Ladies First: Meet The Indian Women Who Have Inspired Us in 2017  

From defence to space, Indian women are raising the bar across the board – stories you may have missed in 2017.

5 min read
Hindi Female

Indian women have been kicking ass all year. From sports to defence, to science, women have been raising the bar across a multitude of fields. While some of these achievers have now earned the ‘first Indian woman to...’ tag, others are setting out on some exciting journeys. Some of these women are working to make the world a better place, while others are earning laurels in their fields.

Here are a few success stories of Indian women that you may have missed this year.


Scaling New Heights

Anshu Jamsenpa raised the bar, perhaps literally, when she became the first woman to climb Mount Everest two times in five days in May.

While the 37-year-old is awaiting confirmation from the world record books, her story is even more impressive when you learn that she has climbed Mt Everest four times.

Read the full story on The Quint.

On 21 April, Anita Kundu, a sub-inspector from Haryana, became the first Indian woman to climb Mt Everest from the China side.

Read the full story on The Quint.

Speaking of adventure, Purvi Gupta is all set to leave on an expedition to Antarctica in February 2018. She is the only Indian among the 80-women strong crew who will set about on the journey "whose participants are engaged in critical science disciplines and bringing global awareness to the lack of women in leadership positions," The Better India reported.


Guarding Our Frontiers

In May, Army Chief Bipin Rawat announced that women would soon be inducted into the military police. Two months before the announcement, Tanushree Pareek, from Rajasthan's Bikaner, became the first woman combat officer to be commissioned in the Border Security Force, PTI reported.

From defence to space, Indian women are raising the bar across the board – stories you may have missed in 2017.
Tanushree Pareek, the first woman combat officer in the BSF. (Photo: PTI)

Meanwhile, the INSV Tarini will set out to circumnavigate the globe in August. Here's where things get interesting. In a statement, accessed by IANS, the Navy said:

Tarini has begun a new chapter in the history of ocean sailing by Indian women, wherein the first Indian all-woman crew of IN would endeavour to circumnavigate the globe in August 2017.
From defence to space, Indian women are raising the bar across the board – stories you may have missed in 2017.
The INSV Tarini’s all-woman crew. (Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)

‘Lady Justice’

As of March this year, women headed the country's oldest high courts, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai. Indira Banerjee was appointed chief justice of the Madras HC. She joined the ranks of Bombay HC’s Justice Manjula Chellur, Delhi HC’s Justice G Rohini and Calcutta HC’s acting Chief Justice Nishita Nirmal Mhatre, the Times of India reported.

On the other end of the spectrum is Ridhima Pandey, a nine-year-old from Uttarakhand, who sued the government in April for failing to implement green laws. She filed a legal case with the National Green Tribunal, appealing that the Centre be directed to "take effective, science-based action to reduce and minimise the adverse impacts of climate change," Reuters reported.


Knock It Out of the Park

The list of firsts for Indian women in sports is long enough to warrant a few stories of its own. In cricket, the women in blue have been smashing record after record this year. Deepti Sharma and Poonam Raut's 320-run opening stand in May now holds the record for the largest first-wicket partnership in ODI history.

During the match, Deepti scored 188 vs Ireland to bag the second highest individual score ever in a Women's ODI. Read more about their feat here.

Jhulan Goswami is no stranger to breaking records. This year, the 34-year-old scripted history by becoming the world's top wicket taker in Women's ODIs, with 181.

She attained the feat in a 9 May match against South Africa at the Women's Quadrangle Series. Read the full story on The Quint.

Moving on to other sports, the Indian women's ice hockey team registered their first ever international win in March, when they beat Philippines at the Challenge Cup of Asia in Thailand.

Bhavani Devi won India her first gold in an international fencing event after she won the sabre event at the Women’s Satellite Fencing Championship held in Reykjavik, Iceland in May.

In yet another mind blowing first, 101-year-old Man Kaur from Chandigarh, won the 100m sprint at the World Masters Games in Auckland in April to bag her 17th gold medal.

The centenarian finished the race in 1 minute, 14 seconds – 64.42 seconds off Usain Bolt’s 2009 world record.

So Many Records, So Little Time

In June, Dr Neeru Chadha became the first Indian woman to be a member of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS). The eminent lawyer is now the first Indian woman in a top UN position after Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit.

From defence to space, Indian women are raising the bar across the board – stories you may have missed in 2017.
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Dr Neeru Chadha)

Read more about her on The Quint.

In March, Subha Varier, B Codananyaguy and Anatta Sonney, scientists at Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), were conferred with the Nari Shakti Award by President Pranab Mukherjee.

While the women at ISR have been taking India to new heights with every successful space mission, a teenager from Bengaluru has made a mark for herself in outer space – literally.

From defence to space, Indian women are raising the bar across the board – stories you may have missed in 2017.
Sahiti Pingali is all set to have a minor planet named after her. (Photo: Facebook/InventureAcademy)

Sahiti Pingali, a Class XII student, is all set to have a minor planet named after her, The Hindu reported. She was awarded the honour by the Lincoln Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after having aced the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) with her research on water pollution. Read the full story on The Quint.

Another wonder woman is Shruti Singh, who, as chronicled in this Times of India report, bagged a Diploma in Physiotherapy in February. The 23-year-old, who suffers from a genetic disorder may just be India's first deaf-blind physiotherapist, Shruti, the coordinator of the deaf blind unit at the Blind People's Association, told the daily. The Quint could not independently verify the claim.

In May, 44-year-old Precilla Veigas was honoured by the University of Toronto's Massey College in May for having completed her PhD. Veigas, who hails from Karnataka, has terminal cancer. Her research will help “match trauma patients to the most effective blood products to transfuse in order to manage bleeding and save their lives,” The News Minute reported. Read the full story here.

While this article lists only a few success stories of Indian women, countless other women work tirelessly around the country to break the glass ceiling. Many of these go unnoticed, while others consciously stay away from the spotlight. Thank you ladies, for giving us all a whole new set of role models to look up to.

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