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International Women's Day - Season 1 - E8 Durga Bhabhi

Married to a revolutionary at the age of 11, Durgavati Vohra was literally raised in an atmosphere that preached self-reliance, active rebellion and resistance of the British in every manner possible. Durga bhabhi was actively involved in planning and execution of several of the HSRA’s activities. One of the few women who were the core members of the group, Durga bhabhi is best known for having traveled undercover with Bhagat Singh when the British police was on the lookout for him in relation to the murder of Saunders.

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    Married to a revolutionary at the age of 11, Durgavati Vohra was literally raised in an atmosphere that preached self-reliance, active rebellion and resistance of the British in every manner possible. Durga bhabhi was actively involved in planning and execution of several of the HSRA’s activities. One of the few women who were the core members of the group, Durga bhabhi is best known for having traveled undercover with Bhagat Singh when the British police was on the lookout for him in relation to the murder of Saunders.

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    Sharan Kaur- The Warrior Spy: Sharni was an 18 year old Hindu girl living in the North West frontier province. Kidnapped on her wedding by a group of fierce dacoits, Sharni was freed by the army of Hari Singh Nalwa, the great commander of the Sikh empire. Grateful to Nalwa for having been freed her from doom, Sharni took up Sikhism and became Sharangat Kaur, a Khalsa warrior and a shrewd spy. At a time when Nalwa was facing the ferocious Pathan tribes of the north east and their cruel leader, Dost Mohammad, Sharan braved to go where no Sikh man would go.

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    This episode throws light on a weapon-based Indian martial art, Mardaani khel which originated in Maharashtra around the early 1600s. The Maratha's were known to be homespun warriors whose martial art was distinctive as it employed the use of Pata (sword) and Vita (corded lance). Mardaani khel rose to prominence under the leadership of Shivaji who relied on the guerilla tactics of Maratha units. As with many of India's combat sports, Mardaani khel gradually declined in popularity during the colonial period when firearms were more widely adopted. However, as the 18th century British colonists recognized the military qualities of the Maratha people and in 1768 the Maratha Light Infantry regiment was formed which still exists. It is the oldest and most renowned regiment in the Indian army. Today, Mardani Khel is considered to be a performing art and a reminder of the valiant heritage of the Marathas.

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    At times, the urge to achieve a goal also culminates into several obstacles and situations in life. But the real spirit of an athlete lays in overcoming the hurdles and rising over it. One such determined athlete is the Odisha-born, professional sprinter and current national champion: Dutee Chand. Inspired and supported into the world of sprinting by her sister Saraswati Chand, Dutee was a strong-willed sportswoman since childhood. Getting pulled down from being qualified to the Commonwealth Games contingent in 2014, due to hyperandrogenism rules set down by Athletic Federation of India, was a huge traumatic incident in her life that brought about a pause in her athletic career. But she decided to fight against all odds and get justice with the support of many gender activists, former athletes and her resolute coach and Dronacharya Awardee Nagpuri Ramesh who condemned the decision, ultimately leading Court of Arbitration for Sports to revoke the hyperandrogenism suspension in 2015. Our star host Virender Sehwag delves deeper into her inspirational story and her journey from an amateur athlete to a professional sprinter on Umeed India.

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    Shoot for Gold – the only mantra Ayonika Paul recites. She attempted air rifle shooting as a hobby but eventually it turned out to be her passion and profession. An expensive sport which requires specialized training and sophisticated equipment, Ayonika Paul has managed to make it her own at a very young age. Besides shooting she also has a scholastic ambition of being an engineer. Our star host Virender Sehwag delves deeper into what makes Ayonika Paul a true Olympian. Watch her inspiring story on #UmeedIndia with Virender Sehwag.

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    An ordinary girl with extraordinary dreams. From Bahadurpur to the Olympics, she crossed the threshold of her village and made it all the way to the most coveted arena in the world. Despite being from a conservative family, she managed to convince her father to let her play the sport of Javelin Throw and became the first Indian woman to qualify for the Athletics World Champions. She is a five times national record holder and the first Indian woman to cross the 60m mark. Our star host Virender Sehwag gives us a glimpse of Javelin Throw as a sport and Anu Rani’s incredible journey.

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    The name Phogat is known beyond just the wrestling circuits of India. It is a household story of courage and determination. From the family that has given some of our best wrestlers is Vinesh Phogat, introduced to wrestling by her uncle Mahavir Phogat when she only 7 years old. She won multiple accolades in the international wrestling arena including a gold medal from Common Wealth Games 2014 and a fantastic show at the Rio Olympics 2016, cut short by a heartbreaking injury. In the third episode of Umeed India, our host Virender Sehwag meets Vinesh to uncover her inspiring journey, fan her ambitions and the hopes of a billion people.

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    Ever since Rio 2016, Sakshi Malik is a household name. Hailing from Haryana, Sakshi ended India's wait for a medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games by pulling off a sensational triumph with the bronze to her credit. In the fifth episode of Umeed India, sports icon Virender Sehwag explores the journey of this inspiring athlete and outlines her career and personal trajectory that paved her path from Rohtak to Rio.

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    Sakshi looks for her mother's prized recipe diary, the invaluable gift she was was given when she left home to come and work in Mumbai. She decides that she will celebrate one festival a week based on the recipes in her mother's book. She decides to begin this journey by celebrating 'Ganesh Chaturthi'. She makes Modak and Pappaya ka halwa.

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    E2 Onam

    22 Min

    Sakshi reminisces about living in a joint family and the quirks it comes with. She remembers the chaos in just deciding the day's menu. She talks about their neighbour Gayatri auntie and her Onasadhya, she decided to celebrate Onam. She makes pineapple pachadi, pulinji, kalan and rice.

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    Sakshi finds interesting recipes related to Eid in her mother's diary and decides to celebrate Eid, her friend Ali Asgar comes to celebrate Eid with her. She makes Shahi tukda, date and tamarind chutney and veg hare bhare kebab.

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    E27 Holi

    24 Min

    It's the occasion of Holi and Sakshi can't stop singing! She prepares Thandai from soaked almonds, melon seeds, pistachios, poppy seeds and milk. Sakshi is joined by her friend Kanu who gets impressed by Sakshi's cooking. They make Gujiya and recall the joy of preparing festive delicacies in a group. Sakshi also shares a few mythological stories about the festival. More college friends join them and also make Aloo Tikki ki chaat. Later, Sakshi has a surprise planned for the friends, as she initiates the playful holi celebration with colourful gulaal before the girls sit to enjoy the sweet and savoury Holi fare.

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    Festivals call for freshly made, hot, tasty food. But among these is one which forbids the eating of just that, and instead asks for a day-old food. Dedicated to Sheetla Devi, Basoda is one such festival, on which you eat 'Basi' dishes. But it's only those recipes which don't spoil easily and are still delicious. Sakshi tells us the origin of this seemingly odd festival mostly celebrated in Rajasthan. She prepares a Basoda special sabzi known as ker sangri. To go with the ker sangria is the multigrain roti with spices - misi roti. She also makes a savory bajre ki raab that she would have as a child on this day.

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    The presence of so many communities in India doesn't just mean numerous festivals, but also several New Year celebrations! Sakshi starts her New Year celebration by making Ugadi Pachadi. It's a preparation from Andhra Pradesh and also part of a ritual bhog. To celebrate the Maharashtrian new year Gudi Padwa, she makes the very local Kothimbir Vadi. Sakshi is excited to host her friend Renuka Shahane and welcomes her with a Marathi greeting. Renuka describes the Gudi Padwa day as is spent in her Marathi home. They make Shrikhand together and also recreate a mini version of the traditional Gudi.

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    On the occasion of Easter, Sakshi invites some children home to celebrate it with her. She makes an Easter special Simnel cake wirth marzipan, dry fruits and tutti-frutti. She also makes a quinoa salad and some tasty hasselback potatoes.

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    Sakshi celebrates Akshaya Tritiya by doing what she does best, telling stories and cooking delicious food. She narrates the story of Hrishabhdev and that of Krishna and Sudama. The celebration is complete once Kangni Kheer made in sugarcane juice and besan ke gatte are on the table.

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    They say that the Mahabharata has a story in it about virtually every theme in the world and Sakshi plans to make recipes related to this epic saga. She first cooks Avial, a mix vegetable preparation with grated coconut - a dish believed to be innovated by the mighty Bheem. She also makes Mungphali ki Kheer as a tribute to the slain warriors of Mahabharata while sharing an interesting story around it.

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    They thought their lives came to an end. That was the stigma the attackers wanted to sow into the minds of these ambitious souls. But as it is said that the end is just a new beginning, they gathered all their torn pieces and stitched them into dreams. Dreams that their creations would be hanging on hangers one day. Rupa's Boutique is a tale of survival & of the spirit of creation that acid attacks failed to destroy.

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    Sushmita Banerjee is the story of a young Bengali girl who moved to Afghanistan after marrying a Pathan. Defying her parents, Sushmita eloped to her husband's hometown only to discover that he was already married! He soon abandoned her and left for Calcutta. Sushmita tried to rebuild her life in the tiny hamlet of Afghanistan by starting a small clinic, where she treated Afghani women. However, with the rise of the Taliban, the clinic was forcefully shut down and Sushmita was punished for defying religious laws. Sushmita's escape story unfolds as she tries to reach Calcutta despite having few allies in the foreign nation and has a death warrant issued in her name.

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    E3 Women

    28 Min

    From rulers like Rani Lakshmi Bai & Razia Sultan to Savitribai Phule & Sarojini Naidu, India's history is full of women who have distinguished themselves. Explore the top ten most powerful Women in Indian history.

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    A Sufi poet, a princess by birth, a children's author, Noor Inayat Khan grew up in the midst of the growing Sufi movement in Europe. But as World War II drew close, Noor walks into the most dangerous post in all of Paris, that of the sole link between the rebel groups of France and their support system in England. Running an entire circuit all by herself, the Sufi princess, a misfit in the army and a most unlikely secret agent grows into one of the bravest SOE member.

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    Saraswathi Rajamani - Netaji's Spy: Born to a wealthy Indian family in Burma that actively supported the non-violent path preached by Gandhi, Saraswathi at the age of 10 decided that for India to be truly independent, force would be required and the perpetrators of injustice must be made to pay for their crimes. Saraswathi turned towards Subhash Chandra Bose, who rose as an alternative to Gandhi with his message of active resistance. At the age of 16, Saraswathi joined the Indian National Army and braved the stark conditions of her training dreaming for the freedom for a country she had never stepped into.

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    When India fought its first war of Independence in 1857, the military towns across the state rose against the gross injustice of the British. Enraged by her degraded condition, Azeez-un - a courtesan who had traveled from the cultural Lucknow to the gritty city of Kanpur just to be independent - decided to turn against the British. She starts out as a spy, entering at parties and passing information about her British patrons to the rebels, sheltering the rebels and even actively participating in the planning of the uprising.

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