Woman of Today: Struggle, Survival and Success


Despite difficulties, Lakshmi managed to setup a successful business of her own. She also financed her grandchildren’s and extended family’s education. Aparna Jayakumar/Roli Books

Aparna Jayakumar “Women of Pure Wonder traces and honours the struggles, survival and success of the Indian woman in our society.”

The book ‘Women of Pure Wonder’ is an initiative by the Vodafone Foundation to celebrate womanhood across India. Published by Roli Books, five women photographers—Aparna Jayakumar, Anusha Yadav, Mansi Midha, Karen Dias and Kavita Dixit, with the support of photo editor Ashima Narain, photographed sixty extraordinary women who have broken all social and economical barriers to be successful in their fields today.

“From a grassroot entrepreneur to the CEO of a massive company, to an acid attack victim who has now started a movement to help others enduring the same fate… this book acknowledges their courage and achievements,” says Mumbai-based photographer Aparna Jayakumar.

Aparna, who photographed 22 of the 60 women featured in the book, speaks about Lakshmi Lokhande from Mhaswad, an entrepreneur with an inspiring story.

Lakshmi got married to an alcoholic man at a very young age. With no support from her husband, she took control of the finances and started processing wood fibres from trees for making brooms and ropes. Her business slowly grew profitable and today, Lakshmi hires workers to make brooms for her.

“Not only this, she also financed the education of her grandchildren, her extended family and even built a house for her daughter and son. With an exuberant smile, one can only imagine the determination and motivation that Lakshmi has had to reach here today.”

— written by Chandni Gajria

Tags: portraits, Chandni Gajria, documentary photography, portraiture, Womanhood, women photographers, Aparna Jayakumar, Social, Roli Books, Women of Pure Wonder, economical, hardships, Vodafone Foundation, Lakshmi Lokhande, business women