Remembering Sheila Dikshit on her death Aniversary

Looking back at Sheila Dikshit; longest-serving female chief minister of any Indian state on her death anniversary.

Hussain Saify

New Delhi: With the death of politicians like Bal Thackrey, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Sushma Swaraj, George Fernandes, Arun Jaitley, Jayalalitha, Karunanidhi and Sheila Dikshit a whole golden era of politics come to an end.

Sheila Dikshit was born in Kapurthala Punjab in 1938 to a Punjabi Khatri family. She did her schooling from the Convent of Jesus and Marry School in New Delhi and graduated with a Masters in History from the Miranda House at University of Delhi.

The Prominent Congress leader was also a part of the Council of Ministers in Rajiv Gandhi’s government in 1984.

She always had a firm voice in the matters of empowering women. It all started in 1970s when she became the chairperson of the Young Women’s Association and put in all her efforts for setting up two of the most successful hostels in Delhi for working women.

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Between the years of 1984-1989, she represented India at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Her interest in the movement only grew.

In 1990, she along with 82 of her colleagues spent 23 days behind bars for raising her voice and leading a movement against the atrocities being committed against women.

She was not only the longest serving Chief Minister of Delhi but also the longest serving female Chief Minister of any Indian state.

Apart from that, she had occupied various offices like Member of Parliament from Kannauj and Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (1984-1989), Member of Legislative Assembly from Gole Market constituency, Delhi (1998-2008), Member of Legislative Assembly from New Delhi, served as the 20th Governor of Kerala and the Congress National President.

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It was under her leadership, the reform of shifting to CNG vehicles came to fruition in Delhi. It was under her tenure, the Delhi Metro got inaugurated. Projects like road widening in the city and privatization of electricity (for power cut reduction) took place.

Plus for a city notorious for air pollution and traffic, the city’s green cover grew from eight per cent to 33 per cent. Also, 70 new flyovers came about in the city for public service.

In 2013, Dikshit was voted out and on July 20 2019 she passed away.

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