It is not always that women get a platform to tell their stories, unfiltered. She/Talks, an event organised by SheThePeople.TV in association with the Consulate General of Canada in Mumbai did just that. The event saw extraordinary women like spoken word artist Jasmine Khurana, actor Kubbra Sait, lawyer Abha Singh, entrepreneur and marathon runner Vineeta Singh, educationist Dr Swati Popat Vats, air-hostess Nidhi Chaphekar, founder of Arpan NGO Pooja Taparia, and Manager, CRET operations at Toronto International Film Festival Group Tasleem Somji, relegate the audience with their impactful words.
“We’re not just about 50% of the Indian population but we are 10% of the global population” – @shailichopra at #shetalks pic.twitter.com/kLPsdclkvS
The sessions touched upon various issues such as, helping child sexual abuse victims to heal, conditioning, facing your fears, restarting your life in the face of adversities, empowerment and the true meaning of success and happiness.
Why it is important for child sexual abuse survivors to heal
Reach out to a therapist, to alleviate this trauma. You don’t have to live with it as healing is absolutely possible. – Pooja Taparia
Child sexual abuse manifests into mental health problems in both young and adult life. Speaking about the importance of healing of child abuse survivors, both at an early and late age, Pooja Taparia said, “Child Sexual abuse can leave life long impacts on individuals. But if we can provide counselling and therapy to children at a young age, then that impact might not continue.” She added that abuse could lead to mental health issues like PTSD, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and depression through adult life. But it is never late to get help. “Reach out to a therapist, to alleviate this trauma. You don’t have to live with it as healing is absolutely possible.”
The Butterfly Effect
While on the subject of protecting our children, a lot needs to be done than just keeping them from safe physically. The way we bring up our boys and girls, in fact, we put them on a road where they face a lifelong struggle with stereotyping and gender bias. President of Podar Education Network, Dr Swati Popat Vats said, “We humans have a bigger brain than animals. But somehow, instead of revering this brain that distinguishes us from other animals, we have stopped using it and have started following things blindly. And we think whatever we are following is right, without understanding the butterfly effect of what we are doing to the next generation, to the children we are bringing up and to the people around the world.”
We think whatever we are following is right, without understanding the butterfly effect of what we are doing to the next generation. – Dr Swati Popat Vats
Fear kills more dreams than failure
Vineeta Singh gave up an enviable package at IIM to become an entrepreneur. Not just that, she has also participated and won some of the toughest marathons in the world. Singh spoke about fear and how it keeps us from dreaming big. She said, “For me to be able to live my best life ever, it’s important for me to weed out fears that interfere with my decision-making and keep clouding my thinking, so that I can make choices that represent what I really want to do.” Further, she said, “Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will. So if there is something that you are really afraid of doing, take this as a sign that a dream is hidden behind it. You need to unmask it and go for it.”
If there is something that you are really afraid of doing, take this as a sign that a dream is hidden behind it. You need to unmask it and go for it. – Vineeta Singh
Success often comes at the cost of happiness
Actor Kubbra Sait, who rose to fame with her role as Cuckoo in web series Sacred Games spoke on how we often replace our desire to be happy with being successful. But no matter how you choose to measure your success, it comes at the cost of your happiness. She said, “When I was a child, I was told that there is nothing called a free lunch. So if you want success, you need to give back, and what do I give back, in turn, to receive success? Heartache and frustration. I am stressed because I am successful. I am burning myself out. Why? Because I want to be successful.”
I am stressed because I am successful. I am burning myself out. Why? Because I want to be successful. – Kubbra Sait
Listening to such diverse voices and diverse perspectives left everyone feeling inspired to change not just our individual lives, but also that of those near and far away from us. Lawyer Abha Singh summed up everyone’s emotions perfectly when she said, “It is never too late for you to feel within you that, yes, I want to do different, I want to be different, and I want to do something for the society. And all of us in our little ways can make a change. We all are change makers, it is only that we do not want to come out of our comfort zone.”