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women in India in a traditional attire, Wikimedia
  • The Chunni Project is a movement to empower Indian women which is started a few months ago by a 19-year-old writer, Harman Kaur
  • Another aim of The Chunni Project was to connect women all over the world so that they can share their views and vision with each other
  • It has been successful in creating an online community where women from Canada, India, UK, Australia, and USA interact and empower each other

October 20, 2016: Earlier this year, the Chunni Project was launched by Canada-born Harman Kaur, 19, to provide suitable models for Indian Diaspora, especially Punjabis. Her family comes from Mohali in Punjab. Through her “Chunni Project” she wants to encourage the Indian women to be at home with their traditional attire.

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“The Chunni Project” is more of a movement to empower Indian women which was started a few months ago by a 19-year-old writer, Harman Kaur. She started it with the hope that it would help to empower other Indian women by giving them a platform to share their stories and experiences, mentioned the TOI report.

“The reason behind the name ” The Chunni Project” is that the project aim isn’t just to empower women but it is also to help Indian women feel comfortable and proud of their culture,” said 19-year-old writer, Harman Kaur to TOI.

Another aim of “The Chunni Project” was to connect women all over the world so that they can share their views and vision about anything and everything, with each other. It has been successful in creating an online community where women from Canada, India, UK, Australia, and USA interact and empower each other.

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She hoped to create “a safe online space for Indian women”.

“I saw a need for this because I believed that creating such a platform would empower Indian women. I was also very troubled by the stereotypes associated with them, and wanted to shatter these by providing stories from the source itself,” said Harman Kaur.

According to TOI report, Harman was overwhelmed by the response generated by the project. “I started this project with the hope that I would be able to help at least one woman feel empowered, but it has clicked beyond my expectations. What started off as a blog where different women shared their stories, turned into a space of creativity! Writers and artists started to submit any work related to Indian women, and now “The Chunni Project” has become a space where anyone can come and discover new and talented female Indian art ists, poets, singers or others. I have received positive feedback from women who are part of the project as well as those who follow it. As there is not much Indian representation in Western media, there should be a space where one can find out how re silient and talented Indian women are,” says Harman.

As the word “Chunni” itself represents women, this project is aimed at empowering Indian women. It symbolizes Harman’s objective of helping the diaspora remain in touch with their culture.

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“Giving a glimpse of her growing up years, Harman says, “When I was younger, my parents made sure that I did not stray from my roots. I learned how to read and write Punjabi at a very young age, and started learning about Sikhi at the same time. These two things kept me close to my roots. I am a writer…and my writing revolves around my religion and culture. Although I have had an easy time sticking to my roots, I recognize that this may not always be the case for every woman. There are many western influences, fear of mockery, and insecurities that may prevent women from visibly showing pride in their culture. I think that being a part of an online community, such as The Chunni Project, can empower women to not be afraid or embarrassed to stick to their roots.”

Harman Kaur feels as though Western culture has started to overpower Indian culture, and this is worrying to her because of her belief that it is very important to keep in touch with our roots. Therefore, it is requested of submitters that their picture be of them in traditional clothing, but it is not mandatory.

Harman’s next step is to advance from the online platform and organize physical events to further female empowerment. The Chunni Project also accepts submissions on Instagram, Facebook.
– prepared by Aakash Mandyal of NewsGram with various inputs. Twitter: @Aakashsen6


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