Hyderabad,August 2020: YFLO Chairperson Apurva Jain and executive committee invited the esteemed celebrity Shabana Azmi for the national event of the year 2020. The actress is well known for her multi-faceted personality and work asa politician, a social activist. A Padmabhushan recipient, her recent movie MeeRaqsam is creating waves in the Industry. Gracing the same event was Jahnabi Phookan, the 37th National FICCI FLO President. An entrepreneur, a co-founder of two National Tourism Award-winning companies: Jungle Travels India and Assam Bengal Navigation Company under JTI Group. Her primary focus is on sustainable livelihood for women economic empowerment. Moderating this highly dynamic session was the well known WOW magazine editor and founder Ms.RatnaRaoShekhar. India’s most enterprisingand highly influential women came together from all FICCI chapters to make this event a national success!
YFLO Treasurer Arti Shah started the session on an auspicious note with Ganesh Vandana. YFLO Chairperson Apurva Jain came forward with her welcome address and shared these lines “Aankhon main haidoodh, aanchal main pani, Haayeablajeevanteriyahikahaani.” The helpless portrayal of women in this poem motivated her to strive ahead and she “salutes the efforts of the women who have redefined these lines for me, who have and continue to inspire me, who made this event possible and the ones who are yet to create history!” She welcomed the Diva Ms. Azmi, National FLO President JahnabiPhookan and the moderator Ms. RatnaRaoShekhar.
Ms. Phookan shared her work and theme for the year and asked Ms. Azmi about the relationship she shared with her father the illustrious poet Kaifi Azmi. The actress was in awe of her experiences with him and spoke highly of how each instance motivated her, taught her, left an everlasting impression on her. She shared a very special relation with her mother as well, who “Embodied India’s spirit!Our house was full of trinkets, handloom and I have developed my aesthetics and love for acting from her”. She claimed “Arth” to be her starting point for choosing to influence women empowerment through her characters, and also refused certain roles for their portrayal of women. She accepted that the world is changing and women are being granted equality in all spheres, but still need to be active and more decisive in terms of their finance, their family planning, their economic independence. “The whole notion of masculinity needs to be redefined”; she explained with giving instances from her recent release MeeRaqsam. The story is based on her father’s hometown Mijwan and brought out the impact culture has on all strata of society and the role it plays in bringing people together.
COVID and social lockdown has brought out the unsung story of many women. Even in the aspect of Mijwan Welfare Society has reached 1,15,000 families. Smart classes are being conducted for the women in the villages. She personallymoved to Khandala for the pandemic, “I have focused on the here and now instead of cribbing when will it get over. It has been mostly meditative; I have understood the difference between need and want. I am simplifying my life, and we must give, we must give till it hurts because we are all so deeply connected.”
Ms. Azmi dazzled on the screen with same charm and grace that is synonymous with her name. Her calm demeanor, spirited conversation and relentless pursuit for women empowerment left the audience spellbound.
YFLO Secretary SonaliModiSaraf felicitated guests with plantation of 50 trees in Sunderbans. Vice Chairperson Deepthi Reddy delivered the vote of thanks to all present, for all the efforts put in and shared sincere gratitude for the presence of the esteemed guests and members.