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March 8 is International Women’s Day: Exploring Creative Instincts give Women wings to Fly

A woman reading a book (representational image), Pixabay

New Delhi March 7, 2017: Three years ago, Malini Arora, 29, left a busy corporate job to satiate her itch to explore her creative instincts as a designer of contemporary ethnic wear.

It’s a bumpy ride, but then you get to drive, she says — a sentiment that resonates with several such Indian women who are turning entrepreneurs with their clutter-breaking creative pursuits. And the digital wave is helping them even more.

“I’m like a kid in a candy store when I’m in a fabric shop,” Noida-based Arora, who realised her dream with her brand Designs By Ikebana — promoted mainly through digital platforms like Facebook and Instagram — told IANS.

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“I guess I always wanted to be a designer, but a little bit of gumption and that necessary nudge from my family finally made it happen. My corporate job paid the bills but my current pursuit gives me the courage to explore the creative world.

“To all those who are looking to venture out with their creativity, I say: Do it!”

There are also Pooja Kaul and Amita Mahajan, both mothers and keen architects. A sudden project to do up a nursery sowed the seeds of FLYFROG KIDS, an online kids decor platform.

“The idea was to create a line of vibrant products different from what was currently available in the market — with a focus on function as well as design. Our products have generic flowers, butterflies or sailors or dinosaurs as the main stars. We think that kids should have the freedom to imagine, think and dream,” Mahajan said, adding that child safety is a mainstay of their offerings.

They retail through lifestyle online portal to reach out to the affluent households across India, and decided early on that online was the way to go, given the country’s growing smart phone base.

There’s experimentation by women in the jewellery space too.

Chennai-based Bharathi Raviprakash was once a money changer. Her urge to break the monotony led to the birth of Studio Tara, a jewellery brand which offers diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, amethyst, spinel, tourmalines, and other precious gems dramatically set in yellow and white gold.

It was her passion for precious stones, and an eye for design, that gave birth to Studio Tara, but Raviprakash’s thirst to learn more led her to a gemological institute in London, from where she graduated in 2002. Her designs reflect a raw feel, and appeal to the corporate crowd.

Another entrepreneur, 32-year-old Anubha Patankar, has carved a niche with her love for baking.

“I was already conducting chocolate-making courses for a few years just as a hobby, alongside my hectic corporate job in IT. Frankly, I loved it more than my job,” Patankar said, recollecting how her small stall in a society get-together focused attention on her culinary talent.

When she decided to quit her mundane job after having a second child, she began planning to open a baking institute — a dream that became a reality with the launch of Melting Momentz in Pune back in 2013. Two years later, Patankar had to move to Gurugram, where she set up the institute from scratch.

“I started promotions online to attract the tech-savvy crowd of Gurgaon (as it was then called). I changed my course content to include healthy baking and focused more on breads. Chemical-free, multi-grain and 100 per cent wheat breads became the synonym for Melting Momentz, where food enthusiasts could learn tips and tricks about cakes, icing, fondants, desserts, cookies, chocolates, eggless recipes and more.”

Her larger aim, as she puts it, is “to support women entrepreneurs in starting their own bakeries and outlets with full assistance from the studio”.

There are common threads that bind these stories: the joy of following their own hearts, the satisfaction of using their creativity and talent, as well as the peace of financial, social and mental freedom. (IANS)

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‘Delete’ Facebook, says WhatsApp co-founder amid Cambridge Analytica scandal

Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014 but Acton remained with the company for several years

Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay
Facebook alleged to be leaking user's information to governement. Pixabay
  • Brian Acton asked users to delete Facebook
  • It was due to data leakage allegations
  • Facebook faces backlash after allegations came to light

Brian Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp, late on Tuesday asked users to “delete” the social media platform, Facebook, amid alleged data leakage of its users for political purposes.

“It is time. #deletefacebook,” Brian Acton tweeted to more than 23,000 of his followers. WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014. Facebook is facing a major backlash after reports emerged that the political data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, accessed the data of its 50 million users without their permission.

Facebook was previously accused of leaking information too. VOA

The company received the user data from a Facebook app years ago that purported to be a psychological research tool, however, the firm was not authorised to have that information.

Also Read: WhatsApp message to wrong number got this man hitched

Earlier on Tuesday, UK’s data protection watchdog sought a court warrant to search the London headquarters of the political data analytics consultancy that worked with Donald Trump’s election team and allegedly harvested Facebook profiles of US voters to influence their choices at the ballot box.

The UK Information Commissioner also ordered the auditors hired by Facebook to stand down when they visited the Cambridge Analytica headquarters. Meanwhile, lawmakers from the US and the UK have called for action following the reports of the data leak of the Facebook users.

Facebook invests big in Community Leaders Program. AFP
WhatsApp cofounder asked users to delete Facebook. AFP

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014 but Acton remained with the company for several years before quitting to start “Signal Foundation” earlier in 2018.

Last month, he invested $50 million into “Signal”, an independent alternative to hugely-popular WhatsApp. Another WhatsApp co-founder, Jan Koum, still leads the company and sits on Facebook’s board. IANS