Amazing Women Who Changed The Face Of History

“Woman is the companion of man, gifted with equal mental capacity,”—Gandhi.  From breaking the chains of oppression and racism to holding higher post in corporate world, women have really been on the forefront of every moment in the world.

As we have entered in the month that celebrates International Women’s Day to mark women’s achievements, success and contribution to the world, it is time to honor and appreciate the spirit of womanhood. Let’s have a look at these 10 women who decided to walk on a path not chosen by many, as compiled by iDiva.

Mother Teresa


She needs no introduction. With her immense work towards the poor and serving the needy, Mother Teresa earned a special place in millions of hearts. While guiding the expansion of Missionaries of Charity at first in India and later in other countries, for over 4 decades, she ministered the poor, sick, dying and orphaned.

Seen as a saint, she was honored by Pope John Paul II following her death and gave her the title ‘Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.’ Mother Teresa started her mission in India and succeeded in bringing people from all societies under one roof, on the grounds of humanity. During the year 1950, Mother established the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta. The missionary took care of the weak and homeless people in the Indian society. She received various awards like The Nobel Prize, Ramon Magsaysay and Padmashri Award for her services. She was fondly called as Mother by innumerable. In her quest to serve the needy, she finally laid down forever on September 5, 1997.

Princess Diana


The Princess of Wales, Princess Diana, was renowned for her fund-raising work for international charities, and was a celebrated figure of the late 20th century. Princess Diana’s signature style and compassion are still remembered with great admiration.

With her charismatic appearance, she is still regarded as one of the most photographed women in the world. She was born into an aristocratic English family with royal ancestry. Princess Diana also received recognition for her charity work and for her support of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. There was a lot of media attention and public mourning after her death in a car crash in Paris in August 1997. To this day, she is not only remembered for her beauty, but also for being a good and compassionate person, a devoted mother and a strong woman.

Malala Yousafzai


When people bags awards and recognition for being in the field of education, this teenage girl was shot at her head for her speech in Peshawar, Pakistan, in September 2008.

The title of her speech was, “How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?” She is now recognized worldwide for her courage and fearlessness for standing up against the Taliban and protesting for education for girls. This Pakistani girls’ education activist has been named among the 16 most influential teens of 2013 by Time magazine. Despite the Taliban’s threats, Yousafzai remains a staunch advocate for the power of education for girls.

Anne Frank


‘We live in deeds, not in years,’ this saying is well versed with the life of Anne Frank. She is one of the most discussed Holocaust victims. Known primarily through her diary, which was published after her death, her writing conveys both the terror of her family’s situation and the romantic longings of a typical teenage girl.

The diary documents her experiences hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. It was Otto Frank, the only survivor of the family, who led to its publication in 1947. It has since been translated into many languages. It was translated from its original Dutch and first published in English in 1952 as The Diary of a Young Girl. Though her life was cut short early, she is still remembered for her undying spirit even at the most critical time.

Savitri Bai Phule


Savitribai Phule was a social reformer who along with her husband, Rashtrapita Jyotirao Phule, played an important role in changing the women’s rights in India.

Phule was born in Naigaon village in Maharashtra to LaxmiBai and Khandoji Navse Patil in the year 1831. Life was never easy for Phule as a teacher in the school, upper caste people were against setting up school for the girls. They pelted stones at her and even threw dung on her. She faced oral abuse from all quarters of the village. Despite all this, Phule voiced her views against child marriage, Sati and relentlessly helped the kids to be enlightened with education. Unfortunately, she succumbed to plague and died in the year 1897.

Agatha Christie


Agatha Christie was one of the most successful crime novelists and playwrights of the 20th century. It is her shyness that led her to the world of writing where she wrote detective fiction with endearing characters, including the world-famous detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.

Not only did Christie write 82 detective novels, but she also jot down an autobiography, a series of six romance novels, under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and 19 plays, including The Mousetrap, the world’s longest running theatrical play in London. More than 30 of her murder mystery novels have been made into motion pictures, including Witness for the Prosecution (1957), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), and Death on the Nile (1978). She holds the Guinness Book of World Records for being the best-selling novelist so far.

Marilyn Monroe


Till today, Marilyn Monroe’s popularity with popular culture are endless as many people still loves her acting, fashion, singing and style.

However, it is her damn care nature that people adore her most.  Apart from her professional skills, she inspires women to be confident and happy with their sexuality. Monroe was the most iconic actress of her times who refined the term ‘sexy’. She has accomplished much more than she set out to do–she inspired generations of women to use glamour as a tool for survival.

Marie Curie


Marie Curie, a French-Polish physicist and chemist, was famous for her pioneering research on radioactivity. Curie happens to be the only woman to win a Nobel Prize twice. In 1903, she won the Nobe Prize in Physics in recognition of her joint research on the radiation phenomena being initially discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel. In the year 1911, she took home her second, Nobel Prize, this time for her contribution to Chemistry.

It was Curie who created the word ‘radioactivity’ and found out that radiation can kill cells in human beings. It is based on the valuable research done by her; physicians learned the capability of radiation in destroying tumor cells. The idea of X-ray machine is also the brain child of Curie and it is quite obvious that her contributions could have given her a fortune, but she did not even apply for a patent! “Marie Curie is, of all celebrated beings, the only one whom fame has not corrupted,” Einstein once commented about Curie.

Indira Gandhi


Indira Gandhi, India’s first female Prime Minister, ruled with an iron fist–thereby earning herself the name ‘Iron Lady of India’. She served as the Prime Minister of India for 3 consecutive terms, as well as a fourth term. Indira Gandhi evokes images of a strong and determined woman.

Born into an affluent and powerful family, Indira Gandhi learnt the ropes of politics at a very young age. She was credited for supporting India’s nuclear weapons program that helped establish India as a formidable force. She also known for boosting the Green Revolution, a program which enabled India to not only become self-sufficient to a large extent in terms of food supply, but also established India’s presence as a major food exporter.

Irom Sharmila


Irom Sharmila also known as the “Iron Lady of Manipur” is a civil rights as well as a political activist. She is an example of a woman’s perseverance.

Since 2 November 2000, she has been on a hunger strike to demand that the Indian government abolish the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which is a cause for violence in Manipur and other parts of northeast. Not having food or water for over a decade, she has been called “the world’s longest hunger striker”. She is on a continuous hunger strike for past 13 years. She has certainly shown the world the choice to live without fear in one’s own homeland.

Golda Meir

golda meir

Golda Meir (May 3, 1898 – December 8, 1978) was an Israeli teacher, kibbutznik and politician who became the fourth Prime Minister of Israel.
Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel on March 17, 1969, after serving as Minister of Labour and Foreign Minister. Israel’s first and the world’s third woman to hold such an office, she was described as the “Iron Lady” of Israeli politics years before the epithet became associated with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion used to call Meir “the best man in the government”; she was often portrayed as the “strong-willed, straight-talking, grey-bunned grandmother of the Jewish people”.

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Reason why TamilNadu suffers from dire Electricity shortage

The major reasons for the power crisis in Tamil Nadu are the following

1. Absence of a long term vision to increase availability of power by capacity addition and encouraging private investment in power generation compared to other states, over the last 10 years.

2. Overdependence on outside sources.

3. Considerable dependence on wind energy which is highly seasonal in nature and therefore not completely reliable.

4. Failure to reduce power transmission losses in the last 10 years.

1.Lack of long term vision

The following stats demonstrates how the gap between  requirement and availability of power in Tamil Nadu has altered significantly in comparison with other industrialized states between 2003-04 and 2010-11.



Comparing this with the situation in 2003-04, it can be seen that the status of deficits in most of the states was the same, except in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Tamil Nadu, in particular, only had a deficit of around 1% in 2003-04. This deficit has been increasing rapidly, especially in the last five years as can be seen from the graph below:


Anticipating a huge increase in demand, driven by economic growth, states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh put in added efforts to increase the availability of power. This was done both by increasing own capacity and by encouraging private investment in power generation. On the contrary, such a long term vision to increase availability of power was absent in Tamil Nadu.

Further, installed capacity in Tamil Nadu increased from around 13,000 MW at the end of the 10th plan to around 14,700 MW in 2010-11, representing an increase of around 12%. This represents the least capacity addition among all the states in this period.  States such as Maharashtra and Gujarat have capacity additions of 53% and 21% respectively. States such as Rajasthan and West Bengal increased capacity by as much as 43% and 47% respectively. This is explained in the table below:


The graph below will help you visualize better


2. Overdependence on external sources

There are five main sources of power in a state  – own generation, central allocation, power purchased from IPPs, short term power from the exchange and other sources (including wind mills). The sources of power for the various states considered here are shown below


As can be seen from the above graph, among all the states, Tamil Nadu is the most dependent on outside sources.

3. Over dependence on wind energy

All the capacity additions in Tamil Nadu were in private wind generation (R.E.S), which, as mentioned before, is highly seasonal. This can be seen from
the graph below, which shows sector wise capacity additions over the last three years:


Thus as mentioned before, the reason for the low generation by the state sector is the absence of investments by the state in stable internal sources.

4. Failure to reduce Transmission and Distribution losses

Tamil Nadu also has relatively low T&D and AT&C losses of 18% and 19.5% respectively. Even though these values are relatively low, they have remained at these levels for the past ten years. Tamil Nadu is the only state which has not reduced its T&D losses and improved the system over the years. This is evident from the following graph which shows the movement of T&D losses in the different states since 2002-03.


The main problem faced by Tamil Nadu in transmission is with respect to  congestion in the Southern grid. The following table shows the capacity of the Indian electricity grid.  Further, the southern grid is currently running at full capacity. This is a major problem for a state like Tamil Nadu which is dependent on outside sources of power. As can be seen from the graph below, the amount that can be transferred to the Southern Region is not high. (I am guessing the Kudankulam plant will solve this problem).


Future Projections

1. Projected Demand for Power

The graph below shows projected power demand in Tamil Nadu till 2015-16.



The following shows the break up of the demand sector wise:


2. Supply of Power

Total capacity that will be added in the state from 2011-12 to 2015-16 is 7310 MW, out of which 1860 MW will come from the state sector, 4250 MW from the central sector and 1200 MW from the private sector. The plants coming up in the state in the next five years are shown in the graph below.


The total power made available through capacity additions in the year 2011-12 is expected to be 11,536 MU out of which 6384 MU is generated from TNEB’s own capacity additions, while 4059 MU is allocated from capacity additions of Central Generating Stations (CGSs) within the state. Further, a capacity of 1093 MU will be allocated from CGSs outside the state (namely, NTPC’s Simhadri power plant in Andhra Pradesh and Kaiga APS in Karnataka). In 2012-13, an additional 2770 MU of power is expected to be made available due to further capacity additions by NTPC in the state. The graph also shows an increase in existing capacity from 65420 MU to 88478 MU. This increase is mainly due to higher generation through increased utilization of the plants commissioned in the previous year. In 2013-14, only one plant is likely to be commissioned. This is the 1200 MW thermal power plant, Coastal Energen, Tuticourin.

Strategies to be adopted by the state government: (Taken from the Draft of the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) of Tamil Nadu)

(i) Capacity Addition

♦Taking up new projects-North Chennai Stage III and IV, Udangudi project and its expansion, Ennore Annex, Kundah Pumped Storage, Uppur thermal power project, ETPS replacement, Tuticorin stage IV,
Cheyyur Ultra Mega Power Project etc.

♦Speeding up and expediting the completion of on going projects-North Chennai Stage II, Mettur State III, TNEB-NTPC JV Vallur, TNEB-NLC Tuticorin JV, Kudankulam, PFBR Kalpakkam, Neyveli TS-II Expansion

♦Exploring the possibility of adding 10000 MW wind  energy through various promoters; Setting up offshore wind power plants;

♦Setting up of Solar Parks;

♦Attract private investments on a commensurate scale;

(ii) Transmission and Distribution

♦Enhancing transformer capacities in the existing sub stations;

♦Bifurcation of high tension overloaded feeders and installation of capacitor banks at distribution transformers for injection of reactive power;

♦Conversion of low voltage lines to high voltage lines along with feeder separation to reduce the distribution line losses;

♦Segregation of agricultural loads from industrial, commercial, and domestic loads;

♦Adequate transmission network to evacuate the power generated from new plants and to distribute the customers;

(iii) Energy Conservation

♦Implementing Bachat Lamp Yojana (BLY) scheme to increase energy efficiency in domestic sector;

♦Improve the efficiency of the agricultural pump sets using appropriate incentive scheme;

♦Solar powered home lighting in 3 lakh Green houses; 1 lakh street lights through solar power;

♦  Energy conservation building code; Energy Star Labeling in Equipments

(iv) Fiscal Health of Power Sector

♦ Make the distribution system financially viable during the Twelfth Plan by rational pricing, bringing modern systems of management, use of IT, enforcement of accountability and privatization or franchising.

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