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Not Just Manushi Chhillar, Haryana Is Home To All These Fab Women

What do Manushi Chhillar, Juhi Chawla, Saina Nehwal and Sushma Swaraj have in common? Haryana!

Updated
India
5 min read
Not Just Manushi Chhillar, Haryana Is Home To All These Fab Women
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Manushi Chhillar, the damsel from Haryana, made us all proud by bagging the Miss World crown after 17 whole years! But she’s not the only Haryanvi woman worth raving about. The state of Haryana has a sex ratio of 950 girls to 1,000 boys, but in spite of the odds, some women have smashed the glass ceiling and are doing the state, as well as the country, proud. Here are some dhakad women from Haryana.

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Sushma Swaraj

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj
(Photo: Reuters)

External Affair Minister and Twitter vigilante-par-excellence, Sushma Swaraj was born in Ambala Cantt, Haryana, and pursued her graduation from the state. In fact, she was a member of the Haryana Legislative Assembly from 1977 to 1982, and then again from 1987 to 1990. She was also one of the top contenders to become Chief Minister of the state before ML Khattar was nominated.

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Juhi Chawla

Juhi Chawla’s adorable expressions in Yes Boss.
(Source: YouTube/Venus Movies

The genesis of those killer expressions that floored us all lie in Haryana. Born in Ambala, Juhi Chawla won the Miss India pageant in 1984, and has acted in over 100 movies since then. She is also the co-owner of the IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders. She has won the Filmfare Award for her roles in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke. She has, of course, also won a lot of hearts.

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Sakshi Malik

Sakshi Malik won a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics in 2017.
(Photo: Reuters/Altered by The Quint)

She captured not just the country’s, but the entire world’s imagination when she won the bronze medal for wrestling at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Sakshi Malik hails from the Rohtak district of Haryana, and has also won a silver medal in the Commonwealth Games. Her win at the Olympics has helped inspire many girls from Haryana to take up the sport.

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The Phogat Sisters

Aamir Khan with the Phogat sisters. 
(Photo Courtesy: UTV Motion Pictures)

The Phogat sisters, or the six daughters of wrestler Mahavir Phogat, hail from Bhiwani. All six of them have been trained in wrestling, and three of them – Geeta, Babita and Vinesh – have won gold medals at the Commonwealth Games. The Bollywood film Dangal by Aamir Khan which released in 2016, is based on the lives of the sisters with Mahavir, Geeta and Babita being the central characters. Just like Sakshi, the success story of the Phogat sisters attracted a lot of attention due to the prevalent social issues in the state.

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Mamta Kharab

Mamta Kharab
(Photo: Getty Images)

Known as the ‘golden girl’ of Indian Hockey, Mamta Kharab, an Arjuna awardee, is from Rohtak. She was formerly the captain of Indian Women’s Hockey Team and scored the winning goal in the 2002 Commonwealth Games which ultimately helped India win the gold. She now serves as a Deputy Superintendent in the Haryana Police. The character of Komal Chautala, from the acclaimed movie Chak De India, was based on her.

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Kalpana Chawla

Kalpana Chawla, an Indian American astronaut and the first woman of Indian origin in space.
(Photo Courtesy: NASA)

Born in Karnal, Kalpana Chawla was the first woman of Indian origin to go to space. She completed her graduation in Chandigarh, and then moved on to study aerospace engineering in Texas. She began working for NASA in 1988 and embarked on her first mission to space in 1997, making her only the second Indian to do so after Rakesh Sharma. In 2003, Kalpana was one of the seven crew members who lost their lives in the Columbia Space Shuttle tragedy. The space shuttle had disintegrated during its re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere, killing all on-board including Kalpana. She has been honoured with the Congressional Space Medal of Honour.

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Parineeti Chopra

Parineeti Chopra in a scene from Meri Pyaari Bindu
(Photo courtesy: YRF)

An actor and a singer, much like her cousin Priyanka Chopra, this Ambala girl wears many hats. She started as a PR consultant in films, and then moved on to acting with her first movie, Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl , in 2011. She has won both the Filmfare and the National Film Award and is just 11-movies-old.

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Saina Nehwal

File photo of Saina Nehwal
(Photo: AP)

A Hisar girl, Saina Nehwal has won 21 international badminton titles including 10 Superseries titles. She also won the bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics. She is the first Indian female, and second Indian (after Prakash Padukone) to have attained the world no 1 ranking in the sport.

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Santosh Yadav

Santosh Yadav
(Photo: The Hindu)

Born in the Rewari district of Haryana, Santosh Yadav is the first woman in the world to have climbed Mt Everest twice, and the first woman to achieve this feat by negotiating the Kangshung Face of the mountain. She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2000 and now serves as an officer in the Indo-Tibetan border police.

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Zohrabai Ambalewali

Zohrabai Ambalewali
(Photo: YouTube)

Born in Ambala, Zohrabai Ambalewali was a leading Bollywood playback singer in the 1930s and 1940s. She is known for her ‘low voice range’ singing. Some of her most famous songs include “Ankhiyan Milake Jiyaa Bharmaake’’ and “Aai Diwali, Aai Diwali”. She was one of the leading first generation playback singers in the Hindi film industry.

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Mallika Sherawat

Mallika Sherawat 
(Photo courtesy: Twitter)

She won over Bollywood (and Hollywood) with her sass, but did you know that Mallika Sherawat is also from Haryana? Born in Hisar, Mallika has acted in Hindi, English and Chinese films. Born as Reema Lamba, she changed her name to Mallika to “avoid confusion with other actresses named Reema). She has established herself as a sex symbol in Bollywood and is best known for her role in the movie Pyaar Ke Side Effects.

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Topics:  Sushma Swaraj   Saina Nehwal    Juhi Chawla 

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