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Agents of Change - Women

Defying existing conventions, establishing their own, the perfect mix of nerve and grace - these women in their own subtle style changed the way the world looked at the descendants of Venus.

Mother Teresa

Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu was a novice nun in the early years of her training when she found her true calling. Realizing that the path to God lied not just in prayers within the walls of her convent - she replaced her traditional Loreto habit with a simple cotton sari and reached to the ones less fortunate than her on the streets of Darjeeling.

Mother Teresa, as we know her today pioneered the Missionaries of Charity, India, in 1950. For over 45 years, she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying. Born and raised in Skopje, Mother Teresa adapted India as her own country while guiding the Missionaries of Charity's expansion, first throughout India and later in other countries.

Aung San Suu Kyi

Fifteen years of house arrest and still standing strong. She was elected as the Prime Minister of Burma the 90s, but Burmese military didn’t allow her political party National League for Democracy to join the government and forced her to remain in her house sans visitors. 

Thus began her non-violent crusade to establish democracy in her country. Despite arrests and house arrest until her most recent release on 13 November 2010, Suu Kyi managed to accumulate international support for her cause. If that got you zonked dig this- Suu Kyi was offered freedom if she left the country, but she refused.

Amelia Earhert

Amelia Earhert needs no introduction. At a time when women intellect didn’t stretch beyond maneuvering vacuum cleaners and dish washers, when being an airhostess seemed the most gratifying job for women, this female aviator from America flew a plane all by herself across the Atlantic. 

Earhert delved into an arena which predominantly belonged to men and beat them at their own game- breaking many records and showing how aircraft had moved forward. We love this feisty daredevil for her guts and sense of adventure.

Kalpana Chawla

The first Indian-born woman and the second Indian person to fly in space, Kalpana Chawla had traveled 10.4 million kms, as many as 252 times around the Earth. Chawla joined the 'Astronaut Corps” in March 1995 and was selected for her first flight in 1996. 

She spoke the following words while traveling in the weightlessness of space, "You are just your intelligence". Unfortunately she was one of seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, but while she was alive she truly did live.

Coco Chanel

She redefined the concept of archetypal seamstress with her modernist thought, practical designs, and pursuit of expensive simplicity. Coco Chanel learnt how to sew in the orphanage that raised her and later used this skill to revolutionize the way women dressed. 

Her ‘little black dress’ and the trademark ‘Chanel suit’ that she introduced in the 1902s catapulted her to the echelons of fashion world. She was the only fashion designer to be named on 'Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century'. In addition to her contributions to fashion, Chanel was a popular figure in the Paris literary and artistic worlds.

- by Parmita Borah

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