International Women’s Day: 10 women whose stories will inspire you today

Mumbai( iamin): Today is March 8, International Women’s Day. But do we really need one dedicated day in the year to celebrate a woman? What if we stepped up and made every day a special day for them? Because women spend each day being brave, breaking stereotypes, managing expectations and building dreams.

They struggle each moment to be who they are, to find acceptance in a society intent on gifting them just one day out of the 365. So iamin brings you a list of such women who have realised their dreams, bit by bit, every ordinary day.

1. From being a receptionist to a bouncer, this woman packs a punch

There’s a certain confidence which is difficult to miss. After all, being a woman bouncer takes a whole lot more than just the job description. Sulakshana Thombre, a 39-year-old resident of Airoli, gave up her desk-bound, otherwise comfortable job for one in a male-dominated field. In her nine years as a bouncer, Sulakshana she relives some of her experiences.

2. Formula racer and a pilot, Sneha goes for the track less taken

Have you grown up on a diet of Need For Speed? Have you been that one girl among a gang of boys, whose passion for cars has been rivalled only by her love for Paul Walker? This 25-year-old woman has been there, done that. A Formula racer and a pilot, Sneha Sharma lives by the code of adrenalin, having opted for risqué careers rather than the mundane, regular ones. 

3. Shunned by society, these women find an inspiration in their dance guru Tanuja Bhadsavle

Tanuja Bhadsavle has dedicated her life teaching dance to the intellectually disabled women at her Matunga based NGO – Aavahan. Her unconditional and selfless love for such women, who are usually neglected and ill-treated by society at large, has turned her into an inspirational figure.

A trained Kathak dancer and also well-versed with other dance forms like Zumba and various folk dance forms, Tanuja trains the women at Aavahan for free. 

4. Kavitha Kuruganti made enemies protesting GM crops but stood her ground

As an activist and convenor of ASHA (Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture) Kavitha Kuruganti, who is based in Bengaluru, has frequent brushes with large corporations. That she speaks out against the Genetically Modified (GM) crops does not make her very popular with government officials either, but she stands her ground. 

5. A crusader against waste, Vani Murthy is a green force to reckon with

Meet Vani Murthy who has been spearheading the campaign on how to keep Bengaluru clean for the last seven years. A resident of Malleswaram, Vani has been associated with Solid Waste Management Round Table (SWMRT), to create awareness among the residents, especially homemakers, in the city on the importance of segregating waste at source and converting kitchen waste into compost. 

6. This woman from Malad imparts art and craft skills to underprivileged women

The social disparity all around made her uncomfortable, it left her disturbed. When she couldn’t take it anymore, Shalini Datta finally took what she calls “the leap of faith” and quit her corporate job to begin a “sustainable change” through her initiative – AfterTaste. Now, she trains underprivileged woman in art and craft. 

7. ‘I used to dream of people dying,’ says actor Manasi Rachh on getting into the skin of characters

Theatre artist and actor Manasi Rachh opens up to iamin about her accidental theatre performance, convincing parents on her choice of career and years of struggles and gatecrashing auditions before she finally got her first break in a movie. 

8. Don’t let others make you feel guilty, pioneer doctor Armida Fernandez tells working women

As the head of neonatology at the Lokmanaya Tilak Municipal General (LTMG) Hospital and Medical College for over 25 years, and later as its dean, Dr Armida Fernandez, saw firsthand the pressures Indian women face.

It was not new to see battered wives and those facing the brunt of not giving birth to a male child. 

9. Once an acid attack victim, Pragya Singh now helps others heal

Life was a bed of roses for Pragya Singh in April 2006. She had just been married and was heading to Delhi from Varanasi to join a company. Her fairytale ended when a man, a distant relative of hers, threw acid on her. Today she is a mother to two daughters and runs her own NGO Atijeevan Foundation through which she helps other acid attack victims cope with their pain. 

10. For this Nashik woman, work begins where life ends

While a crematorium is the last place anyone would want to visit, it is a workplace for 36-year-old Sunita Patil from Nashik. Her work begins where a life ends. Working as a helper at a crematorium since the age of eight, Sunita assists people with the rituals that are performed on a dead body at the crematorium. 

Posted by on March 8, 2016. Filed under Nation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.