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Success Stories: Indian Women Who Broke Educational Barriers.


India has a long history of producing outstanding and inspiring women women who have changed the nation and the world by making important contributions in a variety of professions. Women play a significant role in society. However, women have contributed to the world’s stability, growth, and long-term growth. Whether they are homemakers, engineers, teachers, or something else entirely, they use their strength, resolve, and belief to make the world a better place to live.

Savitribai Phule-

Savitri Phule is one of the greatest inspiring women of our India. She was a poet from Maharashtra, India . She has made a great contribution to our society and especially towards girl’s education. Towards society her contributions are like this:-

  • She became the first female teacher in India.
  • She set up first school for girls with his husband in india , in 1848.
  • She worked for the rights of women in India.
  • She also tried to end the unfair treatment and social class based on sex in india.
  • She had challenged the gender roles prevalent , when the British colonised India .

Fathima Beevi –

Fatima Beevi was born in Kerala and studied Law after encouraging of his father . She has created history after becoming a judge in the Supreme Court of India. In her over71 years of journey, she made such many great works :

  • She was the first female judge of the Supreme Court in India .
  • She was the first Muslim woman to be appointed to any of the higher judiciaries in the country .
  • She topped the bar Council exam and became
  • the first woman to receive a bar Council gold medal.
  • She had also worked as a district and sessions judge and a High Court judge .
  • She has also served in national Human Right Commission and governor of Tamil Nadu .

Kalpana Chawla –

Kalpana Chawla was the first Indo-American women astronaut and aerospace engineer who flew to space. In 1997, she first flew the space shuttle Columbia. There are some reasons why Kalpana Chawla is renowned:-

  • When Kalpana Chawla became the first Indian woman to fly into space in 1971, history was created.
  • As the principal robotic arm operator and mission specialist, she made her space shuttle Columbia debut.
  • Her talent and hard work have inspired young people around the world.
  • Kalpana Chawla was one of seven named after the Columbia’s crew.
  • In the name of Kalpana Chawla, the Govt of Karnataka has instituted an award named “ The Kalpana Chawla award” to recognize young women scientists.

Anandibai Joshi –

One outstanding example of Indian women’s empowerment is Anandibai Joshi. In both India and the USA, she served as an inspiration for several women who wished to become doctors. She has done some incredible work which is like these:-

  • The first female physician from India was Anandibai Joshi.
  • She was the first Hindu woman to receive a formal medical education.
  • Anandibai also became the first woman from the Bombay presidency of India, who had graduated with a two-year degree in Western medicine from a foreign country.
  • Anandiben has a rich legacy. She inspired many women with her courage to tackle all obstacles that came in the way of her education.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw –

Kiran mazumdar is a great Indian billionaire entrepreneur. Her life and achievements inspire a lot and her story has become a great women’s empowerment story. She is the founder and executive chairperson of Biocon limited & Biocon Biologics limited, in Bangalore. She got some achievements like this :-

  • She was awarded by Padma shri (1989) and Padma Bhushan (2005).
  • She received Othmer Gold Medal and Global Economy Prize for Business ( 2014).
  • In 2016, she received the Knight of the National Order of the French Legion of Honour.
  • In 2017, she became the receiver of the AWSM award for excellence.
  • She received an EY Entrepreneur of the year India award and ICMR’s Lifetime Achievement award for Outstanding Achievement in Healthcare in 2019.
  • In 2020 , she received an Order of Australia award .

Tessy Thomas –

Tesy Thomas is an Indian scientist and Director General of Aeronautical Systems. She is the former Project Director for Agni-4 missiles in DRDO.
She has done some great work towards Science in India:-

  • Tessy Thomas, known as the ‘Missile Women’ of India.
  • Tessy Thomas is the first Indian women scientist to head a missile project in India.
  • For the long-range missile system, she designed the guidance scheme , which is used in all Agni missiles.
  • She also served as the project director of the Agni-4 and Agni-5 missiles.
  • She is an expert in solid propellant systems.

Arunima Sinha-

Arunima Sinha is a great example of courage , dedication and sacrifice . She has proven that with courage and dedication, you can do anything. Arunima Sinha is an Indian mountaineer. Arunima is the worlds first female amputee who scale 7 mountain peaks. She was deeply inspired by Youvraj Sings’ life journey, who successfully battled cancer .
Her life’s achievement’s can be seen like this:-

  • Arunima Sinha is the world’s first female amputee mountaineer who climbed 7 mountain peeks.
  • She scale Mount Everest, Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kosciuszko, Aconcagua, Denali and Vinson Massif.
  • She got prestigious ‘ Padma Shri ‘ and Tenzing Norgay Highest Mountaineering Award in 2015.
  • Arunima also received her honorary doctorate from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow,UK.
  • She made it to the list of ‘People of the Year’ by Limca Book of Record and ‘ First Lady Award’ in 2016.

Radhika Menon –

When Radhika Menon was elevated to the rank of Captain in the Indian Merchant Navy, she brought pride to the nation. In addition, she has received numerous honours for her gallantry, commitment, and exceptional work.
Some of her achievements are like this:-

  • She is the 1st female captain of the Indian Merchant Navy.
  • She also leads the oil products product tanker Suvarna Swarajya.
  • She was granted the esteemed Exceptional Bravery at Sea award in 2016.
  • The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has also given her an award for managing a rescue effort that saved the lives of seven fishermen.
  • Radhika Menon has also received the Naari Shakti Award from the Honourable President.

Rukhmabai Bhosale –

Rukhnabai is a well-known person from the medical field. She has done so much for the country she sacrificed her life for the treatment of the country’s people. There are some achievements that she made while serving for the country:

  • In 1984 she received the “Doctor of Medicine award from the London School of Medicine for women.
  • She also became the first Indian woman who receive a medical degree in 1886.
  • Rukhmabai Bhosle was the second woman who received both a medical degree and practiced medicine.
  • In 1895 she was appointed as chief medical officer in India.
  • In 1918 she got the role in the women’s medical service.
  • She established the Red Cross Society at Rajkot.

Sarojini Naidu –

An outstanding political activist was Sarojini Naidu. She was a key figure in the Indian independence movement that opposed the British Raj. Sarojini Naidu fought alongside other liberation fighters against the British.
She has also had some great achievements like this:

  • Because of her poetry and the use of colour, imagery, and lyrics, Sarojini Naidu is called “ The Nightingale of India.”
  • She also titles “ Bharat Kokila by Gandhi Ji.
  • She was the first Indian woman appointed as president of the Indian National Congress.
  • After Independence, Naidu became the Governor of India.
  • The Quit India Movement and the Civil Disobedience Movement have greatly benefited from Sarojini Naidu’s services.

Conclusion :

These women represent but a small portion of the numerous exceptional women in India. These women, along with countless others, have left an enduring mark on Indian history and continue to motivate future generations with their bravery, wit, and persistence.

Breaking Down Barriers to Girls’ Education

Introduction :-

All girls and young women have a human right to access high-quality education.
Based on data, the global community committed in 2015 to delivering high-quality education to every kid by 2030.

Every day, girls are facing barriers to education due to poverty, child marriage and gender-based violence, cultural norms and practices, and poor infrastructure.

The education and development of the girl child and their education can be improved by providing educational infrastructure and quality of education, transportation facilities, availability of basic facilities, scholarships and various financial assistance.

1.Identifying The Barriers:

Girls’ education is very important for the development of our society. Every educated girl not only makes the family educated and financially strong but also has the power to change the mindset of the society.

But due to some narrow social and cultural values, girls do not get as much freedom as they want. When girls want to go out, society or family puts a lot of obstacles on them.

Girls’ education is not just about attracting girls to school, it is about acquiring the knowledge and skills to compete in society, acquiring the social, emotional and life skills that are necessary to adapt to the changing world . Which helps them make decisions about their lives and contribute to their communities.

According to studies, educating girls reduces poverty and violence, prevents child marriage, and creates a healthier, wealthier, and more equitable society. If this is true, then why is society erecting such complex barriers for girls to be able to do this, from social norms to geographical norms? Are they not able to unleash their potential and take significant steps towards ending extreme poverty?

Girls encounter numerous obstacles in their pursuit of an education. Child marriage, poverty, and inadequate school infrastructure are just a few of the obstacles preventing females from attending education and realizing their potential.

There are numerous challenges for girls in the field of education. Several barriers, including inadequate school infrastructure, child marriage, and poverty, hinder females from attending school and realizing their aspirations.

1.1 Social & Cultural Barriers –

When females wish to advocate for themselves in our culture, they have to overcome numerous challenges. Girls face a lot of social pressure to pursue their educational goals.

Girls have to face gender discrimination in our society. Society gives more importance to boys than girls. Boys can freely go out of their house for anything, but girls have to do the main household chores even before going to school like fetching water, cooking, taking care of small children, cleaning and many more.

Child marriage has become a serious challenge towards girls’ education. In many cultures, girls are married at an early age. And after marriage, instead of focusing on education, taking care of the family is considered the ultimate goal.

Girls who marry early are forced to drop out of school and complete fewer years of school than their friends who marry later. According to the report of WHO, more than 41000 girls under the age of 18 are getting married every day.

Girls face early pregnancy and violence from their partners. This affects the health and abilities of their children.
Socio-cultural values ​​influencing girls’ education include lifestyle, shopping habits, education, religion, beliefs, values, demography, social class, sexuality and attitudes.

1.2 Economic Barriers —

Economic barriers are also considered one of the biggest barriers to girls’ education. When a family is facing poverty, basic needs like water, food and basic health come first rather than providing education for their children, especially their girls.

According to statistics, on an average, 55% of women in low and middle income families can achieve education.

Girls are compelled to leave school in order to work and provide financial assistance for their families because of poverty.

Spending money on school is something that many families would rather do for their sons than for their daughters.

1.3 Concerns About Safety and Security:

When it comes to girls’ education, safety is a major worry.
When it comes to girls, parents worry a great deal about their safety before letting them go.
Girls are 2.5 times more likely than males to miss school in FCV (fragility, conflict, and violence) countries.

Girls’ access to education is increasingly being hampered by a lack of safe transportation options and travel-related safety concerns.

Parents frequently dissuade girls from traveling large distances for school because they are worried about their safety.

The most recent statistics shows that 246 million children suffer violence in and around schools annually, and around 60 million girls are sexually raped while traveling to or from school.

1.4. Lack Of Infrastructure :-

Lack of necessary infrastructure, shortage of teachers and low quality education are causing girls to drop out of school.
Facilities like water, toilet, cleanliness, hygiene are the basic things which a girl needs the most.
Due to lack of all these essential things, girls shy away from going to school or are forced to leave school and their education.

2.Empowering Solutions

2.1 Investing In School Infrastructure And Resources –

The most crucial elements of school infrastructure include raising the standard of instruction for female students, enhancing the building’s infrastructure, hiring certified instructors, and providing classrooms, playgrounds, libraries, restrooms, and drinking water.
Effective infrastructure raises student performance, lowers school dropout rates, and improves education overall. Girls have the right to clean toilets, sanitary facilities, menstrual protection items etc. By providing all these facilities, the proportion of girls receiving education can be improved.

2.2 Providing Scholarships And Financial Aid –

Poverty is a serious concern for girls’ education. Girls’ chances of attending school can be increased by providing adequate financial facilities and educational expenditure.
Some other solutions include providing financial assistance, such as scholarship or cash transfer programs, reducing or eliminating school fees, etc.
The targeted poverty alleviation initiative will help families who struggle to afford school fees, uniforms and other educational expenses to send their girls to school.

2.3 Enforcement Of Laws For Girls’ Child Safety –

According to UNICEF report , 80% of child marriages can fall down if higher education is provided to girls . Often, early marriage results in untimely end of girls’ education. By implementing the govt has secured early marriage of children.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development also implemented various special laws for the protection of women like-

  • Domestic violence Act ,2005,
  • Child Marriage Act 2006 ,
  • Dowry provision Act, 1961,
  • Indecent Representation of Women ( Prohibition) Act, 1986,
  • The commission for protection of Child Rights Act, 2005 and
  • The Protection of Children from Sexual Offence Act ,2012. etc .

2.4 Promoting STEM Education And Career Opportunities –

The barriers to girls’ education can be lifted with the support of government initiatives pertaining to STEM education and girls’ education.
STEM is an acronym for Mathematics, Science, Technology, and Engineering. It has the capacity to dismantle the societal barriers and challenges that the majority of females deal with on a daily basis.
Providing opportunities for girls to explore and excel in STEM subjects will help them become confident and understand their potential and develop strong self-belief.
IBM has taken the initiative to provide this benefit to girls. Through scholarships, career counseling and creating learning experiences.
It provides some opportunities and skills, so that girls can better themselves:-

  • Arranging talks or seminars with successful women.
  • It offers a workshop on Biological Sciences to girl students at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
  • It offers scholarships worth $18600 to 284 girls and 147 boys.
  • They provide interactive learning for teachers.
  • Provide research based on experimental studies.
  • Promote careers based on STEM subjects.
  • It provides career awareness, gender awareness and self-awareness programs especially for girls. etc.
  • Arranging interaction or seminars with successful women .
  • It provides girls students a workshop on biological science at Indian Institute of Science , Bangalor
  • It provides $ 18600 scholarships to 284 girls and 147 boys.
  • They provide interactive learning for teachers .
  • Provide research based on experimental studies .
  • Boost career based on STEM subjects.
  • It provides career awareness , gender awareness and self-awareness programs, especially for girls . etc.

The govt has also taken the initiative and brought law to improve girl’s education like:-

  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme .
  • Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidhyalaya scheme .
  • Sukanya Samridhi Yojna
  • National Means -Cum- Merit Scholarship Scheme . Etc.

Equal Opportunities For Education For The Underprivileged

The Preamble of the Indian Constitution emphasizes equality of status and opportunity. Equal opportunities for education for the underprivileged enable them to use education as a lever for the improvement of their socio-economic condition. For these children to break free from the shackles of poverty, education is very important.

Kothari Commission makes the following observation about the importance of equality in education and educational opportunities:

  •  It is essential for the establishment of an equal society.
  • It is needed for the success of democracy.
  •  It is needed to ensure the social and economic development of our country.
  • Identifying talents is essential in various fields.
  •  It is needed to develop human resources and to meet the manpower needs of our country. 
  •  It is crucial in promoting social justice.
  •  It is necessary to minimize the educational gap between the privileged and the underprivileged.

By providing literacy and skills, they hope to enable children to gain employment and bring financial relief to their families. The goal of education is to bring equality and give all people the opportunity to succeed.

But our country’s changing socio-economic conditions make this a distant dream. To grow as an individual and a nation, excellent skills and knowledge are essential.

Nelson Mandela has rightly said:

“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”.

The present education system, however, has not led to the development of the country as a whole. Merely pursuing a graduate degree won’t open up job opportunities as a postgraduate degree would do. The underprivileged who lack resources are often left out in this race and are unable to pursue their desired goals.