Instagram sensation who won ‘First Ladies’
Tara Anand, 19, whose Instagram project on forgotten Indian women warriors has been making waves across the globe since 2016, was felicitated at Rashtrapati Bhavan on January 20 as part of the ‘First Ladies’ initiative started by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
The award honours women who are the first to set a milestone in their field. Awardees include actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
A lover of history, Anand did this project in 2016. About the concept and idea, she says, “A couple of years back, I went abroad to study a course where we had a conversation about powerful queens in history. I was surprised at how many of those women were from the western world. As soon as I got back, I dug out my Amar Chitra Katha (book series) on the laptop and got into researching info on Indian warrior queens. But to my surprise, I could only find two or three names.”
Mumbai-based Anand, who is currently pursuing Bachelors of Fine Arts in Illustration, adds, “Taken aback by the number of powerful queens and warriors that I could find and shocked at how their contributions had been left out of the mainstream narrative, I decided to turn it into a project. So that I could contribute to getting these women recognised as important figures in our history.”
About the felicitation ceremony, she says, “I was able to meet other awardees during the event, and that in itself was an experience... to be a part of a group of women so extraordinary and to hear their journeys was amazing.”
Anand is now working on an Instagram project called I Am Like Other Girls that seeks to destroy the idea that being ‘like other girls’ is a bad thing.
Above: Tara Anand
Right: Illustrations of Rani Rudrama Devi, Mastani and Maharani Tarabai