K.R. Meera, an established writer in Malayalam, is well noted for the intensity of her writings. Resides in Kottayam, the 47 year old Meera is the author of many prominent writings in Malayalam that deals with femininity and the distress of human life. Her first collection of stories, Ormayude Njarambu which was published in 2002, marked the beginning of her writing career. Since then Meera has a number of novels and short story collections published in her name. Women play central roles in most of her stories.
There is nothing more satisfying than the sight of a confident woman. The people who regularly wander around the cityscapes of Trivandrum would have seen a woman with a camera moving around in full swing. US Rakhi, probably the first woman photojournalist in Kerala is present almost everywhere in the capital city with the camera around her neck.
Science in India is still a highly male-dominated profession. The nominal representation of women in various fields of science substantiates this argument. But Tessy Thomas, 54 year old engineer from Alappuzha has earned several achievements against the hegemonies. She is the major brain behind India’s latest Agni missiles (IV & V). In his inaugural speech at the Indian Science Congress in 2012, the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh commented on Tessy Thomas as “the woman making her mark in a traditionally male bastion and decisively breaking the glass ceiling”.
Hails from the Kottayam district of Kerala, Mary Roy is a well known women’s rights activist in Kerala. She is well noted for winning a lawsuit against the inheritance of family property of Syrian Christian community in Kerala. She won the suit in 1986 in the Supreme Court. The verdict was a result of the Public Interest Litigation that she filed in the Supreme Court in 1984. In that, Mary Roy demanded for equal rights for both female and male children over the family property of their parents.
Vasanthakumari is known as ‘Asia’s first lady bus driver’. She was born in the Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu. After completing her 24 years of service in the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation, she retires from service on April, 2017. She had been driving on the Nagercoil-Trivandrum for years. She started this profession in the early 1990s and was appointed in government service on March, 1993. A woman driving a heavy vehicle was quite a novel sight for the people back then. As a result she was subjected to bullying and harassments by the onlookers and colleagues.
Sheeba Ameer, a Thrissur based social worker, is the founder of Solace- a 10 year old organization that provides financial, medical and psychological support for patients diagnosed with cancer and other threatening diseases. Her daughter Nilufar who died of cancer is the major spark behind this initiative. Nilufar was diagnosed with cancer in 1997. On the years that followed her daughter’s treatment, Sheeba has encountered several patients and their families who struggled hard to arrange the financial means for the treatment.
K. Saraswathi Amma is one of the earlier women writers in Malayalam. Her writings are noted for its feminist ideology and use of black humor. She was born in 1919 in Thiruvananthapuram. She can be considered as a pioneer figure of feminist literature in Malayalam. Her writings were extremely intense that it is difficult to find such a refined writer even these days. Her first collection of short stories was published in 1938. She talks about feminism in a time were the idea was still novel to the people. So rather than being called as a feminist, she was known to be a man-hater/anti-male.
The revolutionary political singer from Alappuzha, PK Medini was once the sound of revolution in Kerala. In the time of communist uprisings in the state, her songs were unavoidable in most the party meetings and other programs. Medini was born in 1933 into a family that strongly supports the communist ideology. So her public life began at a very tender age. She started performing her songs of revolt on various stages which inspire many people across the state.
Fousiya is a female football coach from Kozhikode district of Kerala. The veteran footballer is associated with the Kerala Sports Council. She has been coaching the girls of Nadakkavu Girls Higher Secondary School for over 15 years. Coming from Kozhikode, a district in Kerala well known for its love for football, Fousiya was also passionate about the game since her childhood. Many of her students have made their way into national as well as international teams including Nikhila and Ashly who have represented the country in various matches.
Baby, a native of Kochi is noted for the profession she chose for an income. She chose to do one of the toughest professions that most of the people, irrespective of gender, would dare to take up. Baby is a grave digger. She began doing this job at the age of 17. This profession has been passed on to Baby from her mother Kunjamma who was also a gravedigger. When her mother fell ill, Baby took up the job and said to have buried more than 15,000 corpses till date.