijayalakshmi after Pandit Nehru’s sister.
Her father also had a dream that she would become a great doctor and serve the poorest of society. This clearly shows that her father was a visionary who looked beyond his existing circumstances. Her mother sold vegetables to make their ends meet. She helped her mother to bring and sell the vegetables.
Vijayalakshmi was an excellent student but after the 12th standard she knew that her parents could not afford to fund her further studies. Her other siblings also needed to be educated.
One evening she heard her mother gave her only gold ornament (her mangalsutra) to her father so that they could get a loan for her MBBS entrance exam at the Karnataka Medical College. All these sacrifices had motivated her to do her best and live a life which would make her parents proud.
As all her education was done in the Kannada medium, she was not able to cope up with her studies in the first year in medical college. The medium of learning was English and so she failed. But soon she took the help of her teachers and went on to become the rank holder of her university.
She then went on to pursue her MS in surgery and became one of the most reputed oncologist. Further she is a recipient of many prestigious awards and became the Vice President of the Karnataka Cancer Society. She is loved by her patients, peers and her mentors. After a long fruitful career she retired in 2015. Now she spends her time giving free service in the Karnataka Cancer Society.
Tessy Thomas (Missile Women – Space Scientist)
Tessy Thomas is famously called the Missile woman of India. She is one of the very few women in the world working on the strategic ballistic missile project.
Currently she works for DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) and has played a pivotal role in the making of the most effective long range nuclear ballistic missile – Agni V. Moreover she has stood out in the male dominated and highly secretive missile development programme.
She comes from Alleppey in Kerala and belonged to a Catholic family. She was fascinated with rockets as she grew up near a rocket launching station.
After finishing her college she came to Pune to pursue a Master’s degree in Missiles (a very unique subject for women).
As a women and mother, she had to balance and maintain a tight rope walk between her home and her career (between being a mother and a scientist).
Tessy Thomas is an inspiration and a role model to all women who aspire to be scientists and dream big.
Our former Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh had congratulated Ms.Tessy Thomas by saying “She is an example of a woman making her mark in a traditionally male bastion and decisively breaking the glass ceiling”.
Deepa Malik (Paraplegic Olympic Medal winner)
In 1999, a spinal tumor left Deepa confined to the wheel chair. After her spinal surgery she became paralysed waist down (paraplegic).But instead of being disheartened and living a life of depression, she refused to let her disability come in the way of her dreams.
Growing up in an army environment had always encouraged her to stay positive, no matter what the circumstances were. Her husband was fighting the Kargil war and she was going through the toughest phase of her life – her spinal surgery which left her permanently wheelchair bound. She decided to be strong to take care of her two lovely daughters. She received wonderful support from her husband and her family members.
Deepa went on to achieve many successes in her passion for biking. Already excelling in the field of biking, Deepa started swimming to strengthen her shoulders, so that she could perform better in biking. Hardly did she know that one day she would excel in this sport as well and set records.
She was the first female athlete from India in the Paralympic games. Further, she won 54 gold medals and around 13 international medals in various sports including swimming, short put and Javelin.
She proudly says that pursuing sports has given her a new identity. All these awards and recognition has helped her to remove the disability part of her personality.
We truly salute the spirit of life in Deepa and she is truly a role model and an inspiration for many women.
These are the stories of 4 courageous women who chose to beat their adversity and accomplish their dreams. We truly salute their winning spirit and zeal for life and we do believe that people will get inspired by them, just as we have been inspired.
Disclaimer : All the content is collected from free sources.
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