This article will be a tad different from the general food related articles which I post in my blog. With time, the ‘tales of this Bengali food critic’ may get a little more diversified and may encompass more and more alarming situations ‘round us and discuss about the basic necessities of human life, where food is definitely one of the key components, and will always be. But today I will quickly brief upon the topic of women empowerment and story of a person who has been doing an excellent job in this field. Let me introduce you to Kounteya Sinha – the 38-year-old who is creating people – making women achieve their dreams. He has founded a path breaking mentoring program for women where he guides them and makes them believe that they can achieve big. He is a world renowned journalist and photographer associated with Times of India as their UK correspondent. He has launched an incredibly unique programme for women named LOF – an acronym for Leap of Faith. And this program has already gained loads of popularity across the globe, and I am sure it will be a rage in the coming days. He says, “Women around the world have dreams. They aspire to find identity through their work. I simply hand hold them into reaching where they want to be. I make invisible people, visible – both to the world and themselves”.
His programme has two categories. In the first, he helps women who already have a dream but don’t know how to achieve it. Kounteya paves the path from start to finish and hands over the project or the idea in finished form. In the second, he is actually helping women have a dream. For those who want to do something significant in their life but does not have an idea what it could be, Kounteya actually psycho analyses them, understands their core strengths and creates projects for them. In fact when he was asked why he only prefers to empower women and looks after their dreams, he said – “I have been raised by a very strong woman. She didn’t go to a B-school or even to a high flying college. But her management skills are unparalleled. Her advice on business and people is priceless. But then, her acumen has remained within the confines of my home. Imagine how many such extremely sharp women around the world are actually invisible – even to those inside their own walls. That is why I work only with women. I also find them more committed and honest.” It is really appreciable that he wants the world to know the true potential every woman has got and to make every woman believe they have the ultimate power in them to make anything possible under the sun. His ultimate dream is to see every person believe that dreams are not just figments of imagination but they can be converted to reality as well. The name ‘Leap of Faith’ is apt and truly describes the task he has undertaken to empower women.
So what made him take up women empowerment as one of his key missions in life? Sinha had once seen a visual while documenting Kumartuli in Kolkata – it is one of Asia’s largest hubs of idol making which had the leg of a lifeless mud idol of Goddess Durga tied to a fan – that was clearly signifying bondage, lest she walk away and claim her freedom. This shook him up and gave him enough reasons to stop this scenario becoming a reality in our everyday life.
We frantically pray to this goddess when we are in a soup but never care about the real goddesses in our lives. Every woman should have the power of devi Durga and we are no one to stop them from achieving their dreams. Our society and our thoughts need to be addressed before it is too late. We need to think and change this trend which is maybe hundreds or thousands of years old where women are expected to sacrifice their career, passion or ambition for their family. More people like Kounteya are required in our society and this is an absolute necessity. We need more and more people who will help every woman in our society to start believing in themselves and to take that leap of faith.