For International Women’s Day, Lounge turns the spotlight on a range initiatives that serve this year’s inclusive theme
From a successful podcast artist to a true 'gully girl' — here are some of the different voices
What: Social enterprise
Bhuli (meaning “little sister" in Uttarakhand’s Garhwali dialect) was started in 2016 by two friends—fashion designer and illustrator Tanya Kotnala and nutritionist Tanya Singh—to spread awareness about the art, culture and food heritage of the state. They design and sell products that represent local heritage and also collaborate with government agencies. In addition, they organize workshops on menstrual hygiene and nutrition to build awareness among local women.
Confessions of successful Asian women with Aliya
Aliya Janjua was born to Pakistani immigrant parents in San Francisco. She launched her podcast on International Women’s Day three years ago as a platform for women to connect, share and inspire each other. This podcast hosts women from diverse sectors, such as politics, comedy, entrepreneurship and activism. Episodes can be downloaded from Confessionsofsuccessfulasianwomen.com.
Grindmill Songs Project
What: Music project
Launched by The People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI) two years ago, the Grindmill Songs Project consists of a collection of over 100,000 folk songs composed and sung by generations of women in Maharashtra while they performed household tasks. It aims to mainstream the unheard voices of rural women.
Tracks available on Ruralindiaonline’s SoundCloud profile.
WildCity’s Selector Pro
WildCity, an online music magazine, has collaborated with the British Council to launch a workshop series titled The Selector Pro: Women In Electronic Music. With the aim of dismantling gender disparity in the music industry, Selector Pro wants to empower women in music by teaching them the basics of music production, deejaying and club culture. Their three-day workshop in Delhi is on till 10 March.
For details, visit Thewildcity.com.
The Queer Muslim Project
Started as an advocacy page in 2017, The Queer Muslim Project’s work is focused specifically on the intersection of Islam and the LGBTQ+ community. Activist Rafiul Alom Rahman says they started the project to counter the erasure of Muslim identities in queer-friendly circles and the need for inclusive safe spaces. They are building a vibrant movement offline by organizing workshops on faith and sexuality, interfaith iftar, national consultations, monthly meet-ups, and LGBTQ+ Muslim retreats.
What: Instagram account
It’s very likely that the hashtag #NorthEastFashion will lead you to Mekhala Mama. Theyie Keditsu, a 37-year-old Kohima-based English professor, uses Instagram to promote indigenous Naga textiles and encourage young people to embrace their traditional attire with #ootd inspirations featuring the mekhala. #supportlocal,#womensupportwomen,#madeinnagaland are some of her most used hashtags .
What: Hip hop artist
The 25-year-old “gully girl", Deepa Unnikrishnan aka Dee MC, is a hip hop and rap artist from Mumbai who challenges gender norms, beauty standards and social inequalities through her music. Dee is also the chief editor at Desihiphop.com, a platform for rappers in India.