Life Style


July 24, 2021 10:07 PM


Chandigarh (Face2News)

These are no ordinary stories but stories which could change your life. ‘The New Woman’ – A project by Ritu Sharma, Founder of Kaushalya UK, features 33 women spread across five continents, who have undergone transformation through adversity. There are stories about fight with mental health issues, domestic abuse, manipulation, drug abuse and many more.

Ritu’s own story is extraordinary; she's an ambassador for the empowerment of women, an entrepreneur, and the founder and CEO of Kaushalya UK, a registered, not for profit, community organisation working to empower and uplift women. She originally hails from Amritsar, Punjab.

The project is an initiative of Ritu’s organisation Kaushalya UK, and the anthology will showcase “women who have been broken by the challenges they have faced, but have emerged whole and even more beautiful and strong.

Giving details, Ritu says, “This book is one of its kind as it’s based on the concept of Kintsugi, where the Japanese repair broken pottery with powder gold lacquer to highlight imperfections.”

Kaushalya UK’s mission is to highlight and celebrate the impact that women have made on the people and the world around them. Ritu has been collecting and collating stories from women around the world for this new project.

Sharing an insight into her book, Ritu says, “Women go through challenges of one form or the other, in general. The learnings women get out of these challenges are phenomenal and if shared, can be of great help and of value to those who need them,” says Ritu.

“I believe that many women go through similar challenges and still feel that they are the only ones. In our cognitive isolation, we tend to treat these experiences as unique and novel, and that is how gender-based discrimination becomes normalised in our societies. By sharing these stories, we are not only exposing what is done to women on a regular basis, but also creating an awareness that we do not have to keep repeating the narrative. Change is possible! And so is happiness.”

The book as an honest and true reflection of challenges faced by many women. The book also aims to remove any shame, guilt or embarrassment attached to any women related issues in this world.

Ritu explains, “We also intend to translate the book in different languages for women across the world with an objective to reach women everywhere in the world, especially because authors are from across the world.”

Ritu hopes for two things from the book. Firstly, she wants to establish that women are empowered naturally. Secondly, even after having disempowering experiences, women can get back up.

“One big reason we feel disempowered ever or are made to feel so is because we are subjected to outside pressures, expectations and demands,” she explains. Secondly, on the outset, we see women working on forefronts, taking responsible positions and heading businesses and organisations. That number is very small. Many of us are still struggling to accept ourselves and respond to the call of our purpose. We cannot ignore the majority there! And we certainly cannot ignore the reasons for so many of us still struggling to be happy in our own skin.”

Punjab Connections

Ritu Sharma was born and brought up in Amritsar. She attended the Sacred Heart High School and later went on to do her B. Sc and M.A. (English) from DAV College, Amritsar. She pursued her teaching degree in the year 1999-2000 at the DAV B.Ed College, Beri Gate. She was academically bright and a university topper in M.A. English for both years consecutively in 2000 and 2001. 

Although Ritu has resided in the UK for more than 17 years, she strongly feels connected to Amritsar, especially to the Golden Temple. She takes pride in her identity as a Punjabi woman. Although she refuses to be affiliated to any one religion while in her forties now, she is thankful for the Hindu and Sikh values that were instilled in her during first couple of decades of her life in Punjab. She is nostalgic about Punjab, it being the land of vibrant energies and colours, and Amritsar being the hub of Punjab’s spirit. She believes that her undeniable resilience and claim to success comes from her Punjabi genes. In her own words, “Adversity does not beat a Punjabi, it creates one.” 

Kaushalya UK is working with UK-based publishers and the book will be available on Amazon in hardback and as e-book. The book will also be available on various online outlets, including the organisation’s website (where you can buy signed copies). 

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