Iron Women: Did You Already Forget About Them?

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Iron Women: Did You Already Forget About Them?
24 Aug 2021
6 min read

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International Women Equality Day, is not just a normal day, it is a day that all the women had to earn with all their strength. Unlike men, women had to prove themselves to reach the peak of success. Let’s read the article below and see what a woman can do. It surely will be an inspiration for all women. #ThinkWithNiche.

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On August 26, we celebrate International Women Equality Day, of course, we have to celebrate this day. Women were not that independent always and were treated poorly, especially in India, there were Sati System, Parda System, Child Marriage, etc. The tendency was that women are not meant to go out, they are only for serving their husbands and children. And they are meant to stay within the kitchen only. But now, those days have come to an end, whenever women got the chance to prove themselves, they did that and are still proving that. Who says women are not meant to go out and work, they can’t do anything.

There are women who proved it wrong. You might be wondering who are these women?

Kadambini Ganguli, Indira Gandhi, Arundhati Roy, Mother Teresa, Kalpana Chawla, and Many more names are on this, list. It will be a long list if I start taking all the names.

Though it is International Women Equality Day, I will be talking about 6 Indian Women from different fields, who prove, that they can do anything if they want, may it be sports or fighting against negativity. The names I will be talking about are rarely heard names, hope you remember them.  

1. Dutee Chand

Ever since she has been visible in Indian Athletics, track, and field, Dutee Chand is a burning inspiration for all Indian women. Track and Field are not very easy for Indians from the beginning and India’s achievement records in this field are lower than the other sports. But Dutee Chand proves that women can do anything.

The sprinter, the first openly gay athlete from India, has written history in 2019 at the World Universiade in Italy when she became the first Indian to finalize gold in a 100m event at a global meet. She also holds the national record in the women’s 100m and is the fifth Indian to participate in the women's 100 meters at the Olympics when she qualified for the 2016 Rio Games. Though in the 2016 Rio Olympics, her 11.69s speed in the preliminary round did not allow her to qualify for the next round she proved herself again in 2018, she won silver in women's 100m at the Jakarta Asian Games. Dutee Chand first comes into everyone’s recognition by becoming a national champion in the under-18 category in the 100m event in 2012. With two gold medals at the 2014 Asian Junior Athletics Championships in Taipei, she took her first noteworthy step in her international career.

Difficulties were always around her, but she never turned her back to them and become the inspiration for all women of India.

2. Arunima Sinha

Do you all remember strong women Arunima Sinha? Arunima Sinha, the first amputee in the world to climb Mount Everest, has had a tough life. No wonder that this woman has achieved feats that no one would have even imagined! Being the first female amputee who climbed Mount Vinson with a prosthetic leg, Arunima Sinha lost her leg in a horrendous incident a couple of years ago.

Once, when she was traveling to Padmavat Express some goons entered the coach. They tried to pull Arunima’s gold chain and attacked her. No passenger came forward to help her. The goons picked up Arunima and threw her out of the train. She bumped with an oncoming train and fell on a train track. Before she could move, another train passed over her leg. The next morning, she was taken to the hospital by some local boys. Her leg had to be amputated.

But this is not the end of her journey but only a turning point. She started taking mountaineering courses. Climbing the mountain with two perfect legs is extremely difficult for us, so, now imagine how challenging it would have been with a prosthetic leg. It was very hard to find a Sherpa for her to help. Finally, leaving every obstacle behind, Arunima set on the most important journey of her life. There were challenges at every turn. Neglecting all these, she conquered Everest on 21st May 2013. But it’s not the end, she conquered the highest peaks on all seven continents. She climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in South Africa, Mt Elbrus in Russia, and Mt Kosciusko in Australia by 2014. In January 2019, Arunima added another achievement to her conquering list. She became the first female amputee to climb Mount Vinson, the highest peak of Antarctica.

3. Irom Chanu Sharmila

Do you all know this Iron Lady?  Popularly known as the Mengoubi, Irom Chanu Sharmila is the Iron Lady of Manipur. She is a Civil Rights Activist, Political Activist, and Poet of Manipur, which is located on the North-Eastern side of India. On 5 November 2000, after Malom Massacre, she began a hunger strike in favor to stop the Armed Forces Act, 1958 that applies to the seven states and grants security forces the power to search properties without a warrant, and to arrest people, and to use deadly force if there is reasonable suspicion that a person is acting against the state. She ended the fast on 9 August 2016, after 16 long years.

In 2014, on the day of International Women’s Day, Sharmila was voted the ‘Top Women Icon Of India’ by MSN Poll.

Being an average student at school, she is an amazing poet. In the early 1990s, she joined Journalism and began writing articles. She is an amazing inspiration for all the women, so, this is for all the women, ‘Let’s Fight Together’.

4. Captain Prem Mathur

Captain Prem Mathur, is really the captain for all the women. She is a fabulous woman who managed to smash the walls of patriarchy and found a way for women to enter the world of aviation, this field was once dominated by men only. She confirmed that talent is the deciding factor, not gender.

Captain Prem Mathur was the first woman in India to fly a commercial plane. She got her Commercial Pilot License in 1947. After that, she sought many airlines jobs, but she instantly got rejected by all of them because no one wanted to take any risks by employing a female pilot. But she is not at all a woman to give up easily. After an unyielding quest for a job, she received an offer from Deccan Airlines, Hyderabad. At the age of 38, she flew her first flight as a co-pilot and was the first Indian woman to do so. In 1949, she participated in the National Air Race in Calcutta, and just with a simple hundred hours of flying experience, she defeated highly experienced male instructors and created a turning point in her life. A few years later, in October 1953, she joined Air India, where she spent the rest of her career flying planes, and this is how India became the first country in the world to employ a woman pilot. After seeing Air India accept a women pilot, other airlines too began doing the same, as they finally realized that gender does not matter at all. Captain Prem Mathur is an inspiration to women all over the world because she made us realize if we have confidence in our abilities, no one can come in the way of achieving our goals.

5. Deepa Malik

Hope you all remember this amazing lady. She is the woman, who never bowed down her head in front of adversity and fought against all the odds of life.

Born on 30th September 1970 in Haryana, Deepa has the gifted potentials to show her excellence to the world of sports with her courage. But unfortunately, God doesn’t give everything to everyone. In 1999 Deepa was diagnosed with a spinal tumor for which she had to go through three major spinal surgeries. That ill-fated tumor made her ‘below the chest’ body paralyzed, but the most surprising words to say was that it was not the end but the beginning of the story of her success. Instead of losing all the hopes, Deepa started her journey to prove herself.

Besides doing all her regular tasks, Deepa made her way for swimming, bike riding, car racing, and athletics, and amazingly, she excelled in all the realms. Being a huge fan of biking, Deepa joined the Himalayan Motorsports Association and surprised everyone with a triumphant 1,700 km bike ride to 18,000 feet in sub-zero temperatures. She is the first person to receive the license for a modified rally vehicle and also the first physically challenged person to receive the rally license from the Federation Motor Sports Club of India.

Her swimming record is also beyond explanation. Deepa participated in national-level Swimming Events and proved to the world that disability is only a state of mind. Giving everyone a shock, this lady with a paralyzed body, successfully crossed the stretch of 1km of Yamuna River with an upstream flow in 2008 became the first paraplegic woman to cross the highest motorable pass of the world. It’s not the end of the journey, Deepa, fought against all the hindrance and made her way to the Olympics and as a woman, brought India’s first medal in the 2016 Paralympics in shot put.

Not only in one field, bike riding, swimming, short put, just nothing to say, but she is also a Wonder Woman of India. Leaving back all her disability, she again proved that women can do anything.

6. Fatima Begum

Very few people know about this amazing lady who is like a gift for all of us. Fatima Begum is the first female director, who broke the male domination in the film industry. She is also the actress and scriptwriter who created a path for many others in the film industry. She is the leader who opened the door of this industry for all women. When she joined as an actress, no female actresses were in the film industry. The female characters were played by male artists after dressing up and make-up. But then as she broke into this male-dominated sphere, everyone marked her as a pioneer. Being the first female director, she also owned a studio. Her strong persistence built a new path for all the women in India. She is really a Queen of the Film Industry.

 The name you heard just now, is the pioneer for all of us. They are our inspiration, our motivation, our strength. After reading this article, I think no one will ever dare to consider women as weak. Being physically disabled, being dominated, facing all the obstacles, women can do anything. Women's power is the strongest in the world. Always be proud to be a woman. Happy International Women Equality Day.