#Shepreneurs: Women Who Refused to Fit into the Paradigms of Society
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India is obsessed with putting boxes around everything and everyone. However, true power lies in transcending these constructs and refusing to adjust in the paradigms of the society. Here are women who broke the constructs of shapes, sizes, breaks, comebacks, beauty, nepotism and proved that what women can do or not do is just a mythical statement because the truth is, that there is no end to what a woman is capable of!
Bollywood’s Producer Crusader
How many women producers or directors exist in Bollywood? Very Few! Out of which how many are outsiders? The number is such that you can almost count them on the first few fingers of your hands.
Monga made news around the world when her production house, Sikhya Entertainment’s product, a short movie won an Academy Award recently for the Best Documentary (Short Subject) Category. The movie, Period. End of Sentence is about the stigmatized issue of menstruation and the world saw in awe, wonder, pride and joy how such a movie bagged the most prestigious title in the world.
Monga is a well-known producer, founder of a production house that has made critically acclaimed movies such as Masaan, The Lunchbox, Gangs of Wasseypur and many more.
In an industry that operates staunchly on the principles of Nepotism, Monga continues to shine and stand out. She is the most relevant example of women breaking the glass ceiling and of someone who refused to fit into the paradigm of society.
India's Laughter Queen
Viewers still remember the time when on a particular comedy show, Bharti was the only woman comedian rolling the audience in laughter among a group of male contestants.
From betting her hopes to become a sportsperson to entering into the world of the film industry, Bharti, is perhaps, one of the best examples of women who transcended the realities of her life and won fame, glory, success and also immeasurable love from the audience.
While the norm is such that to get into B-town, looks are considered paramount, Bharti, on the other hand proved that talent, skills, hard work and sheer perseverance can make you do literally anything, doesn’t matter your size, shape and background!
Bharti also got featured in Entrepreneur’s Shepreneur edition in March last year.
The Unicorn Rider
Sitting on the bike, some hair flawing at the back and some settled by the helmet, the gears zooming into the thick mist of the mountain, that’s the imagery this woman evokes.
Meet Pallavi Fauzdar, a National awardee biker also known as the first motorcyclist in the world to conquer 15 mountain passes above 5,000 meters altitude in a single trip covering 3,500 km of Himachal, Leh, Ladakh and Kashmir valley. Her achievements don’t stop here. She is the only rider in the world to reach all three highest passes in the world Um-Ling-La, followed by Mana Pass and Satha-Tola.
She founded Unicorn Gears, a brand that provides gears for the riding community and rides support equipment in extreme weather conditions. While many women are breaking the glass ceiling, Fauzdar has zoomed and shattered the glass into a million shards of pieces!
What is a Break?
A woman at the peak of her career leaves everything to get married, she settles into the life of an urban wife and mother. Suddenly, one day she comes back to her roots and splashes the nation again. Does this story sound familiar?
Well, why would it not? It belongs to the heart of the nation-Madhuri Dixit Nene. Dixit-Nene is an actress, a mother and now, a mumpreneur! She opened her dance academy and took the online route to expand the ranks of her business. Nene is an example that for a woman, a break is never the end of a career. It is the beginning of something better and profound.
Crusading the World with Her Own Definition of Beauty
Laxmi Aggarwal is a name not new to the masses. Her name, today, resonates with power and courage.
Aggarwal's journey is not ordinary. She has had had to undergo the whips and scorns of time. She was attacked with acid by a 32-year-old man, Naeem Khan, at the age of 15 when she rejected his advances. The suffering that followed was immense but it gave her a great sense of awakening. Today she is a fierce campaigner for those who have undergone similar scenarios as her.
Aggarwal co-founded an NGO, Chhanv Foundation, with her partner, Alok Dixit. Dixit and Aggarwal also worked for the Stop Acid Attack Campaign founded by the former.
Recently, she was again in news for having to struggle to make ends and also for separating from her partner. It is only a matter of time that she overcomes these hurdles and bounces back as a true warrior that she is.