News about women in India is usually morbid; rapes, molestations, abuse, assault, discrimination and so much more. With International Women's Day just around the corner, dna gives you another perspective; the top ten Indian women achievers of 2013; who have persevered and become successful icons for thousands across the nation.
1) Chanda Kochchar
The brilliant CEO and managing director of ICICI bank is regarded as one of the most intelligent and powerful in the finance and banking sector. She has been awarded the Padma Bhushan for her services and was on the Forbes 'The World's 100 Most Powerful Women 2013'. She is an icon and inspires thousands of women across the country with her success.
2) Kiran Bedi
She was the first woman to join the Indian Police Services, and even after retirement, she has worked towards making a change in the country. She has been credited with several awards such as the President's Gallantry Award and the United Nations Medal. From 2010 onwards, she has worked on India Against Corruption, but left when Arvind Kejriwal established the Aam Aadmi Party. She later declared her support for BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. Bedi remains one of the most influential activists in India, and continues to improve conditions via her two NGOs.
3) Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
She is the chairman and MD of Biocon Limited and the incumbent chairperson of IIM- Bangalore. She too was on the Forbes 'The World's 100 Most Powerful Women' list. Shaw has also been awarded the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan. She has also started the Biocon Foundation which conducts health programs for the poor. Shaw is an philanthropist and has also donated 10 million for a cancer hospital in Bangalore.
Another social activist, Medha Patkar is credited with establishing the Narmada Bachao Andolan, which works towards saving the environment from the ill effects of industralization. She works with National Alliance of People's Movements, and has filed for action against projects such as Lavasa. Patkar was recently in the news for joining the Aam Aadmi Party; she will be contesting the Lok Sabha Elections from Mumbai. With thousands of Indians aware of her body of work, she is a popular candidate who, once again, can bring about a change.
5) Sonia Gandhi
She made headlines when she was touted as the 12th richest politician in the world last year. She has been the might behind the current UPA government, holding all the power in the party; even over the Prime Minister. Gandhi's machinations have saved the government from several political disasters, and although she has been widely criticised, she remains one of the most influential women in India.
6) Indra Nooyi
The Indian origin CEO of PepsiCo. has been ranked 10th on the Forbes list of 100 most powerful women. PepsiCo. is the world's second largest food and beverage company; making Nooyi worth millions. She is a formidable figure in the business world, and has lead several acquisitions for PepsiCo. She has made India proud and increased respect for India internationally.
7) Vasundha Raje Scindia
She was the first Chief Minister of Rajasthan, from 2003 to 2008. In 2013, she lead one of the greatest political victories ever seen for her party; the BJP won more than a 100 seats in the Vidhan Sabha elections, making Rajasthan one of the BJP strongholds in the country. With such an overwhelming majority, the people of Rajasthan clearly believe that she will hear their prayers and requests and increase the growth and development in Rajasthan.
8) Deepika Padukone
The current queen of Bollywood and award winning actress Deepika Padukone had a phenomenal year. She delivered four films, all of which grossed over 100 crores; with her film Chennai Express crossing the 200 crore mark additionally. She swept the Best Actress award at every single award show; and as a result her fan base has increased multifold overnight. From being a non performer, to one of the most popular actresses in Bollywood, Padukone has come a long way in just a year.
9) Irom Chanu Sharmila
The 'Iron Lady of Manipur' is one of the most inspiring women in India. She has fasted for over 14 years now, in protest to the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act. Sharmila has garnered a lot of international attention over her plight, but has been arrested several times due to her fast being considered as an attempt to commit suicide. She has become the face of the North-eastern protest against the Army; and has won several awards such as the lifetime achievement award from the Asian Human Rights Commission.
10) Mamata Banerjee
Known as 'Didi', she is one of the greatest women leaders India has seen. She was the first female Chief Minister of West Bengal and Railway Minister of India. The reign of her party, All India Trinamool Congress, won with an huge majority, ending a 34 year rule of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). Banerjee was recently in the news of agreeing to Anna Hazare's programme; indicating that she is ready to bring about change and fight corruption. Banerjee was also named by TIME magazine as one of the ' 100 Most Influential People in the World' in 2012.