Free Press Journal

Bhopal: Dreamers and doers, Women who did city proud in 2016


BHOPAL:  The year 2016 saw some women of the city script success stories. Women from all walks of life and of all age-groups proved that if you are dedicated and empathetic towards others, nothing can come in your way. Interestingly, all these women are dedicated to bring a change in the society by contributing their part in helping the deprived.


Shibani Ghosh, Parvarish Museum School

Parvasrish Museum school started with the idea of teaching children and serving society but today it has become an inspiration for the entire world. The school which believes in teaching children practically and not theoretically was awarded as the most innovative school by UNESCO this year. Shibani Ghosh started teaching children of slum areas 11 years ago with few children coming to her classes but today she also provides vocational training to these children. “Wenhui Award of UNESCO was never my dream but yes this award has given us wings to do lot a better than what we do now. For me New Year is spreading happiness and like every year my resolution is to help every child who needs me and Parvarish”, she said.

Kanupriya Gupta, Aarushi

The 17-year-old editor of a kid’s newspaper ‘The Peace Gong’ and child rights activist Kanupriya Gupta was nominated for International Children’s Peace Award. Selected among 120 children from across the world, Kanupriya though did not win the award but won hearts by making Bhopal proud by being the only girl from Madhya Pradesh to be nominated for this award. At such a young age, Kanupriya is dedicated towards teaching specially-abled children Braille and other activities through Aarushi and also encourages them to lead a normal life. Kanupriya, talking about 2016 said that she never thought that she would be nominated for the award. “It is a prestigious award as one of my idols Malala Yousafzai was its winner in 2013. Since childhood I have been associated with Aarushi and it is like my second home. Students there are my family. I never wanted to win any award for what I do. I serve there, only because I love doing it”, she says.

Ravisha Merchant, Interior designer

Ravisha is not a new name for the city but very few know that when it comes to her art, she prefers local art and artists and that is why she was featured in The Discovery India Channel’s show ‘India My Way’. Her passion towards restoring the heritage palace of Alipura got her recognition. For restoring the 150-year-old building, she took help only from local artists. “Local artists are underestimated here but I know after working with them that they are highly skilled and talented. I try to incorporate local artists wherever I go for restoration because that benefits me only. I don’t have to tell them what to do because they know it already; I just have to tell them how to do it. 2016 became more special after the show as my work got acknowledged worldwide through Discovery Channel”, she said.

Aruna Shrivastav, Mountaineer and Career Counsellor

Climbing to Mount Everest base camp alone made her the super hero of city girls. Trekking along 5400 meters in Nepal, Aruna not only fulfilled her dream of touching the Everest but also made friends in Nepal. “People there are so humble and sweet that even after travelling alone I didn’t feel unsafe at all. 2016 taught me that working towards your dream is very important irrespective how illogical it may sound. I have now decided to make every girl confident and follow her dream. I counsel students to take up their weirdest dreams as a challenge”, she said.

Pooja Bimrah, Miss World Heritage 2nd runner up 2015

Before trying her luck in Miss India Heritage, Pooja knew nothing about ramp and modeling. Learning through YouTube and other online sources and rehearsing till the late night paid off when she represented India in Miss World Heritage in 2015 and emerged the second runner up. Presently she is representing India in Miss City Tourism in China. The list of her achievements does not end here. She also does social work. “2016 taught me to be independent as I shifted to a new city. Since my childhood I was in Bhopal and this was the first time I moved out of city alone. I want the women to be more informed about the world and their rights in 2017 and I want young girls to realise the importance of being empowered and independent.” she said.