Children generally have an affinity for heroic tales. Traditionally heroes have been male who go on adventurous journeys, fight demons and rescue princesses. Women have been shown as damsels in distress who are always waiting to be rescued. Sadly this is the same narrative reflected even in our movies and other popular media. We are inspired to tell real stories of real women who have been their own knights in shining armour.
When we asked our kids and their friends who their female role models were, they struggled to come up with any names. When we probed further they could only come up with people in entertainment and sports. Sadly the boys could not even name a few. We knew that Indian women role models couldn’t be such a finite set. When we started researching Indian women role models, we were not sure how many we would find. But we soon found a treasure trove of artists, musicians, scientists, sports persons, leaders and the list goes on. Together they tell the story of the last 200 years of this country. Each of these women have a unique story. Each had hurdles to jump over, some were bullied as a child, some battled depression. Some are from privileged families and some from remote rural places. Some went to the best institutions in the world and some have learned on their own by observing and doing. Through these stories, we would like a child to be inspired to dream bigger, think of new possibilities and fight harder against self-doubt.