Meet 10 women who made a difference

From the initiative of an IAS officer in Chhattisgarh to eradicate open defecation to the story of an acid attack survivor who walked the ramp, this women's day we present few goodreads from our archives.

GN Bureau | March 8, 2017


#Women Empowerment   #International Women's Day   #Women's Day 2017  



 

  • In 2011, IAS Priyanka Shukla was posted to Chhattisgarh, first as the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of Saraipali – a sub-division of district Mahasamund and now as CEO of Rajnandgaon, chief minister Raman Singh’s constituency. In only four years of her service, Shukla has won several national awards and letters of appreciation. Here's an account of her work in Maoist hit area and encouraging people to build toilets. Read: Meet the IAS who eradicated open defecation in rural Chhattisgarh


                                                                                     

  • Usha Ananthasubramanian is the managing director and CEO of the Punjab National Bank. She studied statistics from University of Madras and started her banking career in 1982. She led the process of establishing women's bank. Set up in November 2013, Bharatiya Mahila Bank, is the youngest and smallest of the public sector banks, but is attracting attention thanks to its unique mandate. In 2015, she spoke to Governance Now about the crucial aspect of gender in financial inclusion. Read:  CMD, Bharatiya Mahila Bank, Usha Ananthasubramanian on Jan-Dhan Yojana


                                                                   

  • Ten years ago, Laxmi was only 15 when a self-styled lover had thrown acid on her face to avenge her for ignoring his romantic overtures. The acid had left Laxmi’s face scarred and also inflicted deeper psychological wounds. However, soon Laxmi met many other women with similar pain and scarred faces in the NGO Chhanv Foundation in Delhi. Together, they fought pain and their tormentors and none of them now cover their faces. Their fight – against their attackers and laws which permit sale of acid as if it were water – has changed attitudes all around. Looking at these women, beauty is no longer skin deep but associated with courage and grit. Accepting this, when the women apparel line Viva N Diva picked Laxmi as the face of its brand recently there was a moment of euphoria at Chhanv; even the fashion world greeted the news with aplomb. Laxmi is also a recipient of the 2014 International Women of Courage award given by US first lady Michelle Obama. Swati Chandra met Laxmi as she was juggling between looking after her 11-month-old bouncy baby and work at Chhanv. “I’m excited about the upcoming shoot,” she said. Read: Beautiful face, courageous mind

 

  • A  Swedish citizen, an American green-card holder and a Bengali at heart craving to live in India; award-winning Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen wears many hats... The West showered her with citizenship, awards, honours, fellowships and also gave her space for free thinking and an experience of life in a liberal society. She became a cult personality. Life was good but her mind longed for her home – ‘Bengal’. When Taslima talks to Governance Now about secularism, Indian politicians, her books and her home: Read: Indian leaders have used my name: Taslima Nasreen


 

  • Dressed in green sarees, women in Khushiyari village of Varanasi took the pledge to eradicate drug and liquor addiction from their village. Starting this drive from their homes, the women first persuaded their husbands to leave alcohol. When persuasion failed, the women threatened the men by barging into their houses in large numbers. Now, the entire village has become liquor and drug free. Read: How a gang of women have banished drug and liquor from their village


 

  • Sakshi Malik is the first Indian female wrestler to bag an Olympic medal. The 24-year-old comes from Mokhra village of  Rohtak, Haryana. She came into the limelight as an international wrestler after she won bronze in the Junior World Championship in 2010. Then, she went on to win silver in the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and a bronze at the Asian Wrestling Championships  in 2015. After Rio Olympics, Malik was conferred India’s highest sporting honour – the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna. She is also the brand ambassador of the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign in Haryana. Read: We need better facilities: Sakshi Malik

 

  • Atishi Marlena is an Aam Aadmi Party leader and a member of political affairs committee (PAC) of the party. She is the advisor to the deputy chief minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia and is spearheading the initiative of mohalla sabha. In an earlier interview with Governance Now, she talks about the emergence of a new brand of grassroot politics and reaching out to people through mohallas across the city. Read: Giving people’s money back to them to spend on their own


 

  • Social activist Aruna Roy co-founded Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) with Nikhil Dey and others. She has been spearheading the cause of the poor and the marginalised for almost three decades now and has worked on issues related to right to work, right to information, etc. Last year she concluded 100 days of the ‘jawabdehi yatra’ in Rajasthan, collecting grievances and complaints of people regarding government delivery of services. Here are excerpts from our interview with her. Read: To implement laws, an accountability system has to be in place: Aruna Roy


 

  • Author, activist Arundhati Roy's second fiction 'The Ministry of Utmost Happiness' is set to hit book stands in June this year. This would be her second fiction after the Booker Prize winning the God of Small Things. Renowned author Arundhati Roy who was once booked under the sedition law (which failed to stand up to judicial scrutiny) felt that justice is a thing which is out of the imagination. Read: We are trying to institutionalise injustice: Arundhati Roy


 

  • Kaushal Panwer teaches Sanskrit in Delhi University. Born in a dalit family, she was humiliated in as a child. In 2015, she wrote for us giving details of her success story and lessons for society in harnessing talent. Read: How quota helped me become what I am


 

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