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Chelsea Clinton: How Mary Varghese changed India

Last updated on: July 11, 2018 11:29 IST

Dr Mary Varghese's determination to live life beyond her wheelchair inspired Chelsea Clinton to include her in She Persisted Around The World: 13 Women Who Changed History.

Just who was Mary Varghese?

And why, 93 years after her birth, would she inspire and American to write about her in her tightly worded book for young girls that features only 13 women from across the world?

Mary Varghese was a doctor, a gynaecologist, born in Kerala's Cherai village in 1925.

In 1954, a road accident left here paralysed from the waist down.

Her physical limitations did not deter Dr Varghese and she went on to head the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Christian Medical College, her alma mater, in Vellore.

She also went on to establish India's first physical rehabilitation unit, which continues to provide succour to people with physical disabilities even today.

 

Dr Varghese was awarded the Padma Shri in 1972 and the World Vision Award in 1985.

Her astounding will power that drove her to live life beyond her wheelchair inspired Chelsea Clinton to include her in She Persisted Around The World: 13 Women Who Changed History.

Chelsea's words have been illustrated by Alexandra Boiger.

Chelsea, who hopes these women will prove to be a beacon of inspiration to young girls, says in the introduction to the book, 'All over the world, girls are more likely to be told to be quiet, to sit down, to have smaller dreams. Don't listen to those voices.'

Please scroll downwards for the Mary Varghese excerpt from She Persisted Around The World: 13 Women Who Changed History.

Mary Varghese

 

Mary Varghese

Mary Varghese

 

She Persisted Around The World

Excerpted from She Persisted Around The World: 13 Women Who Changed History, written by Chelsea Clinton, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger, with the kind permission of the publishers, Penguin Books India.

 

Chelsea Clinton