While most celebs headed to felicitation events, seminars or posted their views on Twitter on International Woman’s Day, there was one who went through dust and grind. Actress and fashion philanthropist Evelyn Sharma joined some prominent women leaders from different fields in an initiative to build homes for underprivileged women.
The Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani actress who was last seen speaking at Donald Trump’s National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, drove down to the little city of Karjat adjoining the Sahyadri Western Ghats near the banks of the River Ulhas in Maharashtra, to participate in a house building activity arranged under the campaign ‘WOMEN BUILD India’ by the Habitat for Humanity organization. Evelyn is the youth ambassador for their ‘Young Leaders BUILD’ movement.
In Karjat, Evelyn volunteered to build a home for Changuna Sarai who lives in Sarai Wadi with her family. Changuna and her husband Suresh Sarai are agricultural labourers. With their meager daily wages, they try to make ends meet. To add to their difficulties is a lack of proper sanitation facilities for her three daughters who are growing up.
Overjoyed with the development, Changuna said, “My husband, my daughters and myself; we live with our extended family. We are ten members in all and have been living in an extremely small house. Our condition has affected the education of my daughters. The new house is a dream come true for our family. Now we won’t have to worry about a roof over our daughters heads.”
‘WOMEN BUILD India’ is a part of Habitat for Humanity’s strategy that aims to achieve holistic community development with shelter and sanitation at its core. Its objective is to make ‘Housing for All’ and ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ a reality by 2020.
“It is encouraging to see how the Government of India is addressing these needs through various campaigns. As women leaders from different fields, we must play a part. This was one of the best days of my life,” quipped Evelyn who is also the founder and managing director of Seams For Dreams Charity Foundation. Attagirl!
Canadian world music Bhangra band En Karma has teamed up with Sanjay Seran, the lead vocalist of Vancouver-based Delhi 2 Dublin music group, and released their new single “She Kills” on all major digital outlets this week, through India’s largest music label T-Series.
At a time when bands are looked upon as a thing of the past, En Karma’s presence comes with a new lively dash of electrifying energy. Founded in British Columbia, Canada, the band’s distinct sound is the work of Pip Dhaliwal (on the drums), Nick Chowlia (keyboards), Inder Kooner (vocalist), Ricky Thinda (bass) and Karm Cooner (on the dhol).
Based on the band’s core mantra of friendship, the song’s video has the boys jamming out the beats to a vibrant fusion of world music and Bhangra, delivering a sound that fans would love.
Drawing on their UK influences for live band arrangements, infused with the contemporary sway of North America, the band first gained popularity with their self-titled debut album ‘En Karma’ reaching the No.1 position on the iTunes World Music charts.
Featuring the lead single “Tohar Naal Jeena” with K.S.Makhan, H.Dhami and Delhi 2 Dublin, the debut album established En Karma’s brand. It was followed up with another album ‘Enkarmafied’, which also scaled the iTunes World Music charts, reaching No.2 and breaking new ground with its catchy tracks “Dil Naal Khedey” and “Tu Nach.”
The band has also given live performances at various shows and music festivals, apart from the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, proving that the traditional drum and dhol still have a long way to go on the international music scene.
Normally clad in a typical red gown, ‘godwoman’ Radhe Maa turned up at a recent charity event in a stylish frilled red mermaid dress, replete with a red purse to match… the kind one normally sees models and film actresses wearing at premieres and glam parties. This surprised quite a few personalities who reacted to her fashionable attire.
“God in the true sense is faith and belief. People who follow her (Radhe Maa); if they are okay with it then who are we to complain,” asks Bollywood actor Aarya Babbar. “Faith only requires a pure soul; no dress-code,” he adds.
Television actor Pankit Thakker feels, “She looks cool in the outfit. Thank god she is not in the media industry, otherwise she would have been competition to many with her grace and charm.” He makes it a point to state that “we should stop judging people based on their choice of clothing. The way I see it, this looks like an extension of her personality.”
But international chess master Dhyani Dave begs to differ. “Trying to change the mainstream idea of orange or red clothes with a mermaid dress doesn’t go well,” she quips. Bollywood’s walking-talking encyclopedia, actor-filmmaker Viveck Vaswani counters, “a person in the services of God can wear anything, because it’s not an issue with God.” Aha! Interesting thought that.
Fiery actress Kashmera Shah who once wore some of the most fashionable outfits on India’s No.1 reality show Bigg Boss agrees, “We are all children of God. So let her wear what she wants. Clothes can’t depict your passion for God.”
“If one carries oneself with dignity and lives to serve others then who are we to judge their spirituality by what they wear,” questions Shawn Valentino, author of Showstopper Lifestyle from Hollywood. “If their lifestyle is in accordance with their core beliefs, then it is their actions not their dress that ultimately decides their relationship with the divine. She should be commended for showcasing her style as she wore it gracefully,” Shawn adds.