Embrace Equity: In continuation of the celebration of International Women’s Day, the Canada-based Happyness Wellness Community Resources Society (HWCRS), on March 17, organised an event, UniqueYou 2023 to raise awareness about women’s freedom and recognition of their contributions. The event was organised in partnership with not-for-profit community associations ATI Vancouver and Manasvini Hindi Cultural Society, and was a unique event that promoted the IWD 2023 theme of ‘Embrace Equity’.
Women from all walks of society came together and shared their thoughts and views on issues which matter to women across the world. Speaking at the event, Jinny Sims, MLA, Surrey-Panorama, said though it was her father’s decision to send her away to university when it came to actually sending her to a different city, away from home, her father became reluctant. However, it was her mother who eventually put her foot down and ensured that she could fly as high as she wanted to. Her story demonstrated how women can empower each other and work together to break down barriers.
A celebration of women’s uniqueness
Tarana Kaur, the lead event planner of HWCRS, conceptualized the UniqueYou2023 concept to celebrate everyone from various walks of life and age groups. According to her, everyone is born unique, and providing an equal chance for everyone to express their uniqueness and be recognized for it is essential for building a healthy community. The event brought together four generations, demonstrating that age is not a barrier to celebrating uniqueness.
Awarding contributions of women of the community
Seven women from the community were recognized for their selfless contributions to the community. Neelam Batra-Verma, the author of 1971: A War Story, received the community award for social activism for her work in helping immigrant women who were victims of fraudulent marriages. Kamla Bajracharya, the founder of Jhigu Palaa, a non-profit society that supports income-generating projects in Nepal, was another awardee.
A panorama of talent
The theme of the evening, Unique2023, was representative of every performance, which kept the audience regaled throughout the evening. Performers ranged in age from 3-year-old girls to women of 80 years, demonstrating that age is just a number. The evening kicked off with a beautiful Indian classical dance performance by little girls of a Sudnya Dance Academy aged 3 years to 5 years, followed by a group dance ensemble of seniors, by teenagers on the beats of the Oscar-winning Naatu Naatu song, and a young comedian who sent the audiences into peals of laughter with his vibrant jokes.
The highlight of the evening: ramp walk
The highlight of the event was a ramp walk. Women of all ages were invited and given free training by Meenal Drockz, the ravishing Miss India Seattle 2016. The showstopper was Prateek Kalra, a proud member of the local LGBTQ community. Once again, age, body type, sex, or color was no bar. The only prerequisite was to bring individuality and confidence when walking the ramp. Many felt that it was a dream come true as they always wanted to do the ramp walk one day but never thought they ever could.
Supporting small businesses run by women
Manasvini Society sponsored the children’s craft activity stall, made in-kind contributions towards door prizes, and invited local businesswomen and volunteer artists from their network to set up stalls and participate in the event. This provided another dimension to this exciting event and promoted small businesses run by women. Shikha Porwal, Director of Manasvini, mentioned that they supported Tarana Kaur’s initiative to create this spectacular event.
The event was a highly creative and inspiring celebration of women’s uniqueness and their contributions to society. The event’s inclusive approach and diverse range of performers and participants emphasized the message that every woman is unique and has the power to make a positive impact, and the event’s success highlights the importance of continuing to celebrate and support women in all aspects of life.