BBC’s Most Influential Women 2020 – Gaana Singer, Climate Activist, Para athlete & 82 year old protester make the list !

BBC released its list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2020. 4 Indian women – Ridhima Pandey, Isaivani, Manasi Joshi and Bilkis – have been featured in the list this year.

Ridhima Pandey :

“Ridhima Pandey is a climate activist who, at the age of nine, filed a petition against the government of India in response to its inaction to mitigate climate change. In 2019, along with 15 other child petitioners, Ridhima filed a lawsuit against five countries at the UN.”

“Ridhima is currently participating in international conferences and helping to empower other students, at all levels, to fight for their future and for the biodiversity of the world. Ridhima is working to save her future and that of coming generations.”

Isaivani :

“Isaivani is a distinctive gaana singer in India. Gaana music emerged from the working class neighbourhoods of North Chennai (formerly Madras) in Tamil Nadu. Isaivani has spent years singing and performing in this male-dominated space.”

“To perform on the same stage as other popular male singers can be considered an achievement by itself. Isaivani has successfully broken an age-old tradition, which has led other young female gaana singers to come forward and express themselves.”

Manasi Joshi : 

“Manasi, an Indian para-athlete, is the current para-badminton world champion. In June 2020, the Badminton World Federation ranked her world number two in the SL3 singles. Manasi is also an engineer and a change-maker.”

“She aspires to drive a shift in how disability and para-sports are perceived in India. She was recently listed as a “Next Generation Leader” by Time magazine and appeared on the cover of its Asia edition as an advocate for the rights of disabled people in India.”

Bilkis Dadi: 


“At 82, Bilkis was part of a group of women who peacefully protested against a controversial citizenship law (in India)” She became the face of a long-running protest at the capital’s Shaheen Bagh, the Muslim locality where the protests were held. Indian journalist and author Rana Ayyub described her as ‘the voice of the marginalized’.