India is celebrating 70th year of Independence. Although India is much older, but in this post-independence era, the new India has been going forward leaps and bounds on the shoulders of giants who have managed to inspire every Indian through the generations. To celebrate India’s 70th Independence Day, every day, we will bring you seven such people from a different sector. Today, check out seven non-resident Indians who have inspired crores of Indians.
Sunita Williams, yet another Indian-American astronaut, holds the record for most time spent on space walks by a woman. Starting her career with the U.S. Naval Academy, Maryland in 1983, Williams has been an astronaut for NASA in US since 1998. On December 9, 2006, Williams flew aboard the space shuttle Discovery on the STS-116 mission to the ISS, where she was a flight engineer for Expeditions 14 and 15. During her stay at the space station, she made four space walks, totaling more than 29 hours outside the spacecraft, and spent a total of more than 195 days in space, both of which were records for women in space. Williams flew to the ISS again on July 15, 2012, as part of the crew of Soyuz TMA-05M. Her two spaceflights combined lasted more than 321 days, making her second, after American astronaut Peggy Whitson, for the most time spent in space by a woman.
Satya Nadella is an Indian engineer who has joined the league of technological wizards like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates by the virtue of his great work and dedication. After pursuing a degree in ‘Electrical Engineering’ from the reputed ‘Manipal Institute of Technology’, he went on to join the IT giant ‘Microsoft’. One of Satya’s path-breaking accomplishments within the firm was to pave the way for the cloud computing technology. He became a household name in 2014 after being crowned the ‘CEO’ of ‘Microsoft’. His achievements have made Nadella an inspiration for all young aspiring Indians who believe dream to reach the sky with hard work and dedication.
Zubin Mehta is an Indian orchestral conductor and musical director known for his expressiveness on the podium and for his interpretation of the operatic repertoire. Zubin was surrounded by Western music as a child, and at age 18 he began his music studies at the Vienna Academy of Music. In 1958 he won first prize in the Liverpool International Conducting Competition. His reputation grew swiftly. He has been associated with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic Orchestra and Bavarian State Opera many others. Mehta has been music director of several memorable and award winning concerts. He has earned many international awards and honours, including the Kennedy Center Honor for lifetime achievement in the arts (2006) and the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale (2008).
This lady needs no introduction. Born in Karnal, India, she was the first Indian-American astronaut and also the first Indian woman in space. She began working at NASA’s Ames Research Center in 1988. In her career span and two space missions, she spent 30 days, 14 hours, and 54 minutes in space. She was killed in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster along with six other crew members in 2003. India’s first weather satellite was renamed ‘Kalpana-1’ in her honor. She was a role model for many young women internationally and inspired many people to pursue a career in Aerospace Engineering
Skilled film director and producer, Mira Nair is recognized for her films; not only in India but around the world. Although most of her works are documentaries, they never fail to attract local and international audiences. Her critically acclaimed movie, 'Salaam Bombay!' is treated as one of her best works. Mira also made it big with the controversial movie, 'Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love'. Most of her films consist of a unique vision towards the concept and influence of the Indian society. With more than five award winning works, she has earned herself a reputable name in the industry. Apart from film awards, Mira has been conferred the 'Indian Abroad Person Award' for 2007 by Indra Nooyi, the chairperson of PepsiCo.
Amartya Sen is a much-admired, award winning economist, writer and philosopher. A voice of the poor and malnourished, tirelessly engrossed in the problems of the society’s poorest people, he has devised practical solutions to prevent food shortage and starvation. This Nobel laureate has helped create the United Nations Human Development Index and was featured on Time Magazine’s list of ‘World's 50 Most Influential People Who Matter’. A leading intellectual, Sen’s books have been translated in more than thirty languages across the world. Some of his noteworthy publications include, ‘Development as Freedom’, ‘Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlements and Deprivation’, ‘On Economic Inequality’, ‘Inequality Reexamined’, ‘The Argumentative Indian’ and ‘The Idea of Justice’
Consistently ranked among the top 10 most powerful women by Forbes over the years, Indra Nooyi is the CEO of the second largest beverage company of the world, PepsiCo. As a CEO she has restructured PepsiCo, administered its Performance with Purpose strategy and has been instrumental in increasing PepsiCo’s annual revenues by several billion dollars. She is a great professional with enrapturing set of skills which make each Indian proud.