Savitri Bai Khanolkar, born on July 20,1913 as Eve Yvonne Maday de Maros in Neuchatel, Switzerland to a Hungarian father and Russian mother. Designed the Param Veer Chakra.

Thread on her Jayanti today.
Her father André de Maday was a professor of sociology at Geneva University, while her mother Marthe Hentzelt, taught at the Rosseau Institute. In 1929, she met Vikram Khanolkar, a young Indian Army cadet, undergoing training at Sandhurst, who had come to Switzerland on a break.
She was still a teenager then, however both fell in love, though Vikram was much older to her. She came to India in 1932, though her father was not too keen on it, and married Vikram in Lucknow.
She changed her name to Savitri Bai after marriage, and quickly adapted to Hindu tradition. She became a vegetarian, learnt to speak fluent Marathi, Hindi and Sanskrit. And also learnt Indian music, dance, painting.
She called herself an European with an Indian soul, and never liked being called a foreigner. She had a deep interest in The Puranas,which she read extensively, as well as studied India's ancient history and it's legends.
It was due to this Major Hira Lal Atal, first indigenous Adjutant General of independent India, asked her help in designing the Param Vir Chakra.
Drawing on her extensive knowledge of the Puranas, Savitri Bai thought of Rishi Dadichi, who gave up his own body for Indra to make the deadly Vajra or thunderbolt. She came up with the design of double Vajra, a common Tibetan motif then.
The Param Vir Chakra is cast in bronze with a radius of 13/8 inch . In the centre, on a raised circle, is the Ashoka stambh, surrounded by four replicas of Indra's Vajra, flanked by swords.
Incidentally the first recipient of PVC, Major Somnath Sharma was the brother in law of Savitri Bai's elder daughter Kumudini, who died while fighting at the Battle of Badgam during the 1948 War with Pakistan.
She also did a lot of social work, helping the families of soldiers killed in war, as well as Partition refugees. After her husband passed away in 1952, Savitri Bai sought refuge in spirituality and spent her later years with the Ramakrishna Math.
She also wrote a book on the Saints of Maharashtra, and passed away on 26 November 1990 at age of 77, after leading a truly remarkable life.
Savitri Bai Khanolkar

Swiss national of mixed Hungarian-Russian descent, married to an Indian Army officer, adopted to the Hindu ethos well,and designed the Param Vir Chakra.

#Naman on her Jayanti today.

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