Generations after generations, strong, intelligent, determined women from across India, have made their mark around the world in varied fields from scientific research to the cricket pitch with their stellar achievements inspiring a million more. But, pick up a book about the achievements of women in India or even our history books in school and you will mostly draw a blank.
Anaya Deshmukh, an 8-year old, studying at Dhirubhai Ambani International School (Mumbai) is trying to improve inclusivity and representation in Indian women role-models. Her mission with ‘Daughters of India’, a weekly series of short videos, is to highlight Indian women from the past and the present who have achieved great feats.
Women in India have been pioneers, innovators and trailblazers. Daughters of India like Lata Mangeshkar, Savitribai Phule, Chand Bibi, Indira Gandhi offer a kaleidoscopic view of how vast and far-reaching the contributions of Indian women have been in diverse fields.
Working with her mother, Shikha Dalmia, the storyteller in chief of Spin A Yarn India, she started researching about these incredible role-models. Daughters of India took came to life with episodes on Dr. Arunima Sinha, Savitribai Phule, Lata Mangeshkar and Rani Lakshmibai. Anaya’s focus is to spread the word about the Daughters of India and thereby ensure our future generations have role models that they can emulate.
Through the stories, made by children, for the children, Anaya touches upon various aspects ranging from discrimination, gender inequality, social norms, stereotypes and even violence. She focuses on the lessons each of these inspirational women has taught us like hard work, perseverance, discipline and courage.
Going ahead in the future, Anaya wants to create a platform where she along with other girls her age come together to present the stories of incredible women all around us. From our neighbours, teachers, friends, parents and grandparents. Because, it is through stories that we define our identity, express our history and culture, learn and engage in all aspects of society. Stories are not only the first medium for communication, education and social integration, but are also at the heart of each person’s unique identity, cultural history and memory. Anaya believes that with the voice and the stories she and her friends will narrate, they can spark the imagination of children just like them to break the stereotypes and forge a new path in the future.
Spin A Yarn India (www.spinayarnindia.com) is a partner of the United Nations Indigenous Language and the Bhasha Sangam programs and is on a mission to protect, preserve and promote indigenous language, culture and heritage in India and abroad. It is supporting this series as a part of Indias’ 75th Independence Day celebrations under the guidance of our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji.