If you are a woman you should be delicate, submissive, gentle and meek. You are someone who ‘needs to be protected’. These are the very stereotypes that our Ferocious Five effectively broke. Don’t believe us? Read on and find out about the Iron Ladies breaking gender stereotypes and giving young women some fierce career goals.
Smita Sabharwal is an IAS officer who currently serves as Additional Secretary to Telangana’s Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhara Rao. Fondly called ‘People’s Officer’, she is known to bring about technological developments to use for better service. She put Skype to use for monitoring government hospitals. Under her guidance, the districts of Karimnagar, Madanapally and Medak underwent drastic changes in terms of infrastructure and health. She is also known for her strong stand on the weekly magazine, The Outlook’s sexist write up about her.
A graduate in Commerce from St.Francis Degree College, Hyderabad, Smita cracked the UPSC exams at the age of 23 with an All India Rank 4th in the year.
She is currently posted as the Assistant Superintendent in Kerela Police. Having spent her childhood in Delhi, Joseph is learning Malayalam to connect better to the people. She led the Indian Delegation in the Y20 summit and believes in the power of youth. She aspires to be a good police officer who is available 24×7 and also realises that the job is demanding both physically and mentally. Nevertheless, she encourages women to join the hitherto male-dominated combat forces.
Merin has done her Bachelor’s and Master’s in History from University of Delhi’s St.Stephen’s College. She was the youngest IPS officer in Kerela cadre 2012 batch.
After completing her graduation and post-graduation in economics from Osmania University, Hyderabad, Chandrakala appeared for UPSC examinations in 2008.Coming from the tribal backdrop of Lambadi, she was married off early, and it was her ardent desire to pursue education that led her to the path of success. She is known for her fierce nature when it comes to handling contractors. A video did rounds on social media where she was seen dealing sternly with a contractor and slamming him for poor quality material and delayed work. Transferred repeatedly, she now serves as the DM of Bulandshahar, Uttar Pradesh.
Chandrakala’s success can be measured from the fact that she hails from tribal background. With the support of her family, she made her way to Indian Administrative Services.
Hers is the name that leaves every militant and terrorists shaking in Assam’s Bodo area. Often called ‘Mardani’, Sanjukta is the Superintendent of Police in Sonitpur, Assam where she leads a team of CRPF jawans who fight off militants. One of the most feared police officer, she is famous for killing 16 and arresting over 64 militants besides seizing tonnes of illegal weapons in a period of 15months. Her educational qualifications include an M.Phil and P.hD besides B.A and M.A degrees in Political Science; all from the prestigious University of Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Iron Lady Sanjukta Parashar is known for bringing down hundreds of Bodo militants in Assam. She has even faced death threats and yet continues to fight them off bravely. The IPS officer is also one of the most highly qualified police officers.
Not many people know that before becoming an IPS officer Bedi also worked as a lecturer at Khalsa College for Women in Amritsar. Having a P.hD herself, her early education was different from the girls of her peer. Instead of learning to become a good housewife like others in school (tough times right?), she completed her matriculation through private education. Her firm nature was seen in her Campaign against drugs, Lawyer’s Strike and her postings in Mizoram and Tihar jail. Her civil service continues as she now serves as the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry.
Kiran Bedi is a well known name. She was the first lady IPS officer and also the first woman to be given charge of Tihar Jail.
These women are real-life inspirations. While the road to success is hard in these professions, it is even harder for a woman. Backing out however is no solution and will not bring about any change. These are not just career choices or a matter of breaking stereotypes. These are a chance to be the flag-bearers of change that you want to see around you. In a modern world like ours, this 21st century is not a period of male-domination. Rather, it is a time for equal opportunities and equal participation. Winspire urges you to step in and follow your dreams. Don’t let anything stop you from achieving them!