Even as the concept of marking a special day for women, Women’s Day, sounds rather strange, perhaps alluding to redressing the bias about this poignant gender, you’d still take it. Legendary American singer James Brown wasn’t wrong when he tastefully appreciated women through his number “It is a Man’s World“. If you happen to have explored this timeless melody, you’d find lyrics that sufficiently sum up all our lives…

It is a man’s world, but it would be nothing without a woman or a girl.” 

In an India finding itself ever increasingly at the curious intersection of technology, entrepreneurship, social development and political reform, women are changing the contours of the society. They are harbingers of a pleasant change, calling the shots, ever so increasingly, from places of influences.

Whether it is art, cinema, literature, social innovation or sports, women are changing the landscape of a country that has, for ages, been stuck up in a patriarchal set-up.

We extend our regards and acknowledge the contribution of 5 often under-appreciated women from different walks of life in India

1. Mishi Choudhary

A legal eagle and a person with a flair and flavor for preserving law and abiding by the carriage of justice, Mishi Choudhary is among the most inspirational women in India. To date, she is the only lawyer who has appeared at the Indian Supreme Court as well as the revered Supreme Court of the United States, marking the rare distinction in the same term.

A vehement advocate of net neutrality- without which one cannot conceive the idea of the world wide web- Ms. Choudhary is also a digital right activist. With a flourishing legal career, Mishi Choudhary has ably balanced her profession in two cultures- India and United States- that are in complete polarisation to one another.

2. Chiki Sarkar

It must be incessantly rewarding to be giving wings to others’ hopes and yet, so spiritually fulfilling at the same time. This could well be the one major motivating factor that pushes one of India’s best publishers- Chiki Sarkar- to persist in a challenging industry. While writing a solitary line that means something is an intricate challenge in its own self. But bringing alive a creation that is a reflection of another curious mind’s thinking should ideally be held and respected as an onerous task.

The creator of India’s first smartphone publisher, Juggernaut Books, remains enthusiastically in search of meaningful stories and storytellers. And resulting from her painstaking efforts of cultivating right talents, Ms. Sarkar’s efforts have yielded milestone success to the effect that the Juggernaut app received a million downloads across Android and iOs platforms since 2015.

3. Faith Gonsalves

When you are young, the possibilities are endless. This potentially draws able, curious minds to pursuing endeavors that throw open a realm of money, fame, adulation, and whatnot. While there’s no harm in that, there’s always a space for branching out to avenues that look after others, and if it could be said specifically, then working toward the interest of the society.

But while many of India’s youngsters are besotted with social media, pursuing expensive courses all around the world, few like Delhi-based Faith Gonsalves work toward upliftment of underprivileged children by cultivating their talents through creative measures such as music.

The founder of Music Basti, that connects at-risk children and youth and places music at the crucial intersection of learning and enjoyment, leading ultimately to a greater development of one’s self and personality. Faith is dedicated toward maximizing the impact of projects that deal with arts and media projects aiding in social development.

4. Meena Kandasamy

At a time where one can funnily look back at one of the most overly used whimsical expressions- beauty with brains- a few minutes spent in the arresting company of this poet and writer would make you rethink about the notion. And would compel you to dispel it completely. As beautiful as she is intellectual, this Chennai-based poet, writer, thinker, is an enthusiastic chaser of many an accomplished written word.

There’s an earthen, very relatable charm in the choicest words that Meena Kandasamy so charismatically concocts that you cannot help but fall in love with both the English language and literature.

It ought to be said, there are writers and then there are those who make writing seem translucent. Kandasamy- through works like Ms Militancy– does just that.

5. Shikha Pandey

inspiring indian women shikha pandey

Thankfully the Women’s game in India, as in everywhere else, is finally coming of age. You ought to credit the many phenomenal performances of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup of 2017. But unfortunately, at a time where a lot of focus in India Women’s team is ably flowing to established legends like Mithali Raj(captain, Tests, and ODIs) and rising legends like Harmanpreet Kaur(captain, T20s), it somehow eschews talents like Shikha Pandey in great abundance.

A bowling mainstay of the national team, Pandey’s tight, controlled and disciplined line and length have afforded her an accomplished standing in the game which befuddles even harshest critics through 49 wickets from 35 ODIs, with best bowling figures of 4/34 and an enviable average of under 20.

But whether Pandey gets enough credit for her efforts is clearly anyone’s call and not a question that stands the potential to outfox fans. Just how many bowlers in the modern game attack opponents with a miserly economy rate of 3.76?