Category Archives: successful woman

Flying high


Telugu girl Anny divya has become the youngest woman commander in the world to fly a Boeing 777

Born to Telugu parentsin Pathankot Anny Divya  spent her formative years in Vijayawada.  ‘ I did my schooling and Class XII in Vijayawada where my mother hails from while my father [ an ex army man] is from Warangal.  Since childhood I was fascinated with becoming a pilot. In fact I remember when a teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up my list of goals has pilot on top which eventually became a reality” she says with a smile.

Divya learnt about pilot training at the Rashtriya Uran Akademi in Uttar Pradesh and started preparing for the All India entrance test. “ Getting into the Academy was difficult as I had to clear the test  but I was really keen on getting into the pilot training course. Luckily the education system in Andhra Pradesh was good and I was good at academics so I could crack the exam and make it” she shares.

Apparently one of her English teachers helped her prepare for the interview.  ‘ One interviewer asked me what Vijayawada famous for while another asked if I would be comfortable wearing trousers during the training since I wore a salwar kameez for the interview she recalls.

Coming from a small town, adjusting to the new environment was challenging, admits Divya. “Getting used to the English pronunciation was difficult. The way North Indians speak is also different, and although I studied in an English medium school, nobody spoke much of English in college. Also, getting used to the diverse culture was a tough. However, my parents supported me a lot, and my determination helped me overcome all difficulties,” she says.

After her course, Divya was posted with Air India in Mumbai. “At 19, I went to Spain to train on a Boeing 737 Jet aircraft for a couple of years. Later, I was trained in Boeing 777 in London, and became the youngest woman in the world to fly as a commander of a Boeing 777,” she recalls.

Ask her how life changed after becoming a pilot, and Divya replies, “A lot has changed!” She adds, “After overcoming the initial hurdles, I learnt a lot.. I have to be on my toes at all times as we have to get used to the changing technology and stay focussed. My thought process has also changed and I am optimistic about all aspects of life. Also, I feel being connected to one’s roots is important.”

Divya operates as captain on international flights, and has flown to more than 30 countries. She has also pursued her B.Sc., Aviation and LLB. She divides free time between singing and dancing.

Courtesy    Deccan chronicle



19-year-old Chennai girl Neerajakshi chats about winning Nodojiman – The World, a music competition held in Japan for non-native singers

She’s called Neerajakshi by family and friends. In the online world though, she prefers the name ‘Yami’.

It’s the name she used when she attempted voice-overs for an online Japanese voice-acting group. That was in 2015, a little after she discovered a passion for the Japanese language. Today, Neerajakshi Sunder Rajan — a 19-year-old who is currently undergoing articleship at a chartered accountancy firm — is the first Indian to have won top honours at Nodojiman – The World, a competition in which contestants from various countries are invited to sing Japanese pop songs.

It’s show time

Her first tryst with the Japanese world started when she was very young, when she used to follow anime (a style of film and television animation). “Initially, my sister and I used to watch them just for fun,” recalls Neerajakshi, “They were quite entertaining.” Slowly, the siblings got obsessed with the themes and characters in the shows. “Naruto and Cardcaptor Sakura were two of my favourites,” she smiles.

It soon became dinner-time discussion for Neeraja and her sister Sindhuja. They even started picking up bits and pieces of the language. “We loved interacting in Japanese… from whatever we picked up from these shows,” she recalls, “Of course, back then, we didn’t know if we were speaking it the right way.”

Tune in

It was early this year, after she’d completed her CA inter, that she came across an online post about a Japanese singing competition called Nodojiman – The World. A trained Carnatic musician herself (her father, Delhi P Sunder Rajan, is a renowned violinist), she checked out a few pop songs and picked them up surprisingly well. “I submitted three songs as audio files and forgot all about it,” she says. But an e-mail came soon, requesting her to send videos of her singing. “I then came to know the magnitude of this competition and that there were more than 20,000 applicants from all over the world.”

In a few weeks came another mail from the organisers, that took Neerajakshi by surprise. She was not only chosen for the competition — which meant an all-paid trip to Japan — but was also the only Indian in the event that had contestants from USA, Belgium, Norway and the Philippines, among others.


Girl power


Two girls from the Telugu states have made it big at an international platform beating European weightlifting veterans in their own country.

It’s not easy waking up at wee hours training three times a day—- without any support from the state federation. But Budumuru Rajeswari and Boddenpalli Rajya Laxmi fully on private sponsorship took part in the 14th international women weightlifting Grand Prix event in Nagold Germany which concluded recently and clinched gold medal in their respective categories.

“ It was the first time that Indian women weightlifters tookpart in this event and getting such great results was beyond expectation “ says Rajya Laxmi who got gold in the 90 kg plus category.  Agreeing with her Rajeswari says “ Our federation was not quite eager to send us to any international event  they thought we will not stand a chance against European champions.  Proving them wrong and beating former Olympians gave me a great boost.  Now I don’t want to stop I want to train for the selection round of Commonwealth Games that’s scheduled for next year.

At the Grand Prix 108 weightlifters from 18 countries participated with around eight contestants in each category and beating them all is a great achievement feels their coach Raja Sekhar who accompanied them.  Talking about their journey from national to international tournaments he says “ they trained hard for this tournament as they had to maintain a certain diet and weight.  Seeing their hard work  C B R Prasad agreed to sponsor us for the entire tournament. They trained with me at the CBR Academy of Sports and Education Gollor near shamshabad airport”.  He adds “ if our sportspersons get a chance to participate in such international championships only then will they get the opportunity to mingle with other great champions.  Such experiences matters.”

For both Rajya Laxmi and Rajeshwari the win means a lot more than a medal. “ I was a four time national champion but had to quit weightlifting after marriage.  I came back to the sport a year ago. Since then I am taking one step at a time.  Initially my family wasn’t keen to allow me to continue with the sport but with my consistent effort they agreed.  Now after the win they are elated” she says.

On the other hand Rajeshwari’s family was in full support of her endeavours.  “ Former Olympian weightlifter Karnam Malleswari is from our village in Srikakulam and my parents knew the value of weightlifting.  So when I showed interest in the sport in class VII they readily agreed” she says.

Both Rajya Laxmi and Rajeshwari were joined by twenty one year old.  Tejavath Sukanya who secured the sixth position in the 75 kg  category at the same event. When they are not training they like to watch television for their daily dose of entertainment.


Courtesy  Deccan Chronicle


While tall skyscrapers and luxurious penthouse suites are in trend, city architect Rashmi Tiwari opted for responsible, sustainable building. She designed a restroom using only plastic bottles filled with mud, at Dr Ambedkar Government School, Langer House.

She chose plastic bottles because they are one of the biggest pollutants plaguing the Earth and she wanted to put them to better use. “I came to know that only one out five bottles are being recycled and rest land into landfills,” Rashmi said. “So I thought it is better to use those bottles in my construction, instead. The one litre bottles were collected from various dump yards and filled with mud, compacted, capped and used in place of conventional bricks to make the washroom. For the binding we used mud and cow dung.”

Not only did this idea maintain the environment, but it cut the costs of building as well. “Instead of around Rs 25,000, we made do with Rs 18,000 only,” she said.

The washroom was made within 10 days and was put under observation for few days to see if it was sustainable or not. “Plastic is a very tough material and through our testing, it stood  the ground even when faced with adverse environmental conditions,” Rashmi said.

According to her, the cost effective, environment friendly washrooms can be made anywhere. “I am in talks with GHMC and other municipalities to create environment friendly structures in rural areas, primarily into health care segment,” she added.

Speaking about her background, the UP born Hyderabad settler said, “When I had started studying architecture, I knew that I didn’t want to make skyscrapers but something for the underprivileged and give back to the society. Therefore, I did my specialisation in environmental design.”

While her parents disapproved of her goals in the beginning, they are now proud of Rashmi’s success as an architect. 



19th century’s last human is no more

London  April 16  The world’s oldest person believed to be the last known living individual to be born in the 19th century  has passed away at the age of 117.

Born on 29th November 1899 Emma Martina Luigia Morano from Italy held the Guinness World Records titles for oldest living person and oldest living woman.

Morano who passed away on Saturday was confirmed at holding both Guinness World Records titles in May last year following research conducted by the Gerontology Research Group

Raised in Vercelli the oldest of eight siblings Morano later moved to Verbania on the shores of Lake Maggiore  Italy where she remained for the majority of her life.  She followed the same extraordinary diet for around 90 years  three eggs per day  [ two raw one cooked ]  fresh Italian pasta and a dish of raw meat only changing her routine within the final years of her life.

Morano was engaged to a man who died during the First World War.  She got married to another man in 1926 but chose to end the abusive marriage after her six month old child passed away. She never got married again.

She survived the loss of her  only son lived through two World Wars and more than90 Italian governments.  Morano was five years younger than the oldest person ever Jeanne Louise Calment who lived 122 years  164 days according to the Guinness World Records. According to a list kept by the Geronotology Research Group Violet Brown from Jamaica who was born in 1900 is now the oldest living person.

The oldest living man is Holocaust survivor Israel Kristal who celebrated his 113th birthday in September last year.


Courtesy     Deccan  Chronicle

A 320 km journey for cleanliness

Tejaswi Podapati has become a sensation in Ongole. After all this IT employee has changed the face of her city so much so that due to her efforts  the city has been declared a poster free city.  The 23 year old has always had an eye for social work. It was the encouragement from her father and the discussions with him that pushed her to go ahead to start Bhoomi Foundation in 2015 with just 10 volunteers most of whom were family and friends.

“ Right from college I was involved in a lot of social projects but I wanted to take up something bigger and then got inspired by the work of The Ugly Indian in Bengaluru. It was on October 15  2015  on the birthday of DR A P J Abdul Kalam that we started our work. The scenario in cities like Bengaluru and Hyderabad is different from the state in Ongole.  It’s a small town where everyone seems to know everyone and such cleaning was looked upon as something embarrassing” shares Tejaswi.

Initially the response that she got was mixed. “ Some encouraged us and others looked at us like we were clowns. We cleaned the walls and got rid of posters. Eventually we support from the authorities. In fact when film posters were reappearing on walls that we cleaned  the municipal commissioner fought for us.  The MLA too had come to join us. We didn’t ask for any funds and we were doing it all by ourselves. We just needed the authorities to co operate. We got great help in that regard. What more could we ask for “ she shares.

With more than 700 volunteers so far  IT employees  college and school students and a lot of middle aged people in tow  she has completed more than 80 projects where they cleaned up parks hospitals schools the collectorate and other buildings. However there’s one glitch.  “ we don’t get any funds. My father usually bears most of the funds. However a local businessman helped us with one lakh rupees and we spent them on flower pots to decorate a main road. On New Year’s Eve someone destroyed them.  We took it to the authorities but there has been no response” she rues.

Alongside this she loves the fact that they are inspiring others.  “ People have been asking us to come to their towns to start a clean up drive there. We’re planning to begin work in Kukatpally and Hitec City soon” she says.

Courtesy     Deccan chronicle.