Many of us are guilty of forgetting our traditional roots and westernising our Indian culture. Harman Kaur, a 19-year-old from Canada, noticed this trend and realised that there is a definite gap in the media when it comes to representing Indian women. She noticed that Indian girls do not have many role models to look up to and definitely far less portrayal in media.
With a mission to empower women, Harman started ‘The Chunni Project’, which is also a platform that makes Indian women feel comfortable about their culture, to share their inspiring stories, experiences, their role models. The platform is not just for Indian women, but for women all around the world to stand up for each other, inspire and support one another with their encouraging stories.
Women from Canada, India, Australia, the UK and USA have interacted and contributed to the online community of ‘The Chunni Project’.
TOI quoted Harman saying, ”I started this project with the hope that I would be able to help at least one woman feel empowered, but it has clicked beyond my expectations. What started off as a blog where different women shared their stories, turned into a space of creativity! Writers and artists started to submit any work related to Indian women, and now The Chunni Project has become a space where anyone can come and discover new and talented female Indian artists, poets, singers or others. I have received positive feedback from women who are part of the project as well as those who follow it. As there is not much Indian representation in Western media, there should be a space where one can find out how resilient and talented Indian women are.”
“When I was younger, my parents made sure that I did not stray from my roots. I learned how to read and write Punjabi at a very young age, and started learning about Sikhi at the same time. These two things kept me close to my roots. I am a writer…and my writing revolves around my religion and culture. Although I have had an easy time sticking to my roots, I recognize that this may not always be the case for every woman. There are many western influences, fear of mockery, and insecurities that may prevent women from visibly showing pride in their culture. I think that being a part of an online community, such as The Chunni Project, can empower women to not be afraid or embarrassed to stick to their roots.”
More power to you, Harman. Her aim is to move offline and also do events themed around women empowerment to reach out to even more people. We wish her all the luck in spreading the message!
Feature Image Courtesy: browngirlmagazine