Four Indian 'power' women make it to BBC’s 100 Women List Of 2020

Bilkis Bano, Manasi Joshi, Isaivani, and Ridhima Pandey are the women who made the BBC's list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2020
Bilkis Bano
Bilkis Bano

The British Broadcasting Corporation has released its list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2020. According to the British media, the 100 Women list this year, highlights those who are “leading change and making a difference during these turbulent times” amid the Covid-19 pandemic and calls for racial justice. The list, which features women from different fields like sports, politics, acting, climate activism, etc., whose efforts brought a change in the turbulent time of the pandemic and other crisis, includes Sanna Marin (Finland’s Prime Minister), Michelle Yeoh (star of the new Avatar sequel), and Jane Fonda (actor and climate activist).

The list also includes the names of four Indian women: Bilkis Bano, Manasi Joshi, Isaivani and Ridhima Pandey. One spot in the list has been left blank on purpose as a tribute to all the other women who have performed selfless service during this year.

Bilkis Dadi of Shaheen Bagh

Bilkis Bano was part of the Shaheen Bagh protests against the controversial citizenship law. The 82-year-old woman rose to prominence after participating in the daily sit-ins at Shaheen Bagh. The Shaheen Bagh protests are one of the most notable and peaceful protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that was introduced by the Modi government.

Fondly called as ‘Bilkis Dadi’ she has turned into a symbol of resistance, perseverance, and hope for the people protesting against the controversial laws in the national capital.

Manasi Joshi
Manasi Joshi

An empowered disability rights activist

A software engineer, Manasi was on her way to work when she met with an accident that cost her left leg. In an interview with BBC, Manasi said that her father taught her how to hold a racket and hit a shuttle when she was barely six. The current para-badminton world champion says she turned to the sport as a form of rehabilitation to help her walk again with a prosthetic limb. During a corporate tournament, she caught the eye of a fellow para-badminton player, who saw her defeat able-bodied competitors. He encouraged her to try out for the Indian team, which led to her being part of a tournament in Spain. The rest, as they say, is history. She is currently ranked second in the world in SL3 singles by Badminton World Federation. Listed as the ‘Next Generation Leader’ by Time Magazine, she was also featured on the cover of the magazine’s Asia edition as an advocate of disability rights. Manasi is the first and the only Indian para-athlete to get a doll of the Barbie Sheroes series modelled after her.

Isaivani
Isaivani

Penetrating the male sphere

Isaivani has spent years singing and performing in a male-dominated space. The only female member of The Casteless Collective, Isaivani is a familiar face for those who have followed the band’s journey. A gaana singer (a form of traditional Tamil music which emerged from the working-class neighbourhoods of north Chennai) with the band, she is among the few women performers in the space.

Ridhima Pandey
Ridhima Pandey

India's Greta Thurnberg

Ridhima Pandey, at the age of nine, filed a petition against the government of India in response to its inaction to mitigate climate change. Known as the ‘Greta Thunberg of India’, Ridhima, who along with Greta had petitioned the United Nations on environmental issues plaguing the world, is actively involved in the ‘Save Thano Forest’ movement to oppose the Uttarakhand government’s move to fell over 10,000 trees to expand the Dehradun Airport.

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