In­sta­gram sen­sa­tion who won ‘First Ladies’

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - City - - FRONT PAGE - Ruchika Garg ■ ruchika.garg@hin­dus­tan­

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

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