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Sarvani Talks ‘Why our stories Matter?’
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At the young age of 19 Drishti Kharbanda founded Sarvani - women-run organization in Chandigarh.

“Our stories, our struggles may be different but our reality is the same’’

– Drishti Kharbanda (Sarvani, Founder)

The current generation is so sparkled by the red carpet and the media that it often looks up for inspiration only from movies and autobiographies. However, the biggest stories of struggle, suffering, determination, and success lie in the grassroots levels of the country whose stories are often untapped. We at Sarvani, strive to serve people and give voice to the unheard whose words can be inspirational for the masses.

The universe is woven with stories, and we all are these stories. Every little street in our country is filled with extraordinary stories. The beggar who sits outside a temple every day and wakes up every morning with the hope of having a wholesome meal has a different story, and so does a working woman who wakes up at 5 A.M. just to make food for her family.

Our motto is “BEKHAUFF, BEBAK, BULAND’’ and we at Sarvani believe that each story is inspirational when told with boldness and courage. Sarvani talk is a platform to empower and uplift the stories of people who have been fearless, courageous, and bold. Sarvani has hosted 3 “Sarvani Talks” events to date. All the events were held at Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh. The tagline for this initiative by Sarvani is “Ordinary people with extraordinary stories”. 

Sarvani Talks (1) has been able to amplify the voices of various people who have shone brighter in terrible times and have been able to fight the societal norms and economic crisis with persistence and hard work. It has also been a platform for budding artists to appear and express themselves through their talents. Before every event, we go on a journey to find these extraordinary stories. We roam streets, talk to people, and bring you these incredible stories. 

Sarvani Talks

We try to create the extraordinary out of the ordinary. The event has been embraced by various guests like RJ Karan from Red FM, One of the leading female dhol player and bhangra lover Jahan Geet, Jasdeep Sagar, National Award Winner, and “The Green Man” Mr. Suresh Deswal. The event acts as a medium where men and women appear and share their unique stories. We try our best to provide a safe space for people to express their uniquely inspirational stories and honor the same. We tell stories of how people have risen above their challenges to live a successful life. Even though all the speakers and performers have different stories, their realities are the same. To date, we gave organized three editions of Sarvani Talks which were all very successful and gained immense support from our followers.

The event acts as a medium where men and women appear and share their unique stories. We try our best to provide a safe space for people to express their uniquely inspirational stories and honor the same. We tell stories of how people have risen above their challenges to live a successful life. Even though all the speakers and performers have different stories, their realities are the same. To date, we gave organized three editions of Sarvani Talks which were all very successful and gained immense support from our followers.

 

First Edition of Sarvani Talks

Sarvani Talks

Our first “Sarvani Talk” took place in Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh on 25 August 2018. The event was a huge success and was filled with tremendous stories of hard work, courage, and dedication. Many ordinary people brought their extraordinary stories to the stage and inspired all of us. 

Anshul Jain, an architect by profession and a biker by passion, shared her dreams of exploring every corner of the world on her bike. She sees bike rides as a journey filled with excitement, unexpected turns, and discoveries. She shared her story with us on Sarvani Talks and truly left us all inspired. She was very interested in riding a bike since her childhood. Frequently faced with stereotypes, she slowly built her pathway to becoming a female rider. She told us that being looked at differently is what inspired her to continue her journey and join a biking group. She was the only female rider in a biking group of 400 people. Along with journeys through different cities, she also went on a mission of erasing stereotypes from her mind. Though she was taught to ride by her father, her father did not support her joining a biker’s group full of men. But she continues to make her own paths and build her own Sarvani wings.

Sarvani Talks

Geeta Manchanda, a widow, trying to make her ends meet and most importantly a Sarvani, also graced our stage. When our team was out searching for these amazing and inspiring stories to grace the stage of Sarvani Talks, we found her food stall. Her eyes were filled with tears after two secs of describing her story. After her husband’s death, she left her job at a school and started a food stall to make ends meet. She educated her children, filled all the bills, listened to the taunts and mockery of her relatives but never lost hope. She is BEKHAUFF, BULAND, and BEBAK. She is a true Sarvani.

Dhananjay Chauhan Mangalmukhi, a social activist, reformer, human rights activist, counselor, and a motivator, also shared her story on Sarvani Talks. She is the first transgender student at Punjab University. At Sarvani Talks, she shared her experience of being a transgender person in India. She regards herself as a complete person, both as a man and a woman. She says,

“like other transgender people, I am a Superwoman.”

Her words truly inspired everybody. She said that she is just like others. She came into this world from her mother’s womb, but some people label her as incomplete, and she refuses to abide by it. On the stage, she described her journey of becoming what she is now. Her journey is filled with discrimination and stereotypes manifested by society. Female dhol Players Jahan Geet shared her musical journey on Sarvani Talks.

Monalisa Jha, a Madhubani artist, taught us that every picture could be a tale even without words. Popularly known as Super Monalisa, she has been practicing Madhubani painting since her childhood and was taught by her mother. She started turning her talent into a business so that she could support her family. She makes art based on social issues like women’s empowerment. Madhubani is an art that is immensely underrated and not supported. Monalisa had to go through many struggles but was always supported by her family. She also gifted us with the artwork of our logo as a token of appreciation.

 

Second Edition of Sarvani Talks

Sarvani Talks

After the first edition became a huge success, we were again out on the street and constantly browsing the internet to discover more ordinary people to share their extraordinary stories. The second edition of Sarvani Talks was organized on 18 November 2018 in Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh. Sarvani Talks is a platform where every story is heard and respected, and again the stage was graced with many unique and truly striking stories.

Jagdish Bhagat Singh was one of the speakers at the second edition of Sarvani Talks. His motto “Zindagi Jiyo Aisi ki misal ban Jaye” truly inspired everyone. He told us that we write our journeys and his journey was deeply inspired by the life of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh. He studied a lot about him and traveled all the places that were crucial for India’s independence journey. He works to honor the freedom fighters and martyrs who fought for India and to keep that patriotic spirit alive in the younger generation. As a staunch follower of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, he has set up a chawk (roundabout) in Panchkula dedicated to Shaheed Bhagat Singh and a temple dedicated to him in his house. At Sarvani Talks, he shared his story to become Jagdish Bhagat Singh from Jagdish Singh.

Sarvani Talks

Samira Koser, a Kathak Dancer, shared her story with us on Sarvani Talks. She describes herself as ‘girl next door’. Born and brought up in a middle-class family, she has lived a simple life but with high values. Her mother supported her journey of learning Kathak even when she did not have the resources. Samira gave the credits for her fire for dance to her mother. She says that one should do whatever one wants to but never lose the self. She made her passion her profession. She said that dance has purpose and meaning, and therefore, these art forms have traveled through generations. Art completes our personality and acts as a channel to express one’s feelings and ventilate from stress. For her, Kathak is not just a passion or profession; it is a lifestyle.

Jasdeep Sagar, a national award winner also graced the stage and told us his story. Along with him, another Sarvani shared her story with us on Sarvani Talks. Rajni Verma is an artist based in Delhi. After her husband died, she became the sole bread earner in her family. Her passion for making soft toys and art helped her to support her family. Her story again taught us that art is a way of expression, and for some people, it is their livelihood. She also contributed her artwork with the Sarvani Logo to the team as her token of appreciation. 

Along with ordinary people sharing their extraordinary stories, the stage of the second edition of Sarvani Talks was also graced by many aspiring artists, who expressed themselves through their talents.

 

Third Edition of Sarvani Talks:

Sarvani Talks
Team Sarvani honoring team Durga Shakti, a women commando team from Haryana Police

With a new year, came the third edition of Sarvani Talks. Sarvani is a forever-growing family and with this edition of Sarvani Talks many more extraordinary people joined the Sarvani Family. The third edition of Sarvani Talk took place in Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh on 17 November 2019. 

Vikas Luthra, also is known as the man with a golden heart, was one of the speakers at Sarvani Talks. He has dedicated his whole life to rescuing animals. He has saved more than 8000 animals. He also launched several campaigns and worked with various organizations to promote the adoption of rescued and injured animals. Today even with two failed kidneys, his spirit for helping animals is boundless. His story really taught what kindness and unconditional love really are. 

The second edition of Sarvani Talks was also attended by the Green Man of India, Dr. Suresh Deswal. He has dedicated more than 25 years of his life to giving back to society and the environment. He has planted more than one lakh trees and continues to contribute to the environment. His active determination has made a life-changing impact. On Sarvani Talks, he shared his journey of becoming the Green Man.

Another speaker at the third edition of Sarvani Talks was Dr. Suneet Madan. She is a philanthropist by nature and an artistic prodigy. Well-traveled and having lived across the length and breadth of the country, her views and visualizations on societal and culturally relevant aspects have a broader perspective. She has authored a book chapter, has written many research papers and poems. At Sarvani Talks, she shared her story of growth which is never-ending.

At the third edition of Sarvani Talks, team Sarvani also honored team Durga Shakti, a women commando team from Haryana Police who is working extensively to provide security to women across Haryana. 

Sarvani Talks

Sarvani Talks is not only the platform where ordinary people can share their extraordinary stories, it is a platform where these stories are heard and respected. Team Sarvani continues to find these remarkable stories and giving them a platform where they can be expressed, and we continue to look forward to organizing the fourth edition of Sarvani Talks.

Founder at Sarvani (women-run organization based in Chandigarh)

Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article have been curated for our audience and does not warrant a 100% accuracy. All the information mentioned in the article is subject to change according to the changing viewpoints. Feel free to reach us at [email protected] for any change or copyright issues.

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Drishti Kharbanda
Drishti Kharbanda
Founder at Sarvani (women-run organization based in Chandigarh)

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