“Give a woman a house, she will turn it into a home”, they say. Influential women have existed in all generations, above and beyond time as we know it. Able multitaskers, eager observers and fiery protectors, their natural motherly instincts are definitely a boon to mankind (Pun Intended). The current scenario in Odisha is full of such examples who showcase the pinnacle of womanhood and the difference they bring into the wellness of the state.
Let’s have a look at 7 Influential Women who are currently busy contributing to change.
1) Jagi Mangat Panda
Jagi Mangat Panda is the Director of OTV channel and founder and MD of Ortel Communications. She has carved a niche for herself own as an entrepreneur in Odisha media industry. A successful model and wife of BJD MP Baijayant Panda, she is also a sports enthusiast and won the title of Best Model-Asia in Turkey before her entrepreneurship career. She sets an example of women empowerment in India and only women nominated in Odisha Power List–2016.
2) Aparajita Sarangi
Mrs. Aparajita Sarangi works as commissioner-cum-secretary in the Panchayati Raj department since August 1, 2012. An IAS officer of the 1994 batch, she is imaginative, innovative and bold. She is driven by a passion for making things happen. She has directed all BDOs who are under the administrative control of her department to stay put in their stations, make regular field visits, listen to and address public grievances.
3) Usha Padhee
Mrs. Usha Padhee, IAS serves as a Director of Pawan Hans Limited. She is a Joint Secretary of Ministry of Civil Aviation. Previously she was the chief secretary of the Department of School & Mass Education. Then she got the appointment order from the Centre. She is a hard-working woman and does the mission with purpose rather sitting over files. She diligently involves herself in her work.
4) Manasi Pradhan
Mrs. Manasi Pradhan is an author, poet and social worker. She has received the Rani Lakshmibai Stree Shakti Puraskar in 2013 for her work in fighting for women rights. She was the first woman from her village to earn a law degree. She has won many recognitions including the ‘Outstanding Women Award’ in 2011 from the United Nation’s UN Women and National Commission for Women. She is the founder of Nirbhaya Vahini and OYSS Women and heads the Honour for Women National Campaign. These organization works nationwide to end violence against women in India. She is also the member of Central Board of Film Certification (Censor Board) for India. She is a member of the International Governing Council of World Women Organization (WWO) and Inquiry Committee of the National Commission for Women.
5) Dr. Lopamudra Baxipatra
Dr. Lopamudra Baxipatra has been familiar with politics and governance. She has assumed the responsibility of General Secretary, Zonal President and Vice-President of the State Biju Yuva Janta Dal in the past and experienced the role of women in politics. She holds a doctorate in Zoology and degrees in law and journalism. She has worked as chairperson of Mahila Vikas Samabaya Nigam. Now she strives to bring about the social security of women in Odisha. As Chairperson of the State Commission for Women, she is making a sincere effort to implement the right ideas towards the development of the women in Odisha and endeavours to provide them a safe environment, life of dignity and integrity.
6) Tulasi Munda
Smt. Tulasi Munda is a noted Indian social activist from the state of Odisha. She was awarded Padma Shri in 2001 by Government of India. She has done a lot of work to spread literacy among the tribal people. By setting up a school in Odisha’s mining area, she has released hundreds of tribal children from a future as exploited daily labourers. In 2011, she was awarded Odisha Living Legend Award for Excellence in Social service. She has a biopic which encapsulates her struggles and achievements.
7) Preetinanda Routray
#throwbackthursdays might be trending on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook signifying nostalgia but Thursdays in Odisha are religious tributes to the Goddess of Wealth, Shri Lakshmi. The popular Shri Lakshmi Purana that you hear in the background on Thursdays in Odisha is nothing but another feather on Preetinanda Routray’s hat. From being an accomplished Odia singer to living up to the name of her father, Dr. Damodar Rout, Preetinanda has always inspired women around the state. Currently, the Corporator of Ward No. 6 in the North Bhubaneswar Electoral Constituency, time and again Preetinanda has motivated change and development wherever required. She has broken the gender stereotypes in the field of politics and shown to the world how female participation in politics can drive change and bring about development at the grass root levels of as basic an electoral unit as a ward. One can safely assume from her ongoing works and schedules that the role of women in politics is definitely huge. A kind and humble spirit, Preetinanda has a long journey to undertake to become one of the finest women political leaders of Odisha.