From a Salesgirl to the Defence Minister of India: The Extraordinary Story of Nirmala Sitharaman

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Nirmala Sitharaman
Image Source: DNA Edit

It is not possible to celebrate the spirit of womanhood within a single day. Every day must be utilized to celebrate the unshakable strength of women, which is why today we bring you the extraordinary story of Nirmala Sitharaman, the esteemed defence minister of India.

The story of Nirmala Sitharaman has broken the glass ceiling and she is living proof that nothing is impossible to achieve with hard work and integrity. From being an employee at PricewaterhouseCoopers to being the first woman to head the Defence Ministry after Indira Gandhi, is an awe-inspiring journey in itself.

Humble Beginnings

Sitharaman was born on 18 August 1959. After completing her graduation from the Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College in Tiruchirapalli, Sitharamam enrolled herself in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi to pursue a Masters degree in Economics. It was during her days at JNU that she fell in love with Parakala Prabhakar, the son of Parakala Seshavataram, an minister from Andra Pradesh in the 1970s.

After finishing her Master degree from JNU, Nirmala Sitharaman went on to join the London School of Economics to complete her PhD. During her stay in London, she also worked as a sales girl at a home décor shop in Regent Street while pursuing her PhD. Apart from that, she also worked at PWC as an analyst and as a translator in the Tamil division of BBC Radio.

Back To the Roots

In 1991, Sitharaman came back to India with her husband and child. While her husband and family were decade-long supporters of the Congress Party, she decided to go against the grain and joined the BJP in 2005. After five years in the party she was made the spokesperson for the BJP and after the party won in the 2014 general elections, Sitharaman was brought into the Prime Minister’s cabinet as the MoS Commerce Ministry.

Once during an interview, she stated that the best advice that she received was to always choose the middle path to maintain equanimity. She further added that she tries not to go to extreme or become too compliant as that results in the person becoming either too aggressive or losing their dignity altogether.

The journey from being a salesgirl in London to the Defence Minister is an inspiring one and is a perfect example of what the spirit of womanhood and feminism is all about.

Image Source: DNA India


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Sananya Datta

Sananya is a passionate writer and an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction. Apart from that, she is also a blogger, an amateur photographer, and a professional web content creator. When not writing, Sananya can be found playing with her pets and binging on travel blogs. Connect with Sananya on Instagram and Twitter