Every December as we get ready to welcome a new year, we also feel a tug of sadness due the people we lose, and who had influenced us as a nation in one way or the other. The year 2019 too has seen the loss of several notable women who inspired and influenced millions. Activists, politicians and veteran actors have said goodbye to us this year. We look at a few of the formidable women who we have lost in 2019, but remain close to our hearts.
Nabaneeta Dev Sen
Dev Sen left her mark as a woman who refused to submit to social norms and instead challenged orthodox thinking and ideas. With close to a 100 books to her name, Dev Sen will remain an irreparable loss to the literary world.
Poet and novelist Nabaneeta Dev Sen will always be remembered for her contributions to the world of Bengali literature. She had been the recipient of the Sahitya Academy Award as well as the Padma Shri. Incredibly talented, she was an academician, a writer, a mesmerizing speaker and a liberal thinker. Dev Sen left her mark as a woman who refused to submit to social norms and instead challenged orthodox thinking and ideas. With close to a 100 books to her name, Dev Sen will remain an irreparable loss to the literary world.
Also Read: Legendary Novelist Nabaneeta Dev Sen Passes Away
Appointed as a cabinet minister in the Haryana state government at the young age of 25, Sushma Swaraj broke several barriers. In 1998, she became the first woman Chief Minister of Delhi. An effective parliamentarian, she will forever be remembered as the people’s minister. As the first female Spokesperson of a national political party in India and BJP’s first female Chief Minister, she has many firsts to her name. Although the current generation of Indians will remember her for her candour and tech-savviness, and how she made the Ministry of External Affairs accessible to all.
Also Read: How Sushma Swaraj Won Twitter Over With Her Wit
People from the younger generation may know Shaukat Kaifi as Shabaza Azmi’s mother. However, the veteran actor was a leading light of the Communist Party of India. She was an active member of the Indian People’s Theatre Association as well as the Progressive Writers’ Association. She is remembered for her roles in socially-conscious films like Umrao Jaan as well as Bazaar.
Also Read: Veteran Film And Theatre Actor Shaukat Kaifi Passes Away
Bakshi was four-time MLA from Lucknow East constituency and a state cabinet. As a writer, she penned 36 books.
Bakshi Didi was a freedom fighter. Born in 1919, she got involved in the freedom struggle by the young age of 21. She was inspired by Nehru and Gandhi. Her real name was Swaroop Kumari Bakshi but her followers lovingly called her Bakshi Didi. She was not only a veteran Congress leader but also a social activist. Bakshi was four-time MLA from Lucknow East constituency and a state cabinet. As a writer, she penned 36 books. The world will remember her for her contributions to the education sector, especially education for women.
Revered veteran actress Geetanjali had an illustrious career in the movies. She acted in over 200 films in Telegu, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi. Her debut as Goddess Sita in Seetharama Kalyanam shot her to fame. She went on to act alongside renowned names in the film industry. She was also a member of the Nandi Award committee.
Neelum Sharma was one of the pioneer anchors at Doordarshan. She worked with the channel for over 20 years, anchoring programmes such as ‘Badi Charcha’ and ‘Tejasvini’ where she would talk to inspiring women. Moreover, she was also the recipient of the Nari Shakti Puraskar. She will always be remembered as a stellar DD News anchor.
V Nanammal is remembered even today as India’s oldest yoga teacher. At the age of eight, she learned yoga from her father. Then, she went on to teach yoga to more than 10 lakh students. She taught almost 100 students daily. In 2019, she also received a Padma Shri from the government for her work. When she passed away, she was 99 years old.
Sheila Dikshit was the Delhi Chief Minister from 1998 to 2013. She was also the longest-serving CM of Delhi. Dikshit was a prominent member of the Congress Party. Several politicians, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, commented that Dikshit had made notable contributions to Delhi’s development.
Also Read: India Lost A Pivotal Politician And Reformer In Sheila Dikshit
Vidya Sinha was an Indian film actress most known for her work in films such as Rajnigandha, Chhoti Si Baat and Pati Patni Aur Woh. She started her career as a model and won the Miss Bombay title. After delivering several hit films, she forayed to the small screen where she became equally popular. She passed away on 15th August, 2019.
Prapti is an intern at SheThePeople.TV