A Roundup Of The Country’s Power Women Of 2018
This year, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced that its first manned mission to space will be led by 56-year-old VR Lalithambika. Lalithambika will be leading the Gaganyaan mission as Director of the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme. The programme intends to send Indian astronauts in the space by 2022. She is an aeronautical scientist. She has worked on the Indian rockets — Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and indigenous space shuttle.
Indu Malhotra became the first woman lawyer to be appointed directly to the position of Supreme Court judge. She joined the existing strength of 24 judges when she took the oath. Malhotra was also the only woman in the five-member constitutional bench hearing the petitions for repealing Section 377.
On returning from the US, little did Dutta know that one question about #MeToo would bring about a huge shift in India’s tolerance and dealings with notions surroundin sexual harassment. The actor paved a powerful path for others to take lead, gather courage, and fight against the normalised culture of men abusing women.
Dutta, who had called out her harassers in 2008, and now again in 2018, continues to fight a battle against the system. Most importantly, her conviction has now inspired hundreds of other women who have been fighting a battle within amid the silence, to break free and come out against their harassers.
Mazumdar-Shaw is often termed as India’s richest self-made woman but it’s her conviction, and approach towards life and empowerment which holds most significance. The entrepreneur founded India’s largest biopharmaceutical firm Biocon in 1978. The firm has successfully forayed into the lucrative US biosimilars market, and is also the first company to gain approval from the USFDA for the same. Her philanthropic initiative, The Mazumdar Shaw Medical Centre, works towards creating a sustainable and affordable cancer care model.
There’s nothing that Mary Kom cannot do. A mother of three, Kom has outshone everyone to become a name to reckon with. This year, Kom became the most successful boxer in the history of Women’s World Championships. The boxing star, by winning her sixth gold medal in the world boxing championship held in Delhi, became the most successful woman boxer ever. She beat Ukraine’s Hanna Okhota and stood tall. The woman, who has time and again been questioned about retirement, proved it yet again that she is unstoppable.
Badminton player and youth icon PV Sindhu recently became the first Indian to win a gold medal at the World Tour Finals. The Olympic silver medallist beat Nozomi Okuhara at the year-ending tournament and has set an even higher benchmark now.
Priyanka Chopra has been ruling the year in all her power. The actor, who recently tied the knot with Nick Jonas, became the first Indian woman to grace the American Vogue cover in the magazine’s 126-year history. Chopra, who also landed a spot on Time’s 100 Most Influential People list, recently became a tech investor and launched a dating application, Bumble. Chopra became the first Indian actor to lead a drama series on American television as the former star of ABC’s “Quantico”. She has also held the reigns of entrepreneurship by launching her own production company, Mumbai-based Purple Pebble Pictures, to promote regional filmmakers and emerging Indian talent. The actor, who is also the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and UN Foundation Girl Up Champion, also launched the Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education.
Deepika Padukone has had an eventful year. She became the first woman ever to enter Forbes top-five richest Indian celebrity list. She ranks fourth in the list. The actor, who has had several hits over the past few years, gave a major blockbuster – Padmaavat – this year. Padukone, who recently tied the knot with actor Ranveer Singh, continues to be at the top of her game. Padukone was paid more than her male co-stars for Padmaavat and also emerged as the first female actor to headline this Rs 300 crore film.