“You are the only one responsible for your own happiness.”
I grew up surrounded by people obsessed with societal norms resulting from their narrow perspective. I was confident, and preferred to be the ‘odd-one out’. I follow the passion that makes me happy rather than trying to churn out the perfection of someone else’s ideas. That, my friends, was the start to my ‘Entrepreneurial Journey’.
My Baba was kidnapped & tortured for days in the North-eastern region. The trauma I underwent during that time shaped my life as a tribal rights activist. I was born and brought up around the tribal regions of Guwahati. As I share the tribal roots, I naturally relate and connect with the people of this region. And when you understand their challenges through their own lens, you have real empathy for their survival plight in the tribal regions. In 2016, I shifted with my family Karnataka. But even then, I travelled to the North-East every fortnight to continue my crusade.
Under the Sustainable Menstrual Project, I encourage women to use bio-degradable sanitary napkins. 30000 tribal women have benefitted across India under this program. Within this initiative, tribal women receive education about the production, application and viability of these bio-degradable pads that they consume and sell. This practice is a beautiful system of eco-friendly income generation that solves a real hygiene challenge for women.
In 2017, my husband and I founded the Saksham Foundation. Through this foundation, we educate and subsequently enhance the lives of the tribal people. We strongly believe that all tribal communities must prioritize a base line literacy so that they can at least write their names, recognize the numbers on currency notes, and comprehend important notices displayed on Billboards.
Ananya was awarded Karamveer Chakra, the global civilian honour, in 2019. This award is given to people across the globe for relentless courage.