We’ve selected women that go beyond the traditional taxonomy of the power elite (political and economic might). These change-agents are actually shifting our very idea of clout and authority, in the process, transforming Gwalior in fresh and exhilarating ways.
2. Yashodhara Raje Scindia, MP minister for Commerce, Industries and Employment
Illustrious BJP leader and the current minister for Commerce, Industries and Employment in Madhya Pradesh, Yashodhara is the youngest of the Scindia siblings. She was elected to 2007 14th Lok Sabha in bye-election and 2009 15th Lok Sabha and not long ago won Assembly seat from Shivpuri constituency in MP. More than that, she has also been the member of Committee on Railways, Committee on Empowerment of Women and Committee on Estimates. Down the memory lane, from 2005 to 2007 she was the minister for Tourism, Sports and Youth Welfare in Madhya Pradesh Government. She is an audacious lady as from the records; she valiantly managed Indira Gandhi’s tax inspectors when they raided the palace during emergency as she was the only member of the Gwalior royal family who was present. She is known for her involvement in equestrian (related to horse riding) and annually organizes Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia Gold Cup polo tournament whose earning go to a charity. It is believed that Yashodhara introduced arena polo (a fast-paced version of polo) to India.
“We need to give each other and others- ants, dolphins, tigers, spiders, colored people, white people, poor people, and yes, even jihadists-the respect to find ours and their own space in this small planet, a space as much theirs as ours.”
-Yashodhara Raje Scindia, Lesson of the Ants
4. Maya Singh, MP Minister of Women and Child Development
Short while ago sworn in as Cabinet Minister of Women & Child Development in Madhya Pradesh, Maya Singh is one of the most remarkable and distinguished females in India. She is notable for many positions since 1984 in her profession of politics and social work. On May 5, 1974 she married to Dhyanendra Singh, the brother of Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia. After joining BJP in 1980 she commenced her career as Councillor and Deputy Mayor of Gwalior Municipal Corporation from 1984 to 1988. Succeeding further, she also represented Madhya Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha 2002-03 and 2009 as a member of the Parliament. She has been a preceding member of various offices essentially Telephone Advisory Committee (1999-2001), Indian Railway Board (2002), Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (2002-04), Hindi Salahakar Samiti of the Ministry of Water Resources (2002), Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture (2003), National Board on Wildlife of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (2003-09), Committee on Empowerment (2009), Committee on Health and Family Welfare (2004-09), Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Railways (2005), Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (2010), Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests and the list still continues.
Contrastingly, she has two years of experience in teaching. Over and above in BJP itself she attained numerous ranks specifically State President of BJP Mahila Morcha of Madhya Pradesh (1991-95), All India President of BJP Mahila Morcha (1997-2000), ex-member of B.J.P. State Election Committee, Madhya Pradesh and member of BJP State Executive of Madhya Pradesh, All India General Secretary, Spokesperson and Headquarters incharge of BJP. and many others. Apart from her political career she considered close friends with eminent Bollywood personalities such as Hema Malini and Shabana Azmi etc.
“For me quality development of Gwalior is a top priority. I always put my maximum strength and concentration to meet people expectations.” ~ Maya Singh
6. Tina Olyai, Director of Little Angels High School
Best & worst decision “Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasurer, and enable mankind to benefit there from.” Keeping the above view in mind I think the Best Decision in my life was undoubtedly to set up Schools in Gwalior because I believe strongly that there can’t be a more satisfying job than educating and moulding children in the world. The worst decision I feel was not continuing to learn singing as that was my first passion in life as I was a very good singer in my school days and had won lots of awards for my singing till inter -state level.
Dream job as kid My Dream job as a little girl was believe it or not to be an airhostess as I loved seeing the way these girls dressed elegantly and carried themselves with so much of poise and perfection.
Barrier to female leadership With increased educational opportunities and recognition that their voices count, women have more opportunity than ever to contribute to building a more sustainable world for everybody. But sadly women in our country still face many challenges related to gender bias and often have to reconcile their own dreams with expectations of what they “should be” this according to me is the most significant barrier of female leadership.
Woman inspires me Two women who really inspire me apart from my Mom & Mom in Law are Mrs. Yashodhara Raje Scindia and Pat Wyman. Mrs Yashodhara Raje is someone I admire greatly as she is the most graceful , eloquent, poised , sensitive and above all a lady with a heart of Gold …she is indeed a beautiful person inside out . On the other hand Pat Wyman is a famous educationist and Author of several educational books from USA. Pat is a woman who is excellent at multi-tasking and is very knowledgeable in the field of education. I’ve also had the proud privilege of co-authoring a book along with her which happens to be a Best Seller in the United States of America.
Challenge of upcoming generation The biggest challenge for the generation of women behind me will be to Save the Girl Child. Sex-selective abortion, or female foeticide, has led to a sharp drop in the ratio of girls born in contrast to boy infants in some states in India. Ultrasound technology has made it possible for pregnant women and their families to learn the gender of a foetus early in a pregnancy. Discrimination against girl infants, for several reasons, has combined with the technology to result in a rise in abortions of foetuses identified as female during ultrasound testing.
Gadgets & car Samsung Galaxy S3 & Kindle Reader. Car would be my Audi A6.
Feat Member of International Women’s Forum (IWF), International Forum for Child Welfare (IFCW), Awarded By The Chief Minister Of Madhya Pradesh for Being Amongst the Top 20 Leading Business Visionaries of 2010, Selected Amongst the Top 15 Achievers of the State by Times Of India, Honoured as Outstanding Educationist of Gwalior By Dainik Bhaskar
7. Poonam Soni, Businesswoman
Best & worst decision Best decision would be the outset of Janak Store, which now has an increasing customers from south of India. As of worst decision, it’s all about destiny not a decision.
Dream job as kid I was always captivated by home science.
Barrier to female leadership Some percent of family resistance, but that said, women who wants to work are working.
Woman inspires me My mother in law and Sonia Gandhi, even I don’t like her but still she is ruling the country behind the scenes, one the most powerful lady. I get inspired by every woman who is working.
Challenge of upcoming generation Finding the right work-life balance for busy working women. I believe that women should not feel guilty about having a passion for work.
Gadgets & car Apple iPhone, iPad and car is Honda Civic.
8. Sonea R Kukreja, Interior Designer
Best & worst decision My best decision was to join my husband’s business which has not only helped me to discover my latent qualities but has also helped me to evolve as a more confident and well-organized person. Coming to the worst decision, well there is no such decision taken by me which can be deemed as “worst”, I am happy about all my decisions I’ve made!
Dream job As a kid, I always wanted to become an astronaut and realize that yes, sky is the limit!!
Barrier to female leadership There is no barrier per se! If a girl wants to achieve something then she can overcome any hurdle on her way, just irrevocable and indomitable spirit is needed. Take the example of Malala Yousafzai!
Woman who inspire me Well ,not woman , rather WOMEN have inspired me! Fortunately , I have been blessed with two mothers-my very own mother and my sister in law! They are indeed an epitome of piousness and selfless love just like Mother Teresa whom I respect a lot!
Challenge for upcoming generation I think they all are smart enough.. All I wish to tell them is that there are times when we life does not go the way we want it to go, but one should not be depressed, overshadowed or frustrated with such situations. Be calm and have faith in yourself, you can overcome any challenge!
Gadgets & car Samsung Note 3, Blackberry Z10, Apple iPad and Jaguar XF.
9. Bidisha Mukherjee, Additional District Magistrate of Gwalior
Best & worst decision When I thought of fighting Civil services would be my best decision of life. Haven’t made any worst decision.
Dream job as kid I wanted to be a Gynaecologist as that profession is more closer to humanity. When I met lady doctors I fascinate about being a doctor.
Barrier to female leadership Significant barrier would be people conservation and male dominance. Some part of the society hasn’t changed who think males should be the leaders and females should be on second seat. Anyone has the merit should be followed irrespective of any gender bias.
Woman inspires me Margaret Thatcher (former PM of UK) Benazir Bhutto (former PM of Pakistan) and Indira Gandhi (former PM of India). They were all supreme leaders on their own ways, they had confidence, strong willed and their determination which made people to accept them.
Challenge of upcoming generation Society is changing, literacy rate is increasing and people are accepting working class women. In coming time, I think there will be cut throat competition between women.
Gadgets & car My smartphone Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note. I would love to drive a Limousine one day.
Feat I received ‘Best Administrative Award’ in 2010 by Nai Dunia and ‘Lady of the Year’ by Gwalior Vikas Samiti this year.
10. Dr. Bhavna Sharma, Gynaecologist & IVF Specialist
Best & worst decision Best Decision was when I decided to pursue medicine and serve the community and also the decision to specialize in infertility where I can help childless couples achieve their dream. As for worst decision, I do not regret any decision whatever happens, happens for the best.
Dream job as kid Travel anchor and to host my own travelogue on TV. I love exploring new places, meeting new people and experiencing their culture.
Barrier to female leadership Most significant barrier is the mentality of our society which is skewed against female leadership.
Woman inspires me My Mother – She was the one who taught me the importance of following the right path in life even though it may be the difficult one.
Challenge of upcoming generation The lack of female education.
Gadgets & car Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and car would be Honda CRV.
Feat I did my schooling from Spring Dales School, New Delhi. I did my MBBS and post-graduation from the prestigious Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi. I did my IVF training from world renowned Landes- Frauen- und Kinderklinik (LFKK), Linz, Austria. I have been instrumental in providing successful and latest IVF treatment for the people of the region and my centre is credited with the maximum number of IVF babies in the region.
11. Neha Goyal, Director of Radio Chaska 95 FM
Best & worst decision Getting an FM channel, Radio FM to Gwalior. Our family has always been into real estate, we were the first to come up with a private colony and Radio Chaska was indeed a matter of pride. Regarding worst decision, I hope I never make it.
Dream job as kid I planned to become a doctor as I had a general inclination towards medicine.
Barrier to female leadership The time management between household jobs and business requirements.
Woman inspires me My mother. Although she is not into business but she always brought me up in such an environment which has made me follow my dreams and pursue my career.
Challenge of upcoming generation The level of competition which is increasing day by day and expertise in all fields whether its business or household activity. For the next gen I feel that knowledge won’t suffice but excelling at your job would make you survive.
Gadgets & car Appli iPhone and my Honda Accord.
12. Shubhra Tiwary, former Sportswoman
Best & worst decision Getting my children into sports. Worst decision! Not made as of now.
Dream job as kid I wanted to be like Gabriela Sabatini, a former tennis player from Argentina. By her looks I had wrong notion that she is Indian and I started being like her.
Barrier to female leadership Families are less supportive and it a male dominance society. There is a lack of exposure for women.
Woman inspires me I got inspiration from Indira Gandhi after I saw her picture in India Today. The picture showed all cabinet minister standing while she was sitting with a quote below the picture, “The only man in her cabinet”.
Challenge of upcoming generation After clearing 10th class girls are urged by the family to leave sports and concentrate on studies. Whereas that’s the time to grow up and sports give an overall development to a person.
Gadgets & car Apple iPhone and iPod. My ride is Toyota Corolla.
13. Karuna Shukla, former Member of Parliament
Born on 1 August 1950 in Gwalior. She is a member of the 14th Lok Sabha of India. She represented the Janjgir constituency of Chhattisgarh and was a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) political party. She resigned from the party on 25 October 2013 citing the fact that the party was “allegedly under the grip of power politics”. Notably, Karuna is the niece of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
14. Mamta Sharma, Indian playback singer
She is an Indian playback singer born on 7 Sept. 1980 in Birla Nagar, Gwalior. She is known for song Munni Badnaam Hui from Dabangg. The song was super hit and fetched her several awards and nominations, including a Filmfare award for Best Playback Singer (Female). She completed her studies from Saint Paul’s School morar Gwalior. She comes from a humble background and even in school, actively performed on stage at various family events (marriage receptions, parties) with her band.
15. Aditi Mutatkar, Indian badminton player
She is an Indian badminton player born in Gwalior on October 6, 1987. She won the Silver Medal in Mixed team event in 2010 Commonwealth Games held in Delhi, 2010. She reached her highest rank of 27th in the world when she registered her career-best performance of reaching the finals of the Bitburger Open. In the domestic circuit, she has won the Badminton Nationals in all age categories, only the third woman in this country to do so.
16. Usha Khanna, music director in Hindi cinema
Born on 1941 in Gwalior she is an Indian music director. Regarded as the first established female music director in the Indian film industry, she remained active for more than 3 decades from 1960s to 1980s. She is still active making some music for some movies and television-serials, more than 40 years after her debut as music director in Dil Deke Dekho (1959). She received a Filmfare nomination for composing the songs for the huge hit film Souten (1983).