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She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the Universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings.”
The beauty of these lines doesn’t just rest on the words written, they also evoke the true strength women brace. Women have broken the shackles and forged their way past the gender stereotype.
They have empowered their destiny and carved success in their life with their sheer grit and dedication. Decade after decade, women have gone from being strong to strongest.
And so, woman’s day is not just another day that is celebrated to make women special. It is an entire day dedicated to raising awareness and celebrating strong women of the past as well as present.
To give you a glimpse of the female warriors of Himachal Pradesh, we bring you HimVani’s Editorial Recognition List — HimVani Top 10 Women Achievers of Himachal 2017-18. Inspiration is a little scroll down away. Are you ready to greet it?
1Geeta Verma, Featured On WHO’s 2018 Calendar
Geeta Verma is a female health worker from Mandi whose dedication towards her job has bought her a place in the World Health Organization’s 2018 calendar. Being recognized and featured by WHO is not a piece of cake. After pictures of Geeta Verma riding a bike on the bumpy Himalayan roads, with vaccines for measles rubella at the back, went viral, she rose to fame.
As they say, no hard work ever goes in vain. She was appreciated by WHO for achieving full coverage of the vaccine in her area of operation, which is not an easy task given the terrain of the Himalayan territory. The calendar girl is a true pride of the state.
Seema of Raitan village in Chamba district pulled off a stunning feat when she won a bronze in the 3,000m event at the Asian Youth Athletics Championship in Bangkok, last year. Earlier, she broke the national record in the 3,000m race in the Youth National Athletic Championship 2017, held in Hyderabad.
She is only second Himachal girl after Suman Rawat to win a medal in any age group in an international competition. Seema, according to The Tribune, took up athletics in Class 6 and by the time she completed her Matriculation, she had become the state champion in 1,500m. Impressed by her raw talent and potential, her coaches admitted her to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Training Centre in Dharamshala in 2015. The very next year saw Seema break the U-16 national record in the 2km event in Coimbatore by clocking 6min, 27.13s.
In 2017, the Class 12 student of Government Senior Secondary Girls School, Dharamsala, went one step further and broke another age-group national record.
The 5ft, 1in tall Seema wanted to become a sprinter but her height was more suitable for long distance running. Seema has taken this in her stride and now aims to represent India in international competitions.
Her mother is a housewife and ekes out a living by tilling a small chunk of land in the village.
3Muskan Thakur, Budding Singer
Visually impaired, Budding singing talent, and visually impaired Muskan Thakur, was chosen as the youth icon face of the Election Commission of India for the Assembly elections in Himachal, held in 2017.
Muskan, a student of MA (music) in Himachal Pradesh University, hails from remote Chirgaon area in Rohru subdivision of Shimla district, and has been a meritorious student throughout. She was given laptop by the government for figuring in merit in class XII examinations.
Runner-up of the Voice of Himachal (junior category), Muskan has been the winner of HPU Youth festival twice and has also been an ace performer during the summer festival.
She completed her BA from RKMV, Shimla and is pursuing higher studies with the help of electronic gadgets and wishes to become a professor in the university.
4Seema Thakur, HRTC’s First Female Driver
Seema Thakur is Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation’s (HRTC) first female driver. Thakur is the only female among 3,000 HRTC drivers. She joined the Shimla office of the HRTC in May, last year, and is currently driving HRTC’s local taxis and buses in Shimla.
“The HRTC never had a gender bar. We were always open to women drivers, but nobody came forward. Seema is the first woman who showed willingness to join the job. She has undergone professional training and we have faith in her skills. We hope her feat will motivate more women to take up this work,” DS Negi, Regional Manager (Shimla), HRTC, was quoted as saying by The Tribune.
5Ravina Thakur, First Woman Taxi Driver In Himachal Pradesh
This 20-year old is defying gender stereotypes at such a tender age by becoming Himachal’s first taxi driver. Ravina took up this uncanny job for a woman after he father’s death to earn a livelihood for her family. Originally hailing from Jogindernagar, the young girl lives in Manali.
She aspires to become an army officer one day. After her mother’s tea stall was demolished during the four-laning of national highway she took upon herself to earn the bread for her family.
Contrary to belief and resistance from locals and relatives Ravina says that taking up the job of a taxi driver has only enhanced her personality making her bolder, more confident and brave.
6Divyangana Trivedi, Member, International Council of Jurists
Student of Dalhousie Public School, Divyangana Trivedi, was only 14, when she was awarded with the honorary distinguished membership at International Council of Jurists in 2017. International Council of Jurists is a professional body of jurists consisting of Senior legal practitioners across the globe with intent to promote legal professionalism. The council also provides legal aid to the less privileged.
Divyangana who hails from Kangra, aspires to become the Chief Justice of India one day and currently is “doing” her “best” as an author. She has written books on legal provisions. The Council head Dr. Adish C Aggarwala gave her an opportunity to be a member of this council.
She intends to unite people, being crime rate down in India and see an “integrated nation…my nation “INDIA” through her writings.
7Sushma Verma, First Female Cricketer From Himachal
Shimla-born Sushma Verma is the first female cricketer from Himachal to represent India in international cricket.
She specializes in wicket-keeping, and till the time of writing this article, as per statistics available on espncricinfo, Verma was responsible for 21 catches and 16 stumps in 29 ODIs, and 6 catches and 19 stumps in 19 T20Is, and 1 stumping in single Test.
8Aanchal Thakur, Indian Alpine Skier
Aanchal Thakur, an Indian alpine skier, made history when she won the first ever bronze medal for India in an international skiing event. She had represented the country before in 2012 at the Winter Youth Olympics held in Innsbruck but could not get a good rank. But the 2018 Alpine Ejder 3200 Cup was a stepping stone to her journey in the field when Turkey awarded her hard work with a bronze medal in slalom race category.
Just like the other winter athletes, Anchal Thakur too faced lack of support from the government but it didn’t stop her from achieving what she aimed for. She has brought laurels not only to her family or her state but to the whole country by bringing India to the forefront of winter games.
9Jabna Chauhan, Youngest Sarpanch Of India
At the age of 22, Jabna Chauhan became the youngest Sarpanch of not just Himachal but of India. Heading the Tharjoon Panchayat in Mandi district is not the only Chauhan’s claim to fame. She further took up the cudgels with the male bastion by enforcing a ban on liquor at weddings and other formal gatherings in her village. The Panchayat under her watch passed a resolution, proposing a fine of Rs 10,000 in case anybody was found violating the ban.
In January 2017, she was honoured with the Best Pradhan Award; and further represented Himachal at an International Women’s Day summit held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
She was also honoured by none less than Bollywood actor, Akshay Kumar as the “Top 30 Under 30” of the country at the HT Youth Forum 2017, conducted by Hindustan Times.
Prior to her stint with politics, she was a reporter with a local TV channel, Oriental Times.
10Prajwal Busta, Youngest Chairperson Of The BDC
Meet the youngest chairperson of the BDC (Block Development Committee) in India, Prajwal Busta. After completing her graduation from Shimla at the age of 21, she decided to go back to her village, Kotkhai, to serve the people there. Becoming the chairperson of the BDC is not a cakewalk, especially at such a young age.
The love and support of the people is quite hard earned and the efforts she has put in the upliftment of her area are a proof of what she can do for the people in return. She now aims to start an NGO for the development of the region.
Going from strong to strongest… Happy International Women’s Day!