On account of International Women’s day, team Urban Tree has meticulously chosen some great women achievers of our country. As we celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women on March 8, this is a series of blogs that feature those strong women of India who have made their way up to become successful by breaking stereotypes!
Suman Sahai is a lady of many talents. She is a scientist, a campaigner, an academic, an agent of change and most important of all a family person. She is armed with a Ph.D in Genetics and years of research experience, she took on the corporate bigwigs and has been on a mission for the rights of the farming community for many years now.
There are only a fortunate few who can follow their dreams and Suman Sahai is one of those lucky few to be able to. Although she hails from a traditional feudal family, her parents never believed in any of the regressive practices that can be seen among such families. Her parents had always encouraged her to study whatever it was she wanted and wherever she had the desire. There were never any real restrictions or any pressure on her to leave her studies and go get married. Back in the days of rural India, only a few parents would have let their daughters make their own choice and study science of all things. But Sahai never had to fight any such battles with her folks. She was always encouraged to explore and find her own path. The clan she belonged to was very progressive and supportive.
Always a Science Enthusiast:
Suman was very excited when the chemistry laboratory finally opened at her school. The very first thing she did was to explore all of the properties of hydrogen peroxide. Experimenting gives her excitement and she would do anything for the fun of exploration. She has shared in one of the article featured by IndiaToday that a friend of hers was initially keen to become a blonde. So one day Suman stuck the friend’s head into a sink that contained hydrogen peroxide to make her a blonde. Although, later, she faced the consequences.
Genetics-the next frontier:
It was lucky for Suman to have completed a Ph.D from Indian Agricultural Research Institute, which is certainly one of the best institutes for genetics across the world. She is part of the generation when genetics was developing. It was a brand new and an exciting new frontier, There were new papers published on a weekly basis and Nobel laureates would often visit her campus to give them lectures.