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#InternationalWomen’sDay: Creativity gives women wings to fly

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Malini Arora
Photo IANS

New Delhi, March 7 

Three years ago, Malini Arora, 29, left a busy corporate job to satiate her itch to explore her creative instincts as a designer of contemporary ethnic wear.

It’s a bumpy ride, but then you get to drive, she says — a sentiment that resonates with several such Indian women who are turning entrepreneurs with their clutter-breaking creative pursuits. And the digital wave is helping them even more.

“I’m like a kid in a candy store when I’m in a fabric shop,” Noida-based Arora, who realised her dream with her brand Designs By Ikebana — promoted mainly through digital platforms like Facebook and Instagram — told IANS.

“I guess I always wanted to be a designer, but a little bit of gumption and that necessary nudge from my family finally made it happen. My corporate job paid the bills but my current pursuit gives me the courage to explore the creative world.

“To all those who are looking to venture out with their creativity, I say: Do it!”

There are also Pooja Kaul and Amita Mahajan, both mothers and keen architects. A sudden project to do up a nursery sowed the seeds of FLYFROG KIDS, an online kids décor platform.

“The idea was to create a line of vibrant products different from what was currently available in the market — with a focus on function as well as design. Our products have generic flowers, butterflies or sailors or dinosaurs as the main stars. We think that kids should have the freedom to imagine, think and dream,” Mahajan said, adding that child safety is a mainstay of their offerings.

They retail through lifestyle online portal Luxehues.com to reach out to the affluent households across India, and decided early on that online was the way to go, given the country’s growing smart phone base.

There’s experimentation by women in the jewellery space too.

Chennai-based Bharathi Raviprakash was once a money changer. Her urge to break the monotony led to the birth of Studio Tara, a jewellery brand which offers diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, amethyst, spinel, tourmalines, and other precious gems dramatically set in yellow and white gold.

It was her passion for precious stones, and an eye for design, that gave birth to Studio Tara, but Raviprakash’s thirst to learn more led her to a gemological institute in London, from where she graduated in 2002. Her designs reflect a raw feel, and appeal to the corporate crowd.

Another entrepreneur, 32-year-old Anubha Patankar, has carved a niche with her love for baking.

“I was already conducting chocolate-making courses for a few years just as a hobby, alongside my hectic corporate job in IT. Frankly, I loved it more than my job,” Patankar said, recollecting how her small stall in a society get-together focused attention on her culinary talent.

When she decided to quit her mundane job after having a second child, she began planning to open a baking institute — a dream that became a reality with the launch of Melting Momentz in Pune back in 2013. Two years later, Patankar had to move to Gurugram, where she set up the institute from scratch.

“I started promotions online to attract the tech-savvy crowd of Gurgaon (as it was then called). I changed my course content to include healthy baking and focused more on breads. Chemical-free, multi-grain and 100 per cent wheat breads became the synonym for Melting Momentz, where food enthusiasts could learn tips and tricks about cakes, icing, fondants, desserts, cookies, chocolates, eggless recipes and more.”

Her larger aim, as she puts it, is “to support women entrepreneurs in starting their own bakeries and outlets with full assistance from the studio”.

There are common threads that bind these stories: the joy of following their own hearts, the satisfaction of using their creativity and talent, as well as the peace of financial, social and mental freedom.

By Radhika Bhirani

(IANS)

(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at [email protected])

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Vacant pvt medical college seats can be filled as per NEET merit list: SC

The ASG and MCI’s counsel assured the apex court that its order would be forthwith published on the official websites of MCI, Medical Counselling Committee and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, May 25 : The Supreme Court today agreed to suggestions that the vacant post-graduate seats in private unaided medical colleges could be filled up as per the order of merit in the All-India National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) list.

A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra said this while hearing a matter of Uttar Pradesh during which the Medical Council of India (MCI) said that almost 41.95 per cent of post-graduate medical seats for academic year 2018-2019 in private unaided medical colleges in the state have remained vacant.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand, who appeared for the Centre, suggested to the bench that “a similar dispensation can be followed in other states, if they so desire, while ensuring that the cut-off date of May 31, 2018 is strictly adhered to”.

“We agree with this suggestion,” the bench said and disposed of the plea filed by the UP unaided medical colleges welfare association.

The ASG and MCI’s counsel assured the apex court that its order would be forthwith published on the official websites of MCI, Medical Counselling Committee and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Earlier during the hearing, the MCI counsel told the bench that since the cut-off date of May 18 was already over, the Director General of Medical Education of Uttar Pradesh must take the responsibility of allotting the seats to students from the NEET merit list in respective colleges by May 31.

“We find this suggestion to be most appropriate and also assuage the grievance of the private medical colleges and open up new opportunity to the aspiring candidates in the merit list who otherwise could not secure admission in other medical colleges,” the bench noted in its order.

The top court accepted the MCI’s suggestions and asked the Director General of Medical Education of Uttar Pradesh to take immediate steps in this regard while ensuring that the cut-off date of May 31, 2018 was adhered to in its letter and spirit.

The bench also made it clear “that in the guise of recommending names of candidates to private colleges, the candidate who has already secured admission elsewhere cannot be permitted to resign from the concerned college to avail of the opportunity under the stated dispensation.

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BJP govt has set new benchmark of inflation: Pilot on fuel price rise

He accused BJP government dividing the people in name of religion and castes and claimed that the saffron party has avoided discussing real issues.

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sachin Pilot

Jaipur, May 25 : Rajasthan Congress Chief Sachin Pilot today hit out at the BJP government at the centre over rising prices of petrol and diesel saying it has set a “new benchmark of inflation and its policies have broken common people’s back”.

He alleged that that BJP ministers and leaders are silent at a time when prices of petrol and diesel are rising continuously.

Petrol and diesel prices were raised for the 11th day in succession yesterday as the state-owned oil firms gradually passed on to the consumer the increased cost of international oil that had accumulated since a 19-day freeze was imposed just before Karnataka elections.

“Riding high on promises to reduce inflation, the BJP was voted to power. But, its government has set new benchmarks of inflation and its policies have broken back of the common people,” Pilot said addressing his party’s ‘Mera Booth, Mera Gaurav’ event at Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s turf in Jhalarapatan and Aklera of Jhalawar district.

He accused BJP government dividing the people in name of religion and castes and claimed that the saffron party has avoided discussing real issues.

The BJP government in Rajasthan has repeatedly neglected issues of farmers and agriculturists. Recently, a debt-ridden garlic farmer committed suicide reflecting that insensitivity of the government, Pilot claimed and said the Congress has always raised voice for the people and protested against the “anti-people decisions” of the BJP government.

He said that people of the Rajasthan see the Congress with a new hope and there was need to overcome all the challenges to win people’s heart.

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Videocon Case: SEBI issues notice to ICICI Bank, CEO Chanda Kochhar

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ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar

Mumbai, May 25: Private lender ICICI Bank on Friday said that Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has sought responses from the company and its MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar on alleged non-compliance of the “erstwhile ‘Listing Agreement’ and the ‘Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015′”.

According to a BSE filing, SEBI sought the reply via a notice issued to the private lender and its MD and CEO on May 24.

As per the securities market regulator’s LODR regulations, all listed entities are mandated to immediately disclose relevant and important information to stock exchanges.

“The MD and CEO and the bank received a notice from SEBI on May 24, 2018… requiring responses on matters relating to alleged non-compliance with certain provisions of the erstwhile ‘Listing Agreement’ and the SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015′,” the filing said.

“The notice has been issued based on information furnished by the bank or its MD and CEO to diverse queries made by SEBI concerning dealings between the bank and Videocon Group and certain dealings allegedly between Videocon Group and Nupower, an entity in which Deepak Kochhar spouse of MD and CEO has economic interests.”

The bank said that appropriate responses would be submitted to SEBI in accordance with regulation.

The SEBI notice comes more than a month after nepotism and conflict of interest allegations were levelled against Kochhar. It has been alleged that Kochhar had wrongfully granted a loan to Videocon Group and that her husband’s company — NuPower Renewables — received a loan from the Videocon Group’s Chariman Venugopal Dhoot on a quid pro quo basis.

Chanda Kochhar on May 7 had said that private lender works under and abides by all regulatory norms and that it has been fully cooperating with regulatory and investigative agencies.

On March 29, ICICI Bank Chairman M.K. Sharma had said that reports alleging nepotism by Kochhar were unfounded and malicious in nature.

Saying that ICICI Bank’s exposure to the Videocon Group (Videocon Industries and 12 of its subsidiaries or associates as co-obligors) for a debt consolidation programme and for the group’s oil and gas capital expenditure programme aggregating approximately Rs 40,000 crore was less than 10 per cent.

Sharma had asserted that no individual bank employee has the ability to influence decisions of the credit committee.

He clarified that none of “the investors of NuPower Renewables are borrowers of ICICI Bank” and that Kochhar did not chair the committee that had lent to Videocon.

In addition, Sharma said at the press briefing that Kochhar has been making all her disclosures in accordance with the regulatory guidelines under the Companies Act and the Banking Act.

Sharma revealed that the bank has ‘satisfactorily’ replied to the questions of all the regulators, which he described as an ongoing process between “a regulated entity like a bank and the regulators and other government departments”.

In 2012, a consortium of 20 banks and financial institutions sanctioned credit facilities to the Videocon Group for a debt consolidation programme and for its oil and gas capital expenditure programme aggregating to approximately Rs 40,000 crore.

IANS

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