On the night of April 11, 1983, Bhanu Athaiya made history when she became the first Indian to win an Oscar. At the 55th Annual Academy Awards, Athaiya and British costume designer John Mollo were awarded the Best Costume Design prize for their work on the movie “Gandhi.”
Athaiya, who was born in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, in 1929, was already an established costume designer in India when she was chosen to work on the film. She had previously worked on the costumes for the hit movie “Lagaan,” as well as for several other Bollywood films.
When she received the Oscar, Athaiya was overwhelmed with emotion. She said, “I am very proud and happy to be the first Indian to win an Oscar. It is a great honor for me and for my country.”
Athaiya’s win was a major milestone for India. It was a sign that the country was beginning to make its mark on the international stage. The win also highlighted the importance of costume design in film, and the skill and creativity of Indian costume designers.
Since then, several other Indians have won Oscars, including composer A.R. Rahman, sound editor Resul Pookutty, and visual effects supervisor Richard Baneham.
Bhanu Athaiya’s win in 1983 was a groundbreaking moment for India, and it will continue to be remembered as a momentous achievement. Her win was a source of great pride for the country, and it opened the door for many other Indians to follow in her footsteps.