The Great Indian Women of Today ! :)

The Great Indian Women of Today ! 🙂

Hats off for these great Indian women, whose remarkable achievements are a living examples to the whole world.

Their lives greatly Inspires all of us !

They come from different walks of life but what they have in common is a search for excellence.


Aishwarya Rai

Aishwarya was born in Mangalore, India in 1973. She completed a course in Architecture before winning the Miss World competition in 1994 with the highest EVER score!

She knocked back multiple film and commercial offers in favour of completing her degree, finally succumbing to Bollywood’s pleas and becoming the biggest actress in India. Aishwarya has over 40 movies to her credit in four different languages. She is the highest paid actress in India and has multiple modelling contracts in both India and the West

Sushmita Sen

After she won the crown she got more opportunities for modeling followed by a competitive career in Bollywood. Her first stint in the film world was a south Indian movie, ‘ Rakshakan’ followed by ‘Dastak’ in Hindi. Her films in Hindi include ‘Biwi No.1’, ‘Sirf Tum’, ‘Nayak’ and so on. She has proved her mettle and excels in whatever she does, be it acting or dancing. Her dance numbers like ‘Shakalaka baby’ in Nayak, ‘Mehaboob Mere’ in Fiza has been much appreciated. She got rave reviews for the convincing portrayal of her character in the film ‘Filhaal’. She won the best supporting actress award in the year 2000 for her role in ‘Biwi No 1’. ‘Main Hoon Naa’ released in 2004, was one of the biggest hits of her career and her role in ‘Vaastu-Shastra’ the same year was very much appreciated.

Priyanka Chopra,

Miss World 2000 Priyanka Chopra, the fifth Indian to win the coveted crown was born on 18th July 1982 in Mumbai to Capt. Dr. Ashok Chopra and Dr. Madhu Chopra.

Her upbringing in a family belonging to the army made her travel widely all over the country and exposed her to the multi cultural Indian society. Priyanka was a resident student of La Martiniere Girls College in Lucknow and studied for a short while at Maria Goretti College in Bareilly. Having completed class 10th from Boston USA her ambition was to become a software Engineer or a Criminal Psychologist.

Priyanka’s interest in modeling implanted in her a desire to win the Miss World beauty pageant, a dream she claims to have held for six years. Back in India from US she participated in the Femina miss India contest and then the World pageant which changed her life drastically. Her family, especially her mother has been her sole inspiration.

Priyanka is a genuine, selfless, down to earth, warm and loving personality. She has a penchant for Indian music and dance, a flair for writing poetry and short stories, enjoys reading and theatre, and has worked for several social welfare programmes. Priyanka who believes that her power with words as one of her strongest personality traits, was a topper in English language and has won prizes for Extempore Speech and also for singing and dancing. Priyanka was the only Indian from her class in US to have been selected at state level for the National opus Honour choir.

The Great Indian Women of Today ! 🙂

Ms. Asha Gupta, 38, is Managing Director, Tupperware India Private Limited. She has about 16+ years of diverse sales and marketing experience with multinational companies, both in India and abroad.

Ms. Gupta returned to India in 2005 from Tupperware Nordic based out of Copenhagen, Denmark, where she was Marketing Director, for a set of 8 Western European countries encompassing Scandinavia and the Baltic countries. In her three-year tenure there, she was instrumental in kick starting the growth of the 43-year-old penetrated markets with new programs, Business-to-Business initiatives and sales development activities.

Ms. Gupta started her career with Coats Viyella India Ltd (Madura Coats) and worked with them for a period of 3 years in sales management in Mumbai and eventually became head of sales for a set of Northern Markets in their threads division Coats India.

Ms. Gupta’s relationship with Tupperware started in 1997, when she joined as a part of the start up team and was responsible for heading sales for the Southern markets in India. After a successful two year stint in the South, she was promoted Head of Marketing for Tupperware India based out of Delhi. During the assignment she drove strong product and promotional programs that widened the sales force and consumer base and also established the Tupperware brand in India.

Ms Gupta has also worked for Coca Cola in the Middle East spearheading the launch of new products such as juices, energy drinks and sports drinks during 2000-2001. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Madras and a Master’s Degree in Marketing Management from the University of Mumbai.

She lives in New Delhi with her husband Sanjeev and son Siddharth.

Saina Nehwal, 21
National Badminton Champion

The prodigal child
Because: She is ranked number 5 by the Badminton World federation. Because she is the first Indian badminton player to win the super-series title after winning the Indonesian Open in June last year. Because she is consistent in her performance, having not only won the India Open Grand Prix gold, but also the Singapore Open and the Hong-Kong super-series titles last year. Because she made a cricket obsessed nation notice her game by winning a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games 2010. Because she is a role model for youngsters with her single minded focus.

Secret to success: “Analyse your achievements from time to time and work towards doing better everyday. Don’t set yourself targets that will scare you. “

Biggest challenge: Being born in a Jat family in Haryana, her birth was a great disappointment to her grandparents. Her mother, Usha Rani, a state level badminton champion, was the one who showed immense faith in her talent and pushed her to excel in her sport. Her father, Harvir Singh, drove her down to the training centre every morning on a scooter. Eventually, they moved to Hyderabad in order to avail of better sports facilities.

Through the looking glass: 2011 is a crucial year for her, as her focus will be to win as many tournaments as possible. Another major event. she is targeting is the world championship in August being held in London, England.

Katrina Kaif, 27

Queen bee
Because: She has gone from being a half English girl who knew no Hindi to being one of leading stars of Bollywood as well as one of its highest earners. Because she proved her critics wrong giving a fine performance in Rajneeti, holding her own besides actors like Ajay Devgn and Manoj Bajpai. Because she had the whole nation dancing to and drooling over her Sheila Ki Jawaani number. Because she was named the sexiest woman in the world for the third time in a row in 2010 by the London newspaper Eastern Eye. Because she is the only Bollywood actor with a Barbie doll made in her image.

Biggest achievement: Learning Hindi and speaking it like a professional.

Secret to success: Hard work. She is not a diva who throws her weight around. She always reports to shoots on time, knowing not only her lines but everyone else’s too.

Through the looking glass: To do a film she will be remembered by.

Nandita Lakshmanan, 41
Founder and CEO, The Practice

The social network
Because: She made The PRactice, the public relations firm she founded, international after entering an alliance with Porter Novelli. Because her clientele includes technology giants such as Infosys, Oracle and Logitech among others. Because her firm won two silver awards at the Public Relations Council of India’s Corporate Collateral Awards 2010. Because in a post-Radia age of bad PR for PRs, she restores faith in the profession.

Biggest achievement: Setting up her firm with just Rs 35,000 and four employees and taking it to an “unimaginable” height of a mid sized venture with the country’s most important tech client, Infosys, in its bag.

Through the looking glass: “I would love to get back to studying at some stage in my life. But right now, it’s my company all the way.”

Passion besides work: “I have been pursuing Hindustani classical music for the last three years. I find it therapeutic and after a day’s work, the thought of being a student is beckoning. I also spend time with my nine year old, Aryaman.”

Kirthiga Reddy, 39
Head of operations, Facebook, India

Connecting people
Because: She heads the India division of the world’s fastest growing website. Because is not only the third most popular website in India with a reach of 37.6 per cent but also the top social networking site with over 20.9 million visitors a month. Because she is the one responsible for driving the growth of the company in the Indian market.

Role model: Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel. “I am inspired by his journey, coming from a middle-class family in Hungary, emigrating to the US, and then going on to build the most valuable company during his tenure as CEO is an achievement.

“Through the looking glass: “I aim to continue building Facebook India in line with the global culture, an organisation that will have an impact on our global users, developers and advertisers, and also to drive growth within India.”

Meher Pudumjee, 44
Chairperson, Thermax Limited

Power house
Because: Under her leadership, Thermax has grown from a Rs 850 crore revenue generating company to a a staggering Rs 3,300 crore enterprise today, at an annual growth rate of 40 per cent. Because she was instrumental in divesting the non-core businesses and restructuring the business portfolio of Thermax towards alternative energy sources and a green portfolio.

The sound of music: She is passionate about western classical music and is a part of The Chamber Singers, a Pune-based western classical choir. They meet every Tuesday to practice and hold concerts once or twice a year in Mumbai and Pune.

Biggest achievement: Repositioning Thermax as a sustainable energy and environment solutions company. It recently designed a unit to provide solar power to a village in Maharashtra in a public-private partnership.

Anjali Bansal, 40
Managing Partner, Spencer Stuart, India

The talent scout
Because: Not only does she head the Indian arm of the world’s leading executive search consulting firm, top rated in corporate governance and CEO search, but she also set up the business in India. Because under her leadership, the firm has made a formidable name for itself, despite strong competition and presence of older players in the sector. Because she belongs to a small set of influential women whom top Indian companies have come to rely heavily for advice on leadership. Because as a member of the firm’s global board she is a frequent commentator on corporate governance.

Secret to success: Be the best you can be, live every single day to its potential, and never stop striving for excellence. Be true to your work, your family and yourself.

Family ties: “Besides work, it is my family that keeps me occupied. I have two boys, aged 8 and 10, and I love to spend time with them.”

On the side: She’s passionate about development and entrepreneurship, and chairs the board of Friends of Women’s World Banking, a global livelihood promoting institution.

Anuradha Desai, 48
Chairperson, Sri Venkateswara Hatcheries

Sunny side up
Because: She is the first Indian to take over an English Premier League (EPL) football club, the Blackburn Rovers, for almost Rs 165 crore. Because the club climbed up the ladder in the EPL rankings ever since she bought it. Because she is the chaiperson of the Sri Venkateswara Hatcheries (popularly known as Venky’s), a Rs 3,850-crore poultry giant. Because she has fuelled the company’s growth from Rs 400 crore to Rs 5,000 crore since she took over the reins in 1996.

Secret to success: Is what her father taught her all along: business is common sense. She likes taking decisions and is not afraid of them. She never considers herself number one, as it hampers her urge to do better

Method in madness: At a time when the competition was making profits by injecting hormones, she maintained her conventional business tactics, priding herself on producing the most hygienic chicken.

Zarin Daruwala, 45
Group Executive, Wholesale Banking, ICICI Bank

Penny wise
Because: She is now the Group Executive, Wholesale Banking, ICICI, which is India’s largest private bank. Because the net profit of ICICI wholesale banking was close to Rs 3,445 crore in December 2010, up from Rs 2, 590 crore for the same period in the previous year. Because she manages more than 4,000 corporate clients and is a key member in CEO Chanda Kochhar’s formidable new team.

Biggest challenge: When in 2002 she was asked to lead a team of 10 people when ICICI ventured into rural and agricultural banking. Having been a corporate banker all her life, she had no idea how to set that business up. At the end of her tenure in 2005, it was a successful venture worth Rs 8,000 crore.

Secret to success: “Believe in your ideas, put the right resources into it, drive the change agenda and watch it culminate into a business plan. And most of all trust the people you’re working with. Give them the freedom to exercise their opinion.”

She looks upto: “My role model is undoubtedly Chanda Kochhar because of her colossal achievements at a young age.”

Priya Paul, 44
Chairperson, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels

Boutique baroness
Because: She has turned a two hotel entity into a chain of 12 boutique hotels synonymous with cutting edge style. Because her latest baby, The Park, Hyderabad, has set a new bar for green luxury. Because she is playing a larger role in the hospitality business as the president of the Hotel Industry of India. Because she finds time to indulge her twin passions of art and education, by building an eclectic personal collection of art and being on the advisory board of directors of IIM Lucknow.

Through the looking glass: “Aligning people and processes to achieve the goal of 20 Park Hotels in the next 10 years. On the personal front, I constantly work towards a better balance between work and family to maximise my time with them.”

Rohini Nilekani, 50
Founder and CEO, Arghyam and Pratham Books

We are the world
Because: Since she set up Arghyam, an organisation that works closely with the government to conserve water, she has contributed about Rs 150 crore of her own money to the cause. Because her second initiative Pratham Books is trying to create a shift in the paradigm publishing children’s books in India at an affordable cost in multiple Indian languages and has reached over 15 million children in the past six years. Because she chose not to fall back on her husband, Infosys co-founder, Nandan Nilekani’s identity and forged ahead to carve her own. Because she is one of India’s most radical philanthropists.

Role model: “Elaben Bhatt, Founder, Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA); Aloysius Fernandes, Chairman, NABARD; and the late Gandhian activist and writer L.C.Jain among so many others.”

Through the looking glass: “I hope to do more of the same, as long as I can and so long as I am wanted.”

Pooja Shetty, 34
Joint Managing Director, WalkWater Films

Reel woman
Because: This heiress refused to sit pretty in her comfort zone and enthused the Gen Next feel in her father’s entertainment company. Because she launched her own production house WalkWater Films, with the aim of promoting experimental cinema in the country. Because her film Tere Bin Laden recovered its production cost of Rs 5 crore on the opening weekend subsequently earning a total of Rs. 14 crore, making it both critically acclaimed and commercially successful.

Learning curve: When she started working at her father’s one-time company, Adlabs, she found herself pitted against a somewhat unpleasant colleague. Every day she would go home and moan about it. Finally her father (Manmohan Shetty) told her to figure out a way to work with him. After that, she really had no option but to learn to survive.

Through the looking glass: She wants to focus on right kind of films and not just go along with the bandwagon. She recently called for auditions for young scriptwriters across the country.

Schauna Chauhan Saluja, 34
CEO, Parle Agro

Young and restless
Because: She is the force behind the aggressive new face of the Rs 1, 500-crore FMCG group Parle Agro. Because she has challenged international giants such as PepsiCo by first launching LMN, a lemon based drink in the Rs.1, 500 crore non-carbonated segment, and Hippo, a baked health snack in the Rs. 6, 500 crore branded snacked segment. Because she has expanded her company’s international presence by exporting to over 20 countries. Because she refuses to stop there and is keen on taking over the beverage sector. Because she recently diversified into the carbonated water segment.

Biggest achievement: Adding a new factory in Orissa within a year with the aim of bolstering manufacturing capacities.

Through the looking glass: “We have two more manufacturing locations coming up in Mysore and Varanasi and are looking at becoming leading players in not just beverages but the food segment as well.”

Role model: “I admire Warren Buffet because of his beliefs and way of doing things. It’s not just for his business, but also for society at large.”

Ashita Nawalgaria, 32
IVAX Paper Chemicals

Page turner
Because: At the young age of 32 she heads IVAX Paper Chemicals, the company that in 1988 introduced paper sizing chemicals to India and changed the way paper was manufactured. Because she has turned a small family business into a corporation through statistical analysis and emphasis on technology. Because in the six years that she has been with the company, it has gone from a single manufacturing unit to four, doubling profits. Because IVAX holds 45 per cent of the Rs 250 crore paper chemicals market.

The biggest challenge: Reorganising and sorting the company accounts at a time when the turnaround rate was high and the oldest employee was six months old. A finance person, she streamlined processes, organised spreadsheets and automated information flow. “I was new to the manufacturing industry and it took me almost a year to set things right, to see the right numbers in the right format which would facilitate decision-making.”

Through the looking glass: She wants to start her own securities firm to help the less privileged as they have very little or no knowledge of investing. “I would like to teach them the importance of saving by investing in simple structured products which are risk-free and give reasonable returns.”

Nandini Sundar, 44

Revolutionary road
Because: As professor of sociology at the Delhi School of Economics, she has moved beyond the classroom to give a voice to the marginalised, consistently and passionately, for over 20 years. Because her book Subalterns and Sovereigns: An Anthropological History of Bastar brought into the public sphere questions of justice and fundamental rights for tribals, much before the country recognised it as its biggest domestic ‘problem’.

Because she has the courage to challenge authority and jointly petitioned the Supreme Court against the Salwa Judum. Because she showed courage in spearheading the campaign to clear Binayak Sen, accused of sedition against the state. Because as a recipient of the Infosys Award for Social Sciences, 2010, she has shown the possibilities of social science research.

Through the looking glass: She is all set to resume her research once her current administrative duties as dean of the faculty of social sciences are over. Next up? A book on the Salwa Judum, democracy and violence. In the works is also a volume she is editing on civil war in South Asia as well as a reader on the scheduled tribes of India.

Kiran Bedi, a source of inspiration for millions of women across the country comes from a small family in Amritsar, Punjab. Kiran Bedi is India’s first woman who was selected for the Indian Police Service in 1972 and highest ranking (retired in 2007) woman officer.

She was born on 9th June 1949 as the second of the four daughters. She completed her schooling in Sacred Heart Convent School, where she actively participated in activities of the National Cadet Corps (NCC). Later she obtained a graduation in BA English from the Government College for Women, Amritsar and pursued her Master’s degree in Political Science in Punjab University. Later, she completed her Ph.D. in Social Sciences from the Indian Institute of technology. During her school and college, she actively participated in sports and games and represented Punjab in several national level Tennis tournaments.

From the time Kiran could understand things that were happening around her, she decided that she would contribute to the social welfare of the country and wrote the Civil Services examination and qualified and joined the IPS (Indian Police Service) in July 1972.

She was deputed as the Traffic Commissioner of New Delhi and went on to become the Deputy Inspector General of Police in insurgency prone Mizoram. Because of her commitment and performance, she was promoted as the Advisor to the Lieutanent Governor of Chandigarh and the Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau. Her achievements as DG (Prisons) to transform the Tihar Jail at Delhi are well known.
Kiran Bedi has set up two major voluntary organizations called Navjyoti and India Vision Foundation with the objective of improving the condition of the drug addicts and the downtrodden. Her organization has been applauded from far and wide. India Vision Foundation was also awarded ‘Serge Soitiroff Memorial Award’ for drug abuse prevention by the United Nations.

Kiran Bedi has won many awards. To name a few,

* President’s Gallantry Award (1979)
* Women of the Year Award (1980)
* Asia Region Award for Drug Prevention and Control (1991)
* Magsaysay Award (1994) for Government Service (also called the Asian Nobel Prize)
(Magsaysay Award is one of the most prestigious awards in the world. The RMAF recognizes and honors individuals and organizations in Asia regardless of race, creed, sex, or nationality, who have achieved distinction in their respective fields and have helped others generously without anticipating public recognition. )
* Mahila Shiromani Award (1995)
* Father Machismo Humanitarian Award (1995)
* Lion of the Year (1995)
* Joseph Beuys Award (1997)
* Pride of India (1999)
* Mother Teresa Memorial National Award for Social Justice (2005)

When she was the traffic commissioner of Delhi, she was nicknamed Crane Bedi, as she used a crane to remove wrongly parked vehicle of the then Prime Minister of India. Kiran Bedi has been one of the most efficient Police Officers in the History of India and has inspired many more girls to join IPS and serve the nation.

She quotes “There is nothing unfinished on my agenda. I do whatever I can for the day. Simple! If I were to die today; I will depart with nothing impending”

Arundhati Roy
Writer & Social Activist

Susanna Arundhati Roy the first Indian woman to have won Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize, was born on 24th November 1961 in Bengal and grew up in Aymanam village, Kottayam, Kerala.

She was born to parents Mary Roy a well known social activist who won a landmark Supreme Court verdict that granted Christian women in Kerala the right to their parent’s property and father a Bengali Hindu tea planter. Arundhati’s parents separated when she was small and she did her formal education in Corpus Christian school run by her mother in Kottayam District, Kerala. When she was just 16, she left her home and settled in Delhi. There she did her degree in Architecture at the Delhi School of Architecture. During this period she met Gerard Da Cunha a fellow architecture student and married him but their marriage lasted only four years. After a brief stint in the field of architecture, she found that it was not for her. She left for Goa, making a life out at the beach, got tired of it after a few months, came back to Delhi. She took a job at the National Institute of Urban Affairs, met Pradeep Krishen, a film director now her husband who offered her a small role in ‘Massey Saab’. She went to Italy on a scholarship for eight months to study the restoration of monuments. She realised she was a writer during those months in Italy.

After she returned from Italy she worked with Pradeep Krishen and they planned an episode television for Doordarshan called the ‘Banyan Tree’ which didn’t materialise and was shelved by the producers after shooting 2-3 episodes. She wrote and starred in ‘In Which Annie Gives it Those Ones’, a film on college life in India, based on her experiences in the University of Delhi, and wrote the screenplay for Pradip Krishen’s film ‘Electric Moon’ (1992). She quickly became known for her work as screenwriter. Then she wrote a series of essays called ‘The Great Indian Rape Trick’ which attracted media attention, in defense of former dacoit Phoolan Devi, who she felt had been exploited by Shekhar Kapur’s film ‘Bandit Queen’. Then came her debut novel ‘The God of Small Things’ which shot her into prominence in 1997, by winning the prestigious British Booker prize in London and becoming an international best seller. The book, which took almost five years to complete, gives an insight to the social and political life in a village in South India through the eyes of seven year old twins and how it effects/disrupts their small lives. The book won £20,000 as prize and sold nearly 400,000 copies globally by October that year.

In the years following her success, she has turned to activism, writing ‘The Cost of Living’ a book comprising two essays ‘The Greater Common Good'(1999) and ‘The End of Imagination'(1998); the former against Indian Governments massive dam projects which displaced millions of poor people and the latter; its testing of Nuclear weapons. She has been an active participant in public demonstrations against the construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river in Western India and has donated a substantial amount around 1.5million rupees, equivalent to her Booker Prize money, for the cause. She was even arrested along with other protestors for campaigning for the cause. ‘Power Politics’ her latest book published, takes on Enron the power corporation based in Houston trying to take over Maharashtra’s energy sector. She has also spoken on and published several articles such as ‘Promotion of equal rights’ supporting equal rights for lower caste in India and ‘War on Terrorism’ (2001)against the Iraq war. Roy was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize in May 2004 for her work in social campaigns and her advocacy of non-violence. In January 2006 she was awarded the Sahitya Akademi award for her collection of essays on contemporary issues, The Algebra of Infinite Justice, but she declined to accept it.

With her latest publications, Arundhati is carving a niche for herself as a political journalist. This unusual women who has been on several lists of ‘the 50 most beautiful women in the world’ is not intimated by her success and fame but is an inspiration to all those who seek to speak up against the powers in support of the poor and the oppressed. She now lives in Delhi with her husband Pradip Krishen, who has two daughters Pia and Mithva from his previous marriage.

Kalpana Chawla [7 March] 1962 – 1 February 2003), was an Indian-born American astronaut and space shuttle mission specialist. She was one of seven crewmembers lost aboard Space Shuttle Columbia during mission STS-107 when the shuttle disintegrated upon reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere. Kalpana Chawla is a posthumous recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.. Died on February 1, 2003 over the southern United States when Space Shuttle Columbiaand the crew perished during entry, 16 minutes prior to scheduled landing. She is survived by her husband. Kalpana Chawla enjoyed flying, hiking, back-packing, and reading. She held a Certificated Flight Instructor’s license with airplane and glider ratings, Commercial Pilot’s licenses for single- and multi-engine land and seaplanes, and Gliders, and instrument rating for airplanes. She enjoyed flying aerobatics and tail-wheel airplanes.

EDUCATION: Graduated from Tagore School, Karnal, India, in 1976. Bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering from Punjab Engineering College, India, 1982. Master of science degree in aerospace engineering from University of Texas, 1984. Doctorate of philosophy in aerospace engineering from University of Colorado, 1988.

AWARDS: Posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, the NASA Space Flight Medal, and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal.

EXPERIENCE: In 1988, Kalpana Chawla started work at NASA Ames Research Center in the area of powered-lift computational fluid dynamics. Her research concentrated on simulation of complex air flows encountered around aircraft such as the Harrier in “ground-effect.” Following completion of this project she supported research in mapping of flow solvers to parallel computers, and testing of these solvers by carrying out powered lift computations. In 1993 Kalpana Chawla joined Overset Methods Inc., Los Altos, California, as Vice President and Research Scientist to form a team with other researchers specializing in simulation of moving multiple body problems. She was responsible for development and implementation of efficient techniques to perform aerodynamic optimization. Results of various projects that Kalpana Chawla participated in are documented in technical conference papers and journals.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected by NASA in December 1994, Kalpana Chawla reported to the Johnson Space Center in March 1995 as an astronaut candidate in the 15th Group of Astronauts. After completing a year of training and evaluation, she was assigned as crew representative to work technical issues for the Astronaut Office EVA/Robotics and Computer Branches. Her assignments included work on development of Robotic Situational Awareness Displays and testing space shuttle control software in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory. In November, 1996, Kalpana Chawla was assigned as mission specialist and prime robotic arm operator on STS-87. In January 1998, she was assigned as crew representative for shuttle and station flight crew equipment, and subsequently served as lead for Astronaut Office’s Crew Systems and Habitability section. She flew on STS-87 (1997) and STS-107 (2003), logging 30 days, 14 hours and 54 minutes in space.

SPACE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE: STS-87 Columbia (November 19 to December 5, 1997). STS-87 was the fourth U.S Microgravity Payload flight and focused on experiments designed to study how the weightless environment of space affects various physical processes, and on observations of the Sun’s outer atmospheric layers. Two members of the crew performed an EVA (spacewalk) which featured the manual capture of a Spartan satellite, in addition to testing EVA tools and procedures for future Space Station assembly. STS-87 made 252 orbits of the Earth, traveling 6.5 million miles in in 376 hours and 34 minutes.

STS-107 Columbia (January 16 to February 1, 2003). The 16-day flight was a dedicated science and research mission. Working 24 hours a day, in two alternating shifts, the crew successfully conducted approximately 80 experiments. The STS-107 mission ended abruptly on February 1, 2003 when Space Shuttle Columbia and the crew perished during entry, 16 minutes prior to scheduled landing.

Personal characteristics

Chawla was a strict vegetarian. On her mission, she carried a white silk banner as part of a worldwide campaign to honor teachers, as well as nearly two dozen CDs, including ones by Abida Parveen, Yehudi Menuhin, Ravi Shankar, and Deep Purple. She went to her first rock concert, a Deep Purple show, in 2001 with her husband. “Kalpana is not necessarily a rock music aficionado,” her husband said of a Deep Purple show, “…but (she) nevertheless characterized the show as a ‘spiritual experience.'” She enjoyed birdwatching, backpacking, hiking, flying, and reading. Quoting philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca she always said, “I was not born for one corner; the whole world is my native land.”\

AWARDS Posthumously awarded:

  • Congressional Space Medal of Honor
  • NASA Space Flight Medal
  • NASA Distinguished Service Medal
  • Defense Distinguished Service Medal (DDSM)

It is not appropriate to give her tribute without knowing her achievement and the scarifies, a nightmare that if would shaken when we think the way they were died and burn. There are some jobs beyond ordinary things nd they are few or rare who dares to do something at the risk of life and kalpana chawla was one of them.

To understand her, her life and the incident when she was died I have carefully find and post brief information about her. (Above) But To understand the pain and the dare she did i am going to post some very rare but dreadful photos of the situation, circumstance and blast when she didn’t got a second to survive to recall family or almighty God. We should consider her life to motivate courage to the right direction with respect to the value of keeping human being alive and enlighten.

Sunita L. Williams
Sunita Williams is the second woman of Indian heritage to have been selected by NASA for a space mission after Kalpana. She was assigned to the International Space Station as a member of Expedition 14 and then joined Expedition 15. She holds three records for female space travelers: longest space flight (188 days and counting), number of space walks (four), and total time spent on space walks (29 hours and 17 minutes). Sunita Williams, landed at Edwards Air Force Base at California at 1.19 am. on June 23, 2007.

Sunita Williams was born on September 19, 1965 in Euclid, Ohio. Her parents are Deepak Pandya and Bonnie Pandya, who reside in Falmouth, Massachusetts.Deepak Pandya is a famous neuroanatomist from Gujarat in India. Her parents, Dr. Deepak and Mrs. Bonnie Pandya, reside in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

Hats off to these great women


Hemant Khurana(Happy)


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