These 4 women with 4 completely different stories have 1 thing in common – their passion to achieve their goals.
The Siddis of western Gujarat are a small community of African descent. They were brought into India as slaves by Portuguese merchants. It is tough for anyone from this long subdued community to disrupt the cycles of poverty and even tougher for a woman. But Hirbai Ibrahim Lobby did exactly that. She was supported by the Aga Khan Foundation to start manufacturing organic fertilizers. ” I decided to educate myself and use it to earn money. On some days I earned, on others I didn’t. But I got a direction in life. My business changed my life and that of my Siddi sisters. ” She now helps other women set up their businesses.
Kanchan Gaba was only eight years old when her world became dark. She suffered from glaucoma with retinal detachment.But her life didn’t stop there. She was adamant to succeed in everything that came her way. In her Std X exam she topped the Handicapped Section in West Bengal. She then finished her Std XII exams from Lady Brabone College, and went on to go to law college on a national scholarship.In school, she had joined the four-and-a-half year Girl Guide programme with other children, all sighted.Later, Kanchan did a full-fledged course in rock climbing at the Darjeeling Institute of Mountaineering, scaling the Tenzing Rock, the Gambhu Rock and the Sandakfu. She won the state’s Best Girl Guide medal, and qualified for the national meet in Adra, Purulia. Here, she defeated nearly 600 non-disabled competitors from all over the country to win the President’s award in 1994. She won the Best Girl Guide in the World Award at the international Girl Guide meets in London (1997).
Shalini Agnihotriis the daughter of a bus conductor. But that’s not what defines her. She is an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer.She has won the Best Trainee Award at the National Police Academy, Hyderabad. She also won the Prime Minister’s baton and the home ministry’s revolver for being the best all-round trainee officer of the 65th batch of the IPS. She was honoured by President Pranab Mukherjee during the passing-out parade at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy last year.
She also bagged the Vandana Malik Trophy for the best all-round female officer trainee, LB Sewa Trophy for the best female officer trainee in outdoor subjects, Alakh Sinha Trophy for investigation, GS Arya Trophy for best officer trainee in co-curricular activities and the Home Ministry’s Trophy for best essay writing on ‘communal harmony and national integration’. Shalini has been allotted her home state cadre.
Revanna Umadevi Nagraj started playing Billiards at the age of 30. She became the world women’s billiards champion at 47. Umadevi is an unusual sportswoman. She is a senior typist at Bangalore’s Horticulture Department.
It all began in 1995 when she landed at Bangalore’s Secretariat Club to play table tennis. She tried her hand at Billiards instead. Soon, her game caught the eye of Arvind Savur, the renowned coach from Bangalore. He enlisted her at the Karnataka State Board Billiards Association (KSBA) and the rest is history. The three times National billiards champion was crowned the world champion at the Cambridge Snooker Centre in 2012.