Whether it’s in the field of sports, entertainment, business, or art, Indians have been known to create extraordinary milestones with their achievements on a global scale. From the display of athletic excellence at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games, where India won 61 medals, to Indian actors like Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Ranveer Singh making waves internationally, we’ve got a lot to be proud over.
As we celebrate India’s 75th Independence Day, we decided to round up some of the most notable achievers of the past couple of years to highlight the diversity of Indian talent worldwide. This, by no means, is a complete list as so many Indians have gone on to achieve incredible milestones across various fields.
Neeraj Chopra became a household name in the country after he won the top spot in the men’s javelin throw at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and bagged India’s first gold in the category. The star athlete then displayed exemplary sportsmanship regarding his competitor Pakistani athlete Arshad Nadeem, despite severe backlash back at home.
The gorgeous Chandigarh-resident brought home the Miss Universe title in 2021, 21 years after Lara Dutta won the title. Since winning the title, the pageant winner has been advocating for equal rights for women and spreading awareness for women’s health and hygiene across the country.
Young filmmaker Shaunak Sen’s All That Breathes became the only Indian film to win at the Cannes this year. The documentary won the prestigious L’Oeil d’Or, or the top documentary award at the festival. The 90-minute documentary followed the lives of two siblings who rescue and treat injured birds out of their dilapidated basement in Delhi’s Wazirabad.
Mumbai-based visual artist Anand Radhakrishnan won the Will Eisner Comic Industry Award for Best Painter/Multimedia Artist for illustrating British author Ram V’s graphic novel Blue in Green. The award is colloquially known as the ‘Oscars of the Comic World’. Ramakrishnan’s rendition of the horror-themed narrative about a young musician’s journey towards becoming a creative genius scored him the award. He is the first Indian artist to win the prestigious award.
Much before she wowed the world with her superlative performance in the Commonwealth Games 2022, Manipur-native Saikhom Mirabai Chanu won India a Silver medal at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. She scored the medal in the women’s 49 kg weightlifting category. She also snagged India’s first Gold medal at the CWG this time around.
In 2021, aeronautical engineer Sirisha Bandla became the second Indian-born woman to go to space. The Andhra Pradesh native was amongst the six passengers on the Virgin Galactica Unity 22 spaceflight, which was the world’s first fully-crewed suborbital test flight. After Kalpana Chawla, Bandla is the second Indian woman and fourth person of Indian descent to go into space.
Geetanjali Shree’s novel The Tomb of Sands became the first Hindi novel to ever win the 2022 International Man Booker Prize. The novel, which has been translated to English by Daisy Rockwell, follows an 80-year-old woman who goes on a journey to Pakistan to confront the demons of her past.
Leena Nair joined the ranks of executives like Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadella in becoming the few Indian-origin business leaders at the helm of top global companies. Nair has been appointed as the CEO of French luxury fashion house Chanel, becoming the brand’s first female CEO. Prior to this, she was the first female and youngest-ever Chief Human Resource Officer of Unilever.
Priyanka Mohite became the first Indian woman to climb five peaks above 8,000 meters. The mountaineer has scaled the summits of Mount Kanchenjunga, Mount Everest, Mount Lhotse, Mount Makalu, and Mount Annapurna 1. She has also received the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award for her extraordinary achievements as a mountaineer.