New Delhi: From being a firefighter to a poker player, a paratrooper to a railway porter and a crematorium manager to a bartender, there is little now that women can’t do. A major credit of this goes to women who were the first to break the glass ceiling and enter professions that were, not long ago, considered reserved only for men.
Next month, President Ram Nath Kovind will felicitate 100 such women at an event, the date for which is yet to be finalised. The names of recipients were picked by the women and child development (WCD) ministry from record books, inputs from different central ministries, state governments and media reports.
The list has a mix of first-time achievers from diverse fields, including Ira Singhal, the first differently abled woman to top the civil services; Punita Arora, the first woman to become lieutenant general; Priya Jhingan, the first cadet to join Indian Army; Radhika Menon, the first female merchant navy captain; and Harshini Kanhekar, the first woman firefighter.
The list also includes women who made unusual career choices, such as Chennai-based Praveena Solomon, the first woman to manage a crematorium; Manju from Rajasthan, who has the distinction of being the first female railway station porter in India; Muskan Sethi, the first professional poker player; and Shatbhi Basu, the first female bartender.
Aditi Pant, the first woman from India to reach Antarctica; Seema Rao, first woman commando trainer; and Sonalini Menon, the first woman coffee taster in the country, have also been shortlisted.