National Girl Child Day: Women role models who inspire us
The National Girl Child Day is an initiative by the Ministry of Women and Child Development that is celebrated every year on January 24. The initiative kick-started in 2008 to promote awareness about a girl child's rights to proper health, education, and nutrition. Let's take a look at some female role models who have inspired millions.
Businesswomen Falguni Nayar and Leena Nair
With a net worth of $6.5 billion, Falguni Nayar is India's wealthiest self-made woman billionaire. Her company Nykaa was launched in 2012 and has since become immensely popular. Indian-origin Leena Nair made the country proud when she was named as the new Global Chief Executive of Chanel. She is just the second Indian-origin woman to take over as a global CEO, after Indra Nooyi.
Sportspersons Mary Kom and Hima Das
A mother to four kids, Mary Kom fought all odds to compete in boxing. The six-time world champion is the only Indian female boxer who qualified for the London Olympics. Hima Das is a famous sprinter from Assam who has achieved a lot at a young age. She is the first Indian sprinter to win a gold medal at an international track event.
Writers Kiran Desai and Jhumpa Lahiri
Kiran Desai is an Indian novelist who is an inspiration to budding writers. Her novel The Inheritance of Loss won the 2006 Man Booker Prize. Her other recommended read is Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard. Pulitzer prize-winning Indian-American author Jhumpa Lahiri is known for penning the experiences of Indian immigrants and Indian-American culture. Her first novel The Namesake was adapted into a movie.
Astronaut Kalpana Chawla
When you think of Indians in space, Kalpana Chawla's is the first name that crops into our mind. Chawla was the first Indian-origin woman to go to space in 1997. She died in 2003 in the Colombia Space Shuttle mishap but her courage and determination continue to inspire us. Several scholarships and awards have been instituted in her honor in the US and India.
Fighter pilot Bhawana Kanth
Bhawana Kanth entered a space that women were kept out of for several years. She was inducted into the Indian Air Force fighter squadron in June 2016 and became the first female fighter pilot in India to qualify to undertake combat missions in 2019.
Filmmakers Mira Nair and Deepa Mehta
Mira Nair is an Indian-American director popularly known for making documentaries on realistic controversial subjects. Her films, such as Salaam Bombay, The Namesake, Monsoon Wedding received accolades from several quarters. She was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2012. Deepa Mehta is an Indo-Canadian screenwriter and filmmaker who is internationally celebrated for her thought-provoking films.
Deepa Mehta's work
Mehta's Elements Trilogy--Fire (1996), Earth (1998), and Water (2005) were critically acclaimed, although controversial. She covered topics like homosexuality, religious strife, misogyny, and the condition of widows in India in these films. She also directed the 2012-film Midnight's Children.