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Exclusive: Meet Indian Superwomen who broke the glass ceilings in the face of every stereotype

Barring the alleged clichés on the gender difference women are now spotted with limitless strength from crossing oceans to hiking the lofty mountains.

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Women performing Stunts

March 18, 2017: Within the world of superheroes, we forgot to recognize the actuality of superwomen in the same world. A lot has been said about the women’s ineptness – Women are fragile, or even for that matter they say – Women can’t handle pain. Repudiating the alleged clichés on the gender difference women are now spotted with limitless strength from crossing the oceans to hiking the lofty mountains. While the superhero is known for saving other’s lives, a superwoman is the one who fights with the demons of society.

Newsgram brings to you the story of two heroic women who shun every stereotype and made through the top. Reporter Naina Mishra got in touch with Geeta Tandon (an Indian stuntwoman) and Anam Hashim (the youngest professional bike stunt performer and rider) to get a glimpse of their superlative skills.


 GEETA TANDON 

Geeta Tandon is an Indian stuntwoman. She came into the glare of publicity in Khatron Ke Khiladi 5

Geeta was too naive and docile when she got married to a brutal man. At the age of 15, she faced the tumultuous fits of her in-laws who spared no effort to rip her apart. Her husband once declared her ill fortune into ending up as a sex worker if she chooses to leave him. Notwithstanding, she escaped with her two children one night and never came back. It was until now Geeta thought about herself for the first time in her life and swore by nevermore to look behind.

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Geeta is a Bollywood stunt woman and has body doubled for popular actresses including Kareena, Alia Deepika Padukone. Nevertheless, her journey has not been smooth. From sexual abuse of her husband to a performer in Bhangra group and finally making it through a stunt woman, Geeta has shunned every stereotype reaching her way. For her, suicide was never an option and henceforth through an austere painstaking character, she entered the hall of fame.

“A Stunt woman is strong and the one who wants to accomplish something in life. She is equally competitive to the men. There comes not a single day when she doesn’t feels the agony, but she keeps moving for herself. 

(Geeta Tandon defined the sentiment of a Stuntwoman to Newsgram)

“In the industry also, people come up and tell us that a particular work can’t be done. But the confidence of attaining the unattainable lies within ourselves. One day I asked my master to give me a chance to prove myself, it was presumed by everyone out there that the stuntwomen will be incompetent for the action sequence, but I picked up with the pace and completed the task”, commented Geeta Tandon on gender differences.

“our society tries to wither the spirit of the person. There will be doubters and there will be people who will try to bring you down but what keeps you going is the invincible spirit.”

There was a time she had to seek out for living in slums, but somehow she knew that she doesn’t have to give up at the helm of the doldrums. She now owns a flat in Mumbai. The Bollywood stunt woman aspires to be an ‘Action Film Director’.

ANAM HASHIM

Anam came into the glare of publicity right after a video of her performing ‘Christ’, which is a type of stunt went viral.

Anam Hashim is the youngest stunt rider of the nation. The 21-year-old is known to be the first woman who had ridden to Khardung La on a TVS Scooty. Being born into a Muslim family, her journey has not been loose either.

“I had to fight with my family and leave everything in pursuit of my dreams. My dad taught me how to right a motorcycle and later on, I told him that I want to do stunts.”

‘Breaking barriers’ is exorbitant nowadays but our youngest female street bike freestyle athlete opposes the term “breaking-barriers” while speaking to Newsgram.

“It’s never about breaking barriers as the barriers are just in the head. The problem with people is that they are living with preset limitation for women decided a millennium ago. They don’t try to explore. I think like this way – I ride a Motorcycle; Motorcycle doesn’t know your gender.”

Anam Hashim is invited to world’s biggest platform TEDx – IIT Hyderabad (March 19) to inspire youth and inculcate a sense of individualism in youngsters. She aspires to ace the stunt riding championships across the world and grow her own company dreamsmotorsports.


 

The mindset that girls cannot perform what men are capable of is a thing of a past now. Most of the women start loathing their own self and lose faith in times of despairs, however, to abandon hope should be the last thing on your mind because not many live a life of warrior but those who do are the most fortunate ones. It is so easy to break the glass ceilings if we know the strength of our arms.

– Reporting by Naina Mishra, Twitter: Nainamishr94

 

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GES 2017 : Ivanka Trump in Hyderabad charms the women centric Global Entrepreneurship Summit co-hosted by India and United States

Being invited by Prime Minister Modi, Ivanka Trump is in Hyderabad for GES 2017. The event is focused on women entrepreneurs from all across the globe, this is the first time GES is being held in South Asian country

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Ivanka Trump visited India for GES 2017
Ivanka Trump in Hyderabad (VOA)
  • Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi at GES 2017, Ivanka Trump said,”from your childhood selling tea to becoming PM, you’ve proven that transformational change is possible.”

  • Prime Minister Modi emphasising on bilateral relations said,”the GES 2017 event not only connects the Silicon Valley with Hyderabad but also showcases the close ties between the US and India.”

Ivanka Trump, daughter and adviser to US President Donald Trump arrived Hyderabad to attend Global Entrepreneurship Summit, GES 2017 co-hosted by India and the United States. The three-day summit, from November 28-30, is being held at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC) and Hyderabad International Trade Expositions (Hitex).

Ivanka Trump in Hyderabad
Ivanka Trump, daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (VOA)

Ms Ivanka Trump is leading a delegation of senior White House officials and American entrepreneurs. The theme of this year’s summit is ‘Women First, Prosperity for All’ and will include 1,200 young entrepreneurs from different parts of the world, mostly women.

“I encourage everyone here to come together, learn from each other and find new ways to lift barriers in our society so that women are free to innovate, empowered to succeed and able to leave our children a brighter future,” Ivanka Trump told delegates in the event’s opening speech Tuesday.

Ivanka’s appearance with Modi at the opening of GES 2017 was preceded by a bilateral meeting which the Prime Minister Modi described as “wonderful”, before they went out to meet entrepreneurs who showcased their work for presentation. Being women centric event, two of the India’s most powerful women External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman were also present.

GES 2017 : Ivanka Trump in India
Ivanka Trump with Prime Minister Modi (Narendra Modi Twitter)

The summit began with cultural events showcasing India’s rich culture. This year’s summit theme clearly demonstrated the commitment of the India and United states to the principle that when women are economically empowered, their communities and countries thrive. India is one of the country where women are at highest pedestals in social and professional life.

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Ivanka also gave credit to the Modi government for lifting 130 million people out of poverty. “Women still face steep obstacles in starting, owning and growing their businesses. We must ensure women entrepreneurs have access to capital, access to networks and mentors,” Ivanka said to loud cheers from a packed enthusiastic audience.

Ivanka’s visit also affirms that the Trump administration sees India as a major strategic partner in south asia and wants to engage with India more. Growing trade and business between India and United States sends a strong signal to the world.

by SHAURYA RITWIK, Shaurya is Sub-Editor at NewsGram and writes on Geo-politcs, Culture, Indology and Business. Twitter Handle – @shauryaritwik

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‘It is time to see the world through a Feminist Gaze’, says Shabana Azmi

Jio MAMI hosted a brunch to discuss and inspire women equality and quality films, which was graced by Manisha Koirala, Shabana Azmi, Kiran Rao, Anupama Chopra, Sayani Gupta, Kriti Sanon, Neha Dhupia and many more

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Shabana Azmi
Shabana Azmi. Wikimedia

Mumbai, October 17, 2017: Veteran actress Shabana Azmi on Monday said it is the time people started seeing the world through a “feminine gaze”.

The pro-equality actress was speaking at “#F for Freedom MAMI” segment of Jio MAMI 19th Mumbai Film Festival.

“I am very delighted that MAMI this year is concentrating on making women’s work more visible. I think it is high time that we started to see the world through feminine gaze,” she said.

Jio MAMI hosted a brunch to discuss and inspire women equality and quality films, which was graced by Manisha Koirala, Shabana Azmi, Kiran Rao, Anupama Chopra, Sayani Gupta, Kriti Sanon, Neha Dhupia and many more.

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Manisha Koirala, who has been vocal about gender equality, said she was happy that JIO MAMI is recognizing women’s contribution.

“Tumhari Sulu” actress Neha Dhupia said that things aren’t changing but with a little initiative, things will change in coming times. “Just because there is a women-centric film after 30-40 others release, everyone feels that things are changing but they are not changing just yet.”

Kiran Rao, the lady behind the initiative, expressed that main objective was to inspire women and get them in mainstream cinema, either in front or behind.

“The initiative was started two years ago, to inspire females to be part of the film industry, not just tell their stories. We want females to join film industry as writers, actors, technicians, creative arts and camera persons as this will improve the condition of women,” said Kiran.

Film critic Anupama Chopra said that the issue of equality in the film was not just limited to Bollywood, “it is rampant everywhere”. (IANS)

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UN Brings the World Together to Fight Violence Against Women and Girls; 1 in Every 3 Women Currently Face Gender-based Oppression Globally

A third of all women experience violence at some point in their lives, and that figure is twice as high in some countries, according to the United Nations

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Violence against women
Head of U.N. Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka speaks on stage at WE Day U.N. at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, in New York City (VOA)

United Nations, September 21, 2017 : World leaders meeting at the United Nations on Wednesday launched a half-billion-dollar effort to end violence against women and girls, a crime suffered by 1 in 3 in their lifetimes.

The effort will fund anti-violence programs that promote prevention, bolster government policies and provide women and girls with improved access to services”, organizers said.

It will take particular aim at all categories of violence against women- human trafficking, femicide and family violence.

A third of all women experience violence at some point in their lives, and that figure is twice as high in some countries, according to the United Nations.

“Gender-based violence is the most dehumanizing form of gender oppression. It exists in every society, in every country rich and poor, in every religion and in every culture,” Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, head of U.N. Women, said as the United Nations held its annual General Assembly.

“If there was anything that was ever universal, it is gender inequality and the violence that it breeds against women,” she said.

In other forms of violence against women and girls, more than 700 million women worldwide were married before they were 18, and at least 200 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries, according to U.N. figures.

The initiative of 500 million euros (US$595 million) was launched by the U.N. and the European Union, which is its main contributor, organizers said.

“The initiative has great power,” said Ashley Judd, a Hollywood actress and goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) who participated in Wednesday’s announcement.

ALSO READ Violence against Women and Girls Imposes Large-scale Costs on Families, Communities and Economies, says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

“There are already so many effective, research-based, data-driven programs,” Judd told the Thomson Reuters Foundation ahead of the announcement. “Financing for existing programs is a beautiful thing.

“It also makes an incredibly powerful statement to show that the world is increasingly cohesive around stopping gender-based violence,” she said. (VOA)