Famous Indian Women | Daughters of India | Learning Concepts
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Daughters of India

Concept: Women Superstars of India

  • Women in India are doing excellent in various sectors.
  • They have made us proud, whether it is in the field of politics, sports, culture, or science.
  • Women’s empowerment in India has been slowly gaining significance after independence.
  • Women and men worldwide have worked hard to pass laws in favour of women, their rights, growth, and development.

Some famous women personalities of India:

1. Sarojini Naidu:

  • Sarojini Naidu, an excellent orator, and women’s rights activist, was born in Hyderabad, British India.
  • She was a social activist who fought for women’s education and later joined the National Congress Party.
  • Sarojini Naidu was greatly inspired by Gandhiji and his non-violence theory.
  • She worked as the President of the Indian National Congress and became the first Governor of the United Provinces.
  • Gandhiji gave her the nickname ‘Nightingale of India’.

2. Indira Gandhi:

  • Indira Gandhi was the first and the only female Prime Minister of India.
  • Her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, was a notable figure in Indian politics.
  • Indira Gandhi acted as the President of the Indian National Congress.
  • She played a key role in the Bangladesh Liberation.
  • Her Sikh bodyguards assassinated her in 1984.

3. Sushma Swaraj:

  • Sushma Swaraj, a famous politician and diplomat was born in Haryana.
  • She practised as an advocate in the Supreme Court.
  • She was an active member of the Bharatiya Janata Party and became the first female Chief Minister of Delhi.
  • Sushma Swaraj became the youngest Cabinet Minister in the Government of Haryana at 25 years of age in 1977.
  • After two years, she became State President of the Janata Party, Haryana, at 27.
  • She was also the first female Spokesperson of a national political party in India.
  • She became the minister of External Affairs in 2014.

4. Sania Mirza:

  • Sania Mirza is a professional tennis player in India who won six Grand Slam titles.
  • She is one of the highest-ranked female players from India.
  • She became famous for defeating many prominent players in singles, but due to a wrist injury, she gave up on singles and concentrated on doubles.
  • She won numerous medals in the Asian Games and the Commonwealth games.
  • She is married to the famous Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik.

5. Arundhati Roy:

  • Arundhati Roy is a famous author and social activist.
  • She is well known for her novel ‘The God of Small Things’, which won the prestigious Man Booker Prize.
  • She is also a political activist and fights for several environmental causes and human rights issues.
  • She spent her childhood with her mother, who was a teacher and lived in Kerala.
  • Early in her career, she used to write screenplays for movies.

6. Kiran Bedi:

  • Kiran Bedi was born in Punjab, India.
  • She is a social activist turned politician who is the first woman in India to join the Indian Police Services.
  • As a teenager, she used to be a professional tennis player.
  • After joining the police, she played a key role in the anti-corruption movement and worked hard to reduce crimes against women.
  • She also launched several campaigns against drug abuse.
  • She has written a few books and hosted a show named ‘Aap Ki Kachehri’.

7. Indra Nooyi:

  • Indra Nooyi is a famous Indian-American business executive born in Chennai, India.
  • She completed her bachelors from Madras Christian College, and later moved to the United States of America to pursue a Master’s degree in management.
  • She worked as the Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo.
  • She was named in the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.
  • As a teenager, she used to play cricket and had a deep passion for music.

8. Sudha Murti:

  • Sudha Murti is a famous social activist married to the Infosys co-founder, N.R. Narayana Murthy.
  • She is renowned for her contribution to Kannada and English literature.
  • She worked for Karnataka Government Schools and introduced computer labs and libraries for students.
  • She is the chairperson of Infosys Foundation and also worked as a member of the Gate’s Foundation.
  • She worked for rural development and established many orphanages for children.
  • In 2006, she received Padma Shri from the Government of India.
  • She is an engineer by profession and joined TATA Engineering and Locomotive Company.
  • She has also acted in a few Kannada movies.

9. Barkha Dutt:

  • Barkha Dutt is a popular Indian television journalist who became famous for reporting from conflict-stricken areas.
  • Dutt’s mother was an eminent journalist who inspired her to choose this profession.
  • She started her career as a columnist for a few newspaper agencies.
  • Dutt became famous when she started reporting on the Kargil War in 1999.
  • She reported from the locations where the conflict occurred and gained recognition for an interview, she took with Captain Vikram Batra.
  • She also covered conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
  • She received Padma Shri from the Government of India for reporting on the Tsunami.

10. Mithali Raj:

  • Mithali Raj is an Indian cricketer who plays as a right-handed batsman.
  • She was born in Rajasthan, India.
  • She captained both the test and ODI teams of the Indian Women’s National Cricket Team.
  • She is a right-arm bowler and has a record of achieving the highest runs in ODI cricket.
  • Due to her accomplishments in cricket, she received many awards like the Arjuna Award and the Major Dhyanchand Khel Ratna Award by the Government of India.
  • She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2015.

11. Tessy Thomas:

  • Tessy Thomas is an Indian space scientist known as the ‘Missile Woman of India’.
  • She was born in Kerala, India, and from childhood, she started developing an interest in space launching programmes.
  • She excelled in mathematics and physics and later studied Armament Technology at a reputed institute in south India.
  • She worked on several projects for the development of ballistic missiles.
  • She also collaborated with Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam on some notable projects.

12. Kalpana Chawla:

  • Kalpana Chawla was an astronaut born in Haryana, India.
  • She did her Bachelors in Aeronautical Engineering from Punjab, India.
  • Later she moved to the United States of America to pursue a Master’s in Aerospace Engineering.
  • She started working at NASA and got selected for her first space mission.
  • Her second space mission was tragic because the spaceship was destroyed, causing all its members' deaths.
  • After her death, she was honoured by various educational departments of the Government of India.

13. Gunjan Saxena:

  • Gunjan Saxena is an Indian Air Force officer and a former helicopter pilot in the Indian Air Force.
  • She is the first woman who flew in a combat zone.
  • During the Kargil War in 1999, she evacuated more than 900 troops from the conflict zone, including injured and deceased soldiers.
  • She was born in an Army family in New Delhi, India.
  • After the Kargil War, she received ‘Shaurya Veer’ from a civilian organisation in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The Bollywood film Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl is based on her life.

New Words

Orator: A person who is good at speaking before a huge mass.

Activist: A person who fights for political or social changes.

Missile: A weapon that is thrown to strike something at a distance.

Armament technology: The technology that deals with weapons, equipment, structures, and vehicles used for warfare.

Combat zone: The area where fighting is taking place.

Did You Know?

  • In 1924, the only Olympic event women were allowed to participate in was ice skating. Fifteen women participated in that event.
  • Shakuntala Devi was a famous mathematician. She was highly accurate and fast at calculations, which is why she received the title ‘Human computer’. Later in her life, she also worked as a Mathematics teacher.
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