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History of 23rd May- Bifocals & Women Power

History of 23rd May- Bifocals & Women Power

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23rd May History

This episode of the series delves into the history of 23rd May discussing the invention of bifocals by Benjamin Franklin in the year 1785 and the fascinating story of Bachendri Pal as the first Indian woman to climb Mount Everest.

When people are deeply in love, they often go to great lengths to show their affection. The sheer delight and happiness experienced when surprising a loved one is unparalleled. Recently, a heartwarming incident took place in Bengaluru, where a woman expressed her love through an extraordinary gesture. She chose to tattoo her husband’s name on her forehead, capturing the attention and reactions of numerous internet users. Well, indeed love is blind. But as of now before deviating further let me delve into the history of 23rd May.

The four-eyed solution – Bifocals

It is often said that if you have a head you will have a headache, and I say when you have eyes it is inevitable that you have eye problems. This becomes even more problematic when one suffers from both nearsightedness and farsightedness. Picture this: you’re strolling along, reading your favorite book when a particularly enticing passerby catches your fancy. You will have to choose between a satisfying read and an awkward collision with a lamppost or a confused squirrel. Perhaps, such a fortuitous event occurred in Benjamin Franklin’s life, prompting him to invent bifocals. My first story from the history of 23rd May.

23rd May 1785 was the day when Benjamin Franklin announced his invention of bifocals. Bifocals are an extraordinary advancement in the field of eyewear that I believe will greatly benefit individuals who suffer from presbyopia, a common age-related condition that affects near vision. Presbyopia makes it difficult for individuals to focus on objects up close, such as reading material, while maintaining clear vision for objects at a distance.

Recognizing the challenges faced by many, Benjamin dedicated his time and ingenuity to finding a solution. Through careful experimentation and design, he developed a revolutionary pair of glasses that possess lenses divided into two distinct sections. The upper part of the lens aids in viewing objects at a distance, while the lower part enhances near vision.

By incorporating both near and distance vision corrections into a single pair of glasses, bifocals eliminate the need for individuals to carry separate pairs of spectacles for different tasks. This innovative solution not only provides convenience but also ensures that individuals can easily transition between activities that require varying visual acuity.

So Kudos to the four-eyed solution. Now it is time for my second story.

Women Power

The strength that flows through their veins, the fire that burns in their eyes, and the unwavering spirit that resides within their hearts give them the ability to achieve the unachievable. In a society where tradition and change often collide, they emerge as beacons of hope, challenging conventions and breaking barriers with every step they take. That my friend is an Indian Woman, and today I share with you the story of one such woman who conquered Mount Everest. My second story from the history of 23rd May.

It was the 23rd of May, 1984 when Bachendri Pal etched her name in the annals of mountaineering history by becoming the first Indian woman to conquer Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak. Her awe-inspiring achievement not only brought glory to India but also shattered societal barriers and inspired countless individuals, especially women, to pursue their dreams relentlessly.

Bachendri Pal, born on May 24, 1954, in a small village called Nakuri in Uttarakhand, possessed an indomitable spirit and an unwavering passion for mountaineering from an early age. Her journey towards scaling the formidable Everest began in 1983 when she joined an all-women expedition organized by the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF).

Under the guidance of renowned mountaineer and expedition leader Colonel Narendra Kumar, Bachendri Pal and her team embarked on their historic expedition. The arduous journey to Everest’s summit posed significant challenges and demanded unwavering determination, physical endurance, and mental fortitude.

After months of intense training and acclimatization, the team began their ascent from the south face of the mountain in Nepal. Battling extreme weather conditions, treacherous terrain, and altitude sickness, Bachendri Pal demonstrated exceptional courage and resilience throughout the expedition.

On that momentous day of May 23, 1984, Bachendri Pal reached the summit of Mount Everest, standing proudly at 8,848 meters (29,029 feet) above sea level. Her triumphant feat made her a beacon of inspiration for aspiring mountaineers, especially women, breaking gender stereotypes prevalent in Indian society at that time.

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Bachendri Pal’s historic achievement received widespread acclaim and recognition both nationally and internationally. She was honored with numerous accolades, including the prestigious Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award, and the Arjuna Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sports.

Beyond her personal triumph, Bachendri Pal’s conquest of Everest had a profound impact on Indian society. Her success challenged the prevailing mindset that discouraged women from venturing into adventurous pursuits. It paved the way for countless Indian women to follow their aspirations and pushed for gender equality in fields traditionally dominated by men.

Bachendri Pal’s journey did not end with her Everest triumph. She dedicated her life to mountaineering and worked diligently to promote adventure sports in India. She went on to lead and participate in several mountaineering expeditions around the world, inspiring a generation of climbers to pursue their dreams fearlessly.

So as we come to the end of this episode, I take a moment to honor and pay tribute to this extraordinary woman.

See you tomorrow.


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