INDIRA GANDHI The first female Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi has graced many a stamp—not just in India, but also internationally. She was known for her iron will, and is among the most noteworthy politicians in the world. In fact, in 1999, she was named ‘Woman of the Millennium’ in a BBC poll.
MOTHER TERESA In 1950, she founded the Missionaries of Charity—a religious congregation that manages homes for people suffering from tuberculosis, leprosy and HIV/ AIDS. Also known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta, she received the 1962 Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize and the 1972 Nobel Peace Prize.
PANDITA RAMABAI A pioneer in education and the emancipation of women in India, she was the first woman to be accorded the titles of Pandita (a Sanskrit scholar) and Saraswati by the University of Calcutta. She was one of the 10 women delegates at the Congress session in 1889, and the Founder of Mukti Mission, a home for destitute women and children.
MIRABAI The first Indian woman to grace a postal stamp, Mirabai was a royal, who gave up her privileges to become a Krishna devotee. One of the key saints of the Bhakti Movement, Mirabai’s bhajans, dedicated to the supreme lord, turned her into an icon.
SAROJINI NAIDU A noted poet (which earned her the title, Nightingale of India) and an independence activist, Sarojini Naidu became the President of the Indian National Congress in 1925, and was also the first woman to be appointed the Governor of the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh).
ARUNA ASAF ALI An independence activist, Aruna Asaf Ali was dubbed as the Heroine of the Quit India Movement as she put things in motion by hoisting the flag at the Gowalia Tank maidan in Bombay in 1942. Post independence, Aruna remained active in politics, and also became Delhi’s first Mayor.
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IN SEASON Chickpeas (GARBANZO BEANS)
Chickpeas appear in early recordings in Turkey well over 5000 years ago. India produces the most chickpeas worldwide but they are grown in more than 50 countries. An excellent source of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, B vitamins, and some minerals, they are a nutritious staple of many diets. The name chickpea comes from the Latin word cancer, referring to the plant family of legumes, Fabaceae. It is also known by its popular Spanish-derived name, the garbanzo bean. Kidney beans, black beans, lima beans, and peanuts are other familiar foods found in this legume family.