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Inspiring! These Women Followed Their Dreams!

Last updated on: March 07, 2024 12:33 IST

Is there anything women can't do?

From protecting the nation as part of the armed forces to reaching new frontiers in rocket science to acing in business, they are breaking glass ceiling barriers and challenging tradition-created restrictions every day.

As we celebrate women achievers who are excelling in their careers, here are a few incredible tales of hard work and perseverance to inspire you this week.


'When I give the command in front of the supreme commander of the armed forces and he takes my salute, that is the moment I have been dreaming of,' then Lieutenant Bhavana Kasturi told's Archana Masih days before she became the first-ever lady officer to lead an all-male contingent in the Republic Day parade on January 26, 2019, in New Delhi.
Bhavana discusses the events and people in her life who encouraged her to live this dream in this fascinating interview HERE.
Photograph: Kind courtesy Lieutenant Bhavana Kasturi
All imaging: Satish Bodas/


Radhika Gupta

When she was a child, Radhika Gupta had the misfortune of being placed in a wrong position in an incubator by a nurse that led to a permanent tilt in her neck.
'The girl with a broken neck' overcame the criticism surrounding her physical appearance to become the CEO of Edelweiss Mutual Fund.
Radhika shares her journey and lessons life has taught her with's Prasanna Zore HERE.
Photograph: Kind courtesy Radhika Gupta


Ramsha Sultan, India's first hijabi influencer

Ramsha Sultan started creating beauty videos in 2017 because she "was bored with studying engineering".
Today, the engineer-turned-MBA runs a business that has crossed the Rs-1-crore-a-month barrier.
You can read more about the motivational speaker and fashion influencer's journey in her interview with Hitesh Harisinghani/ HERE.
Photograph: Kind courtesy Ramsha Sultan/Instagram


Beno Zephine

Beno Zephine was 25 when she cracked the Union Civil Service examination to became India's first 100 per cent visually challenged person to be inducted into the Indian Foreign Service.
She talks about facing rejections and handling adversities with a positive attitude in this interview with's Shobha Warrier.
Photograph: Sreeram Selvaraj/


Padma Lakshmi

'I was an introvert who could not utter a word in front of others; today I argue my case in front of so many people,' says Padma Lakshmi, who created history when she enrolled herself as a lawyer with the Bar Council of Kerala.
On March 19, 2023, Padma Lakshmi became the first trans lawyer in Kerala. But it wasn't an easy journey, she tells's Shobha Warrier.
Photograph: Kind courtesy Padma Lakshmi


Rohini Bhajibhakare, Salem's first female collector

Rohini Bhajibhakare cleared the UPSC exam in her first attempt without private coaching.
When she was posted in Salem, Tamil Nadu, she became the city's first female collector.
"From the first day of my job to the last, I want to serve the people," she told's A Ganesh Nadar in her interview.
Photograph: Kind courtesy Rohini Bhajibhakare


Garima Arora

Garima Arora, the first woman chef to earn a Michelin star in 2019 followed by a second one in 2023, credits her father for helping her follow her dreams.
She treats her guests as God and that, she believes, is the secret to success.
Chef Arora candidly talks about her most exciting career moments and learnings with's Vaihayasi Pande Daniel HERE.
Photograph: Kind courtesy Garima Arora/Instagram


Shreegauri Sawant

Shreegauri Sawant, a transgender, left her home in Pune as a teenager to come to Mumbai and live a dignified life.
In 2000, she founded an NGO, Sakhi Char Chowghi Trust, to create awareness about safe sex and provide counselling to transgenders.
Four years later, she became the first transgender to file a petition in the Supreme Court of India that enabled her community to adopt children.
Shreegauri, who has adopted a girl named Gayatri, calls herself the mother of several young girls who are either abandoned or forced to leave home due to personal and financial crises.
"Rishton ko kyun label karna hai?" she asks Divya Nair/ in this candid interview.
Last year, Sushmita Sen brough her brave story to life on OTT in the series, Taali.
Photograph: Hitesh Harisinghani/


Captain Shiva Chouhan

"My transformation from a civilian to an army officer, firstly, has made me physically and mentally strong.
"Even in a remote and isolated area we have the confidence of looking after the men under our command," Captain Shiva Chouhan, the first woman Indian Army officer to be operationally deployed at the Siachen Glacier, the world's highest battlefield, told Archana Masih/
"The Indian Army has given me my own identity. I will take whatever comes my way and clear the stepping stones of life."
Photograph: Kind courtesy ADGPI/Indian Army

Savita Kanswal

Savita Kanswal is the first Indian woman to climb two of the world's highest peaks -- Mount Everest and Mount Makalu -- within 16 days.
She died heroically in a mountaineering mishap in 2022.
"My mother used to worry about where she would sleep and what she would eat.
"Moreover, people in our remote village also frowned upon her undertaking mountaineering, but she fought them all, completed all the courses, found sponsors and went on to climb world famous mountains," Manorama Kanswal, Savita's sister tells's Archana Masih in this interview, after Savita was bestowed the Tenzing Norgay Adventure Award posthumously.
Photograph: Kind courtesy Savita Kanswal/Instagram

Homai Vyrawala

The late Homai Vyrawala, who was born in 1913, was the only student in her batch of 36 students -- there were only six or seven girls in her class, according to Wikipedia -- to complete matriculation.
She braved several obstacles before finding her niche as one of India's first female photojournalists.
Her photographs and body of work continue to inspire those who came after her.
You can get glimpses of her interesting journey HERE and HERE.
Photograph: Kind courtesy Sam Panthaky/Wikimedia Commons

Dear Readers,

We'd like to hear from you.

Is there a woman in your life whom you admire most?

It could be your mother, sister, your wife or your daughter, who has taught you the true meaning of life.

It could also be your school teacher, a colleague you work with, who has made a small, but significant difference in your life or your career.

Send us a photograph of the woman you admire the most to (subject line: Woman I Admire) along your NAME, AGE, LOCATION and a small write-up explaining why she holds a special place in your life.