BBC 100 Women 2015 list: Sania Mirza, Asha Bhosle among 7 Indians featured

In its third year, the BBC 100 Women list includes seven Indian women this year. Marking their presence on the global map are legendary singer Asha Bhosle, tennis ace Sania Mirza, veteran actress Kamini Kaushal, farmer Rimppi Kumari, entrepreneurs Smriti Nagpal and Kanika Tekriwal, and campaigner Mumtaz Shaikh.

BBC announced the list on Wednesday with a statement saying, “Each year, BBC names 100 women – a mix of influential women who are world leaders in politics, science and entertainment, as well as less popular but inspirational women from all over the world.”

There is little unknown about Asha Bhosle and Sania Mirza, given the numerous unforgettable songs for the former and the amazing year on the tennis court for the latter.

Actress Kamini Kaushal has acted in over 100 movies and was the female lead in Neecha Nagar, the first Indian movie to have won the best film award at Cannes in 1946.

Smriti Nagpal has set up Atulyakala, an organisation that sells products like bags, mugs, wallets, and journals by deaf designers, reports BBC. Her work as a sign language interpreter, inspired Nagpal to help others.

Another entrepreneur on the list is Kanika Tekriwal. Tekriwal was diagnosed with cancer in her early 20s. The struggle made her determined to make her mark in the world. She established India’s first and only marketplace for private jet and helicopter charters. Her words of advice for anyone wanting to start a business is: “Use every ‘no’ as a stepping-stone to success. Turn every ‘no’ into a ‘yes’ through your journey.”

Also on the list is Rimppi Kumari, a farmer who, along with her sister Karamjit, took over a 32-acre farm in Rajasthan after their father died. She is the boss, while her older brother, who is married with children, takes a back seat role.

After decades of women being charged to use toilets in India, despite the fact that they are free for men, Mumtaz Shaikh, 33, succeeded in providing free facilities for women through the Right to Pee network. She ensured 96 toilets were free for women in Mumbai and made the government set aside Rs 50 million ($770) to build female-only toilets around the city.

The BBC 100 Women list also includes the likes of Hollywood actress Hilary Swank, British boxer Nicola Adams, to Azz Jadalla, one of the youngest heads of a hospital ward in Gaza City’s Shifa practice, among others.

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