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Anita Dongre at the Kelvinator Stree Shakti Women Awards 2014. Wikimedia Commons

By Puja Gupta

Veteran fashion designer Anita Dongre suggests in these unprecedented times when uncertainty looms large, young designers should utilise this time to find inspiration and design while in lockdown.

Dongre believes the fashion industry is going to be seriously impacted due to the pandemic, and resulting nationwide lockdown.

“As an industry, it provides employment to millions, now all work has come to a halt. It will take many months to pick up, and even post the lifting of the lockdown, one will have to be extremely cautious to follow social distancing norms and ensure the spread is curtailed. Manufacturers and retailers will have to follow strict guidelines and it will take many months to come back to normalcy. Most weddings have been scaled down or postponed. Summer fashions will be offered to consumers post lockdown by all and fortunately, we have a late winter in India,” states Dongre.

The Anita Dongre Foundation has set up an emergency medical fund of Rs 1.5 crore. This amount is self-employed vendors and independent artisans who are associated with the company and may not have adequate medical coverage.

Anita Dongre’s timeless collection dazzled on the ramp for summer/resort 2011 at Lakmé Fashion Week in Mumbai. Wikimedia Commons

“Our direct employees and their families are covered by medical insurance but should they need more, we’ll extend the fund to them as well. Just like other major industry bodies, our main focus right now is on keeping our people safe and to help them deal with the current crisis,” says the veteran who has built one of India’s largest fashion houses. The designer has also set up a dedicated helpline for her employees.

Recently, Dongre has also started the production of masks with fabric in stock. “We wanted to make sure we’re doing everything within our capacity to keep people safe during these uncertain times.”

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Her advice to young designers who might be left struggling for survival as an aftermath of the lockdown: “Stay positive and focus. Don’t lose hope but use this time to find inspiration and design. You will get past it. We’re all in this together, we shall overcome.”

Dongre has been utilising this period to appreciate and be grateful to be working with family and enjoying the space in her new sustainable home.

“This is a reminder to celebrate the time I have to share with the people I love most. I have taken this time to also re-explore. Cooking, gardening, reading, and connecting with the family has filled little spaces that were taken up by the many other pieces I love about running a fashion house,” she says to IANSlife. (IANS)


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Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.