Today is International Women’s Day. But let us just accept the fact. Every day is a women’s day. The trials and tribulations encountered with grace, might, dignity and most of all, that impeccable mental agility. Only women can pull all of that and more. Women make homes. They raise families. They fight wars and build empires.
Over years, India has seen a phenomenal rise of woman achievers. These woman transcended all the barriers to realise their passion. They have set the benchmark of a kind. Women from the land of Andhra are not very far off in this league.
Our women have excelled in all spheres. Some of them have become immortal legendary icons. They have set standards for the generations ahead and made a mockery of the ever failing male dominated society. They have pushed themselves to get to the helm of success, proving most of the cynics wrong with their definition of culture and tradition.
Here are 10 such successful women from the soil of Andhra who have risen above all the adversity and hypocrisy to realize their dreams.
Savitri, Actress, Telugu Cinema
Savitri Kommareddy is an icon of South Cinema. Savitri has become synonymous with the ideal visual of a Telugu woman in every household over the generations. “A woman should be like Savitri”, men continue to say that, despite the passing time and generations. Born in Tadepalle Mandalam of Guntur district, Savitri went on become a standing inspiration to Indian actresses forever.
Shobha Naidu, Dancer, Kuchipudi
She is the Kuchipudi legend. No question there. Shobha Naidu is one of the most outstanding Kuchipudi dancers India had ever produced. She is now the epitome of mastery in the craft. Hailing with origins from Anakapalle, Shobha Naidu had achieved what most women of her times could not. She envisioned her passion to become a great reality, even in the most conservative of times. Naidu’s Kuchipudi Art Academy continues to churn out trained and qualified dancers, year after year. She continues to make the country proud, dedicating her entire life to Kuchipudi.
Pulapaka Susheela, Singer, Telugu Cinema
She is acclaimed universally as the only woman singer who has defined feminism with her voice. Fondly referred to as ‘Gaana Kokila’, P Susheela is a singing legend of the South Indian cinema. A veteran of both Carnatic music and playback singing, she had sung for all the south Indian languages in over 40,000 film songs. That too for six decades!! Take a bow!
Shobha Raju, Devotional Singer, Annamacharya Sankirthanas
Who knew that a simple girl with roots in Vayalpadu of Chittoor district will go on to touch the heart of Lord Venkateswara and his million devotees. Shobha Raju is known for her profound devotional singing, writing and composing, and is also reckoned as the gospel of the Annamacharya himself. Every household in Telugu resonates with her singing at one time or the other.
Karnam Malleswari, Indian Weightlifter, Olympic Games
A modest personality who won 11 gold, 3 silver and one bronze in the prestigious Olympic games. Karnam Malleswari showed the world what a simple girl from Srikakulam can do. A national champion for nine years, Karnam started from the scratch, winning game after game to reach the global arena. She is one of India’s prized athletes.
Humpy Koneru, Indian Chess Grandmaster
A little girl from Gudivada rises to become an accomplished Indian Chess Grandmaster, also the youngest grandmaster at the age of 15. That would be the real life success story of Humpy Koneru. The 28 year old woman now continues to make the country proud, winning hearts and tournaments. Koneru won three gold medals at the World Youth Chess Championship and is known to have beaten the greatest of chess masters across the continents.
Vijaya Lakshmi Emani, Social Activist
Hailing from Kurnool, the late Vijaya Lakshmi Emani proved to the world that a single woman’s dream for greater good pays off eventually. Her extensive work against domestic violence is international applauded and appreciated. Emani led the movement towards better lives for women everywhere in the world. Steering the Indian American community, Lakshmi was awarded with the Presidential Citizens Medal, the second highest civilian award in United States!
Aruna Miller, Member, Maryland House of Delegates
Aruna Miller is seriously kicking some at the international level, fetching recognition for her extensive work as the member of the Maryland House of Delegates. Aruna makes Andhra proud with her unfailing roots there, addressing serious concerns in US such as employment, better schooling and community development.
Yaddanapudi Sulochana Rani, Author, Telugu Literature
Dreamers achieve the impossible. Dreamy writers shake the world with their stories. Yaddanapudi Sulochana Rani, the late novelist, brought to the world true tales of Telugu middle class with her outstanding and immortal novels. Some of them were even made into movies. Her name takes a unique place in the pages of Telugu literature. The last of the talented modern women writers in the language with grit.