Anastassiya Savchenko, founder of Jaipur Women Blog speaks to SHEROES today

Anastassiya Savchenko

When was the last time you heard of a Russian national starting a blog for Jaipur women? Anastassiya Savchenko did just that when she started the well-known Jaipur Women Blog, which is today considered to be one the more popular blog networks that discusses and showcases success stories of women in areas such as social issues, relationships, business, career and much more.

She tells us why (and more importantly how) she identified this niche need that led to this mighty platform. Let us read on.

Tell us a little about yourself 

From the moment I could make sense out of things in life, I have believed that the best way to bring change in society is through creativity. I view advertisement as a medium to shape values and build society. It goes beyond selling a certain product. Therefore, I started my career in the creative field as a copywriter for ‘O&M Central Asia’, in Almaty, Kazakhstan. But, fate had different plans for me. Chance made me bump into my husband there, and I subsequently moved to Jaipur, India after getting married. Initially, living in India proved to be terribly out of my comfort zone, but I was determined to build a life here. My husband, a doctor, has always provided me with his unconditional support, and together we have faced innumerable financial and social constraints. But, it was worth it.

How did the idea of Jaipur Women Blog come about?

When my life in Jaipur started, I would watch the women of Jaipur intently. The women had a narrow circle, with no boosters. A desire for change, and a struggle to find self-identity was brewing underneath those colourful bandhej sarees. But, there was hardly any awareness about what was going on next door! Hence, I made it my mission to construct a platform, which shall help uplift the middle class women of Jaipur. This is how “Jaipur Women Blog” came into being.

All I needed was a little support from the women as well. In my dictionary, “empowerment” is not about earning big bucks, but about self-fulfillment and happiness. If a woman is happy, she is empowered.

In the future, what are your long term plans for the blog?

The blog’s long term plans broadly include expansion. We already have a readership of 100,000 readers, but there is still a long way to go. We wish to conduct more massive campaigns, with more women. There will be many more personal campaigns, which have the power to influence human beings at an individual level. More rubrics inside JWB along with more workshops will help us impact the society better.

Do you run any other ventures? Can you tell us a little about them if yes?

Yes, we run “Nutcrackers Creative Agency”, along with JWB. It is a 360 degree creative advertising agency, which specializes in 360 branding and communication. The main focus of the agency is ‘Guerilla marketing’ and ‘Interactive marketing’, which is somewhat new for Rajasthan.

What are the top 3 things that fascinate you most about Jaipur / other places in India?

Jaipur is a fascinating city in itself, and the following three things have managed to change my internal perceptions:

(a) The fact that the people of Jaipur are so accepting and broad-minded has been heart-warming. Their free-spirited attitude helped me adjust to my new life here.

(b) Jaipur is a land un-touched. There is a lot of scope for business and commercial ventures. One just needs to find his/her passion and work towards it.

(c) Jaipur women have a multitude of hidden talent, which fascinated me to my absolute core. They are just waiting to be discovered and shine bright.

Any thoughts you would like to leave our readers with?

Follow the love. Love is empowerment.

This article was originally published here

My Father Illustrations by Debasmita Dasgupta


The image above is one of Debasmita’s illustrations

Debasmita Dasgupta, an artist from India currently based in Singapore is the Founder of “My Father illustrations”, an endeavour that promotes girl-child rights by engaging fathers and daughters through artistic exchanges. She illustrates true stories of fathers who fearlessly fight for the rights of their daughters. She has shared over 150 stories from 37 countries.

She talks about her journey with SHEROES today,


I am from a middle class family in south Calcutta, being the only child, I had a very close bond with my parents, especially my father who always inspired me to swim against the current. My father is a theatre actor & director. Sometimes I used to accompany him to his rehearsals and got completely bowled over seeing him bring together actors, orchestrate them to create art with a strong social message. That somehow became the foundation of my artistic existence and inspired me to find my purpose as an artist. Thus began an urge do something meaningful with my education, my art, my resources and surroundings.

It was on a Sunday afternoon when the idea of “My Father illustrations”, came to me after I heard a TED talk by Shabana Basij from Afghanistan. It was a moving experience. I felt something had permanently changed inside me. Over the next few days, I watched that talk over and over. Her honesty, her simplicity and power of narration moved me.

Shabana grew up in Afghanistan during the Taliban regime. Despite all odds, her father never lost the courage to fight for her education. He used to say, “People can take away everything from you except your knowledge”. Shabana’s story gave me a strong impulse to do something but I didn’t know ‘what’ and ‘how’. That’s when my red sketchbook and pencil caught my eye. Before I’d even realized it, I had taken my first step. I illustrated Shabana’s story and posted it on Facebook. It was an impulsive reaction. I found Shabana’s contact and shared the illustration with her. Shabana was so touched that she forwarded it to her students, and then I started getting emails from a lot of other Afghan men! The emails were a note of thanks as they felt someone was trying to showcase Afghan men in a positive light.

I realized that if there are so many positive father–daughter stories in Afghanistan, just imagine the positive stories across the world! My journey had started. I started looking for moving father-daughter stories from across the globe. Some I found, some found me. With every discovery, my desire to create art for people kept growing.

Started in 2013, ‘My Father illustrations’ is all about sharing the positive father–daughter stories with the rest of the world. Through this project, I want to encourage fathers to fight for the rights of their daughters. Every story is special and needs to be told. I look for ordinary people with stories to tell because celebrity stories are still available for people to find, but these ordinary stories are mostly “unheard”. Till date I have shared over 150 stories from 37 countries through “My Father illustrations” Facebook page.

In many countries, girls are vulnerable due to lack of education, economic disempowerment and gender bias. Issues such as female foeticide, child marriage, verbal or physical abuse and sexual exploitation are common. The challenges however, are not limited to marginalized communities. The ever-shrinking number of women in corporate boardrooms and nation’s top governing positions is an indication of how little we have progressed when affording basic rights to our young girls. That is where the root of the evil lies.


Click here for the complete story.

Make your commute to work “effective”!



Peak hour traffic is something no working professional looks forward to. On an average, the working professional of today spends at least two hours a day commuting to work and back. If they say that sleeping for 8 hours a day boosts health and then you take away your travel time from those 24, that’s 10 hours of your day, gone!

Maybe using that commute time to your advantage is the need of the hour. You’ll realize that you have a little bit of that much needed (extra) spare time that you can devote to yourself if you do.

Catch news / other reading on-the-go

Get your reading done while on the go. If you have a chauffeur to drive you to work, it is that much easier to read while commuting. If you travel by public transport, sink into a corner seat to get some reading done! For those who drive themselves, catch the current news through the radio while en route.

Make your calls

Did you miss calling your mother in law back the other day? Use your commute time smartly to catch up on pending personal and business calls. While on your way to work, you pretty much have nothing else to do besides wait to get to work. Use that time to your advantage.

Your to-do list

Why wait till you settle down at your work station before making the day’s plan? Make your to-do list while on the go. Once you have your to-do list ready before you walk into work, you can just start from the first task, thereby saving a lot of time!

Draft mails / make points

Are there some important mails you still have to attend to? Create drafts in your mind or in your notebook while on your way to or back from work. Half the job is done when you know the points that need to be sent!

Make your payments

Utility payments and other bills can be settled while on the go very conveniently these days. Download apps like Paytm and sync all your mobile / dth / electricity payments via it. You don’t even need to physically go anywhere to make a payment anymore.

Your shopping list

Since you’re the one who is most probably in charge of household groceries, you can use this time to make your shopping list. If there is a grocery store on the way, stop to buy your utilities on the way back from work if you aren’t the kind to order them online or call for it.

This article was originally published here.