Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav: Indian changemakers we should know about

Indian independence's anniversary year has prompted everyone to look back into the history and commemorate those individuals who have contributed greatly toward betterment of India.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Friday, August 12, 2022, 04:11 PM IST
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Dr Vikram Sarabhai and Bibi Amrit Kaur Ahluwalia | FPJ

Indian independence's anniversary year is being celebrated with much fanfare by the entire nation. This has also prompted everyone to look back into the history and commemorate those individuals who have contributed greatly toward betterment of India.

When systems are created, there are folks who disrupt the same like ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan did. He like APJ Abdul Kalam changed the face of India's space expeditions.

Here are some other changemakers we should celebrate.

Bibi Amrit Kaur Ahluwalia

First Union Health Minister of India, Amrit Kaur was an instrumental force who changed the healthcare in India. Kaur who was an activist and politician was instrumental in setting up National Institute of Sports in Patiala, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi. She raised the funds for its establishment from New Zealand, Australia, West Germany, Sweden and the US.

She not only contributed to the establishment of long-lasting democratic healthcare systems but also served as an example for future generations of activists.

However, the malaria campaign was her biggest as Minister of Health. It was believed that the reduction of malaria in their districts had rescued 400,000 Indians who would have otherwise perished. She also began campaign against tuberculosis and started BCG vaccination programme in world.

Savitribai Phule

Savitribai Phule is known for pioneering the women’s rights movement in India way before it became the norm. She started the first-ever school for women Pune in 1848.

During her career, she founded 17 schools throughout the nation. She founded three schools that educated 150 girls between them till 1851. Additionally, Savitribai and Jyotirao established schools for Dalit and pupils from lower castes.

Savitribai was fond of poetry as well, she used the art form to further her causes of women's education and eradication of untouchability.

Dr Vikram Sarabhai

Vikram Sarabhai, known as the "Father of India's Space Programme," was instrumental in the establishment of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) after successfully convincing the Indian government of the importance of a space programme for a developing nation following the launch of the Russian Sputnik.

In 1966, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, and after his death in 1972, he was awarded the Padma Vubhushan. While everyone is aware of his primary role in the establishment of ISRO, many of us may be unaware that he was also instrumental in the establishment of many other prestigious Indian institutes, most notably the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) and the Nehru Foundation for Development.

Manmohan Singh

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the renowned economist, credited with bringing in sweeping reforms in the 1990s.

The economic reforms kick-started in 1991 brought about expansion of the services sector helped largely by a liberalised investment and trade regime.

Under his leadership, the Indian government kickstarted the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), a social security programme that aims to provide livelihood, subsistence, and employment to rural communities and labourers. By guaranteeing a minimum of 100 days of fixed-wage employment over the course of a year, the NREGA provides rural families with income security.

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