An Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and a missionary, Mother Teresa was the founder of Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation. She was both an admired and controversial figure and was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. While she was admired by many for her charitable work, she also earned criticism for her stance against abortion and contraception.
The Winner of Miss World 2000; a successful actress in Hindi films; the owner of production house that promotes regional Indian cinema and the first Indian actor to play the lead character in an American television show – Priyanka Chopra’s list of achievements is long. The popular star is also a singer, a tech investor and the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
The third Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi served as PM from 1966 till 1977 and then again from 1980 till her assassination in October 1984. She is considered one of India’s strongest PM and is hailed for leading India to victory over Pakistan in 1971, which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh. However, she is also categorised as authoritarian and is criticised for imposing Emergency in 1975.
P. V. Sindhu is an Indian badminton player. In 2016, she won the Olympic silver medal in Rio de Janeiro, becoming the first Indian woman to receive an Olympic silver. Sindhu became a national icon following her performance in the 2016 Olympics. In January 2020, she was honored with the Padma Bhushan, India's third-highest civilian award.
Indian actress and producer, Anushka Sharma is one of the most popular and highest-paid actresses in the country. She was featured by Forbes Asia in their 30 Under 30 list of 2018 and is the recipient of numerous awards. Beginning her career as a model, she soon ventured into acting and made a name for herself within a short while.
Deepika Padukone is one of the highest-paid Indian actresses. She is also known for her off-screen work, which involves supporting charitable organizations. She founded The Live Love Laugh Foundation, which aims at creating awareness on mental health. In 2018, she was named in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people in the world.
A former world no.1, Saina Nehwal holds the feat of being the only Indian female player and overall the second Indian player to achieve this ranking. She is the first Indian female to have bagged in an Olympic medal in badminton. She was also awarded India's third highest civillian award, the Padma Bhushan.
12 Sunny Leone
In 2010, Sunny Leone was named among 12 top porn stars by Maxim magazine. After a flourishing career in the porn industry, Sunny Leone settled in India where she is currently popular as a film actress. Her journey from a porn actress to a successful Bollywood personality is viewed as an inspirational story by many young women across the world.
13 Sania Mirza
An impressive doubles tennis player, Sania Mirza has six Grand Slam titles under her belt. A former doubles world No. 1, Sania Mirza is one of the greatest Indian female tennis players ever. In 2005, Sania Mirza was named in Time magazine's 50 Heroes of Asia list. In 2016, she was named in the magazine's 100 most influential people in the world list.
Indian actress Aishwarya Rai is one of the most popular and influential celebrities in the country. She began her career as a model and was crowned the Miss World 1994. She started acting soon after and became one of India’s top actresses. Besides acting, she is a Goodwill Ambassador for the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS).
Padma Lakshmi is a model, television host and author. She has hosted cooking competition program Top Chef and has published cookbooks. She has acted in films and television too and is also an activist working for immigration and women’s rights and is a critic of skin-lightening creams. She was married to novelist Salman Rushdie for a little over three years.
16 Katrina Kaif
Katrina Kaif is one of the top actresses of the Hindi film industry. Namastey London, New York, Raajneeti, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Ek Tha Tiger, Dhoom 3, Bang Bang and Bharat are some of her hit films. Her career has seen highs and lows and many times she has been criticised for her acting.
17 Sonia Gandhi
Sonia Gandhi is an Indian politician and president of one of the most prominent Indian political parties, The Indian National Congress. As the president of Indian National Congress, which has been one of India's most successful political parties in the country's post-independence history, Sonia Gandhi remains one of the most powerful women in India.
One of the most popular and also amongst the highest paid Bollywood actresses, Kareena Kapoor is best known for her roles in movies like Chameli, Omkara, 3 Idiots and Jab We Met. Born into a film family, the beautiful, accomplished and award winning actress always aspired to enter the film industry and eventually made her debut at the age of 19 with the movie Refugee.
Sarojini Naidu was an Indian poet and political activist. An important figure in the Indian Independence Movement, she was a proponent of anti-imperialistic ideas, women's rights, and civil rights. Her illustrious career as a poet earned her the nickname Nightingale of India. After India became independent, she became the first woman to hold the office of Governor in the Dominion of India.
24 Sushmita Sen
25 Mary Kom
30 Bipasha Basu
31 Juhi Chawla
32 Hema Malini
Indian actress Rakul Preet Singh started her career as a model and then graduated to films. She made her debut in a Telugu film in 2011 and then did a Tamil film in 2012. In 2014 she starred in a Hindi film Yaariyan. Venkatadri Express, Current Theega, Dhruva, Spyder and De De Pyaar De are some of her notable films.
35 Neha Kakkar
Neerja Bhanot was an Indian purser and model who died at the age of 22 while trying to save passengers on an airplane that had been hijacked by terrorists. She was posthumously honored with the Ashok Chakra Award, India's highest peacetime gallantry, becoming the youngest recipient of the honor. Her life inspired the 2016 biographical thriller film, Neerja.
38 Preity Zinta
39 Rani Mukerji
One of the most respected and best-known playback singers in India, Lata Mangeshkar is popularly known as the Nightingale of India. Such has had a long career of more than 60 years and have been honoured with India's highest civilian award Bharat Ratna..
42 Zeenat Aman
43 Kriti Sanon
44 Lara Dutta
45 Sai Pallavi
46 Parveen Babi
47 Rani Padmini
The quintessential item girl of Bollywood, Malaika Arora is known for her sultry looks and dance moves. She has the reputation of drawing audiences into theatres despite appearing in just one song in the entire film. Malaika Arora ended her 18 years old marriage to actor Arbaaz Khan in 2017.