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Pooja Priyamvada is an author, columnist, translator, online content & Social Media consultant, and poet. An awarded bi-lingual blogger she is a trained psychological/mental health first aider, mindfulness & grief facilitator, emotional wellness trainer, reflective listener, a mental health researcher, and suicide prevention activist. She has been associated and published at reputed national & global portals.
She has translated A Night in the Hills, a collection of short stories by Manav Kaul published by Westland Books in 2019, and Caregivers' Handbook for Down's Syndrome published by Sangati Foundation in 2021. Her ebooks Mental Health: A Primer and Lessons for Life from Death: Papa & I are available on Amazon Kindle.
She has an M.Phil. in English Literature and speaks vociferously about issues of gender, identity, and marginalization at varied international platforms and mediums in English, Hindi and Punjabi.
Both her blogs have been awarded several times consecutively at the Orange Flower Awards and she has been associated with Kritya International Poetry Festival BBCHindi, The Mighty, The Financial Express, Rising Kashmir, Mad in Asia Pacific, Yahoo, Livemint, Satyahindi, News18, Newslaundry, Menstrupedia, Tarshi, Women’s Web, Navbharat Times, Feminism In India, ShethePeopleTV, Kavita Kosh, The Armchair Journal, RHIme, Get Intimacy, Evolve Beings, Momspresso, Sheroes, Bonobology, Writersmelon Jansatta and Sadaneera.
Stop glorifying biological parenthood - other methods of growing a family are just as valid, and completely a couple's choice, especially of the woman whose body goes through pregnancy and birth.
Online violence against women is not uncommon in India. This kind of abuse is just an extension of the Gender Based Violence (GBV) directed at women. This kind of violence reinforces gender stereotypes, reduces women to sexual objects and targets their sexuality.
We need better sensitivity training of policewomen to follow protocols for tackling women. Policewomen cannot use sexual assault and gender based violence to tackle women protestors.
On October 10 1954, actress Rekha was born as Bhanurekha Ganesan. She joined the industry at just 12 yrs & her life has been no less than a film script!
'The Rapist' by National award-winning actor/director Aparna Sen premieres this week at Busan International Film Fest. It got me thinking about these 5 path-breaking feminist films!
Menstrupedia has recently come up with the first Indian comic on boy’s puberty- GULU- the essential guide to growing up with boys, after their widely known Menstrupedia comic for girls.
Delhi Surajkund case: We have no safe spaces for women in this country; all we do is selectively outrage till the next big 'incident', and till then ask our women and girls to 'take precautions' and 'stay safe!'
Women's mental health issues have always been denied or ignored, and women in mental asylums are not even treated humanely by the powers that be, and their families after a while...
Trolls descended on the grieving Mandira since she didn't wear the traditional garb of a grieving widow, and she also did her late husband's last rites herself.
There are many tweets and other messages doing the rounds on 'adopting' kids orphaned as both parents die of COVID. This 'adoption' is illegal, with even traffickers exploiting the situation.
Women who have sent out desperate messages for help during COVID pay a high price for 'not taking care with personal contact details' because men refuse to be humane enough.
Women's health care needs are routinely silenced; we need to speak up more, and expect care and compassion for our physical, mental, and sexual health.
It is always advisable to know your legal rights in case of any eventuality. What are the rights of an arrested person in India, and especially if a woman?
Mental health and depression have been crucial topics during the pandemic and lockdown, but Budget 2021 shows that Mental Health is not a priority for the government.
Single parents and single kids are still an anomaly in India. The discussion has once again turned towards single parenting after the recent Renuka Shahane directed Netflix film Tribhanga.
In an ongoing disaster like a pandemic people with disabilities (PWDs) may be impacted more severely as compared to the non-disabled population.
This year's board exams had an added challenge - the pandemic. Let's celebrate our kids for who they are and not by how many marks they have achieved.
HRD minister of this country Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ recently wrote an 'opinion' piece titled How to Battle Depression for a leading newspaper, showing the depth of his ignorance.
If you had a mother who was either abusive, neglectful, or emotionally unavailable, you probably have a mother wound, that is passed down generations.
The recent Four More Shots Please, Veere Di Wedding, Sex and the City and Desparate Housewives - what do they all have in common? Sisterhoods on screen.
There's a 'mental hospital' game going around on Facebook that is super insensitive to those actually battling mental illness. Yes, we are stressed, but we have no right to stress them further.
UN Women has created an imaginary utopian society that has achieved gender equality. However, when you compare it to the current state of India, are we anywhere there yet?
"9 fierce women, 9 different backgrounds, 1 stark reality". This stark reality is of Indian women, rape and murder, seen in the 13 minute short film Devi.
Swara Bhasker being accused of inciting violence in Delhi is yet another example of how easily women are targeted for having a voice. Why are women such soft targets?
RSS Chief recently claimed that divorces mostly happen in "educated and affluent families." He was slammed for it but it still shows how regressive our society is!
A college run by the followers of the Swaminarayan Mandir in Bhuj recently forced 68 girl students in the hostel remove their panties to check if they were on periods, because of 'impurity' reasons.
Neena Gupta must certainly have struggled with a child out of wedlock back in the '80s, but does that mean that only heterosexual couples in a marriage should have kids?
A number of protests are taking place in Gujarat after the gruesome gang-rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman came to light. Will this ever stop?
Dr Joyshree Goswami Mahanta, a noted writer and educationist from Assam, an ex-MP, and a 2019 Sahitya Akademi awardee, was named as her husband's wife in a sexist Economics Times headline about the awards.
Ex-BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in the 2017 Unnao rape case today. However, is this going to stop the 'strong and powerful' from getting away?
Everyone is blaming women for "getting raped" and putting restrictions on them. Utter nonsense. Put the blame where it really belongs.
Moral policing is brought in the lime light each time there is a new protest at any university, especially JNU. Why can't people give it a rest?
While the government and infrastructure have a major responsibility in reducing pollution, is there anything we as individuals and families do?
10th October, World Mental Health Day, is a good time for women to share their stories, and speak up for themselves and other women, because they are more at risk than men.
Women experience pain differently, for different reasons, and also with very different symptoms, so they are regularly disbelieved, expected to endure, and gaslighted.
A 74 year old woman recently had twin girls after a successful IVF. How ethical, is it, however, for parents this old to try for a baby? What about the babies' human rights?
Suicide rates by women in India are exceptionally high by global standards. Among these, Indian housewives is a very large percentage. Let's get to the bottom of this.
Popular show Kaun Banega Crorepati recently featured a few people with disabilities (PWDs) as contestants. Which is good, except for the way the whole thing was handled.
Recently, entrepreneur Shruti Chaturvedi withdrew a sexual harassment case that had gone on for a very long time. Why is justice so slow for women reporting sexual harassment or assault?
The RSS linked SSUN - Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas recently stated that sex education is not a requirement for schools. We disagree.
Despite all its schemes for girls and women which claim to better their lives, and our 'goddess worship' claims, India remains the most dangerous place for women in the world.
The Qandeel Baloch 'honour killing' had shocked the subcontinent - her parents recently appealed to the court to spare their sons accused of murdering her under the earlier 'pardon' law.
Benevolent sexism. It's a cousin of Feminism Lite, where a feel good statement about women traps them further into patriarchy. How does this happen?
"She must have asked for it" is a common statement made when women face abuse; worse when it happens online, isolating them by cutting off their online support too.
Twitter has exploded with pictures of women in sarees with the hashtag #SareeTwitter. But what when it is deemed the only 'respectable' garment for Indian women?
The viral video of Sakshi Misra, daughter of BJP MLA Rajesh Misra showed her asking her father to let her be happy in her marriage outside her caste.
A culture that is based on a gendered hierarchy, condones gender based violence, normalises the toxic behaviour of men, even eulogising it, is rape culture. Here's how you identify it.
Air India Express recently put out an ad for female cabin crew requiring 'clear complexion without any blemish, even and regular teeth". This is blatant, in your face objectification.
Yesterday, a Facebook post by the Vice Chairperson, Haryana State Commission for Women, in which she shared a write-up she attributes to Dr Rekha Jain, ex-DSP, Sagar (M. P.), went viral. We think it reeks of moral policing.
A single mom was recently refused admission for her child at a private school, because "we can't handle single parents", said in a very rude manner. This is ridiculous, to say the least.
Whether the articulate Chitralekha of Yayati, the bold Amritamati of Bali or the questing Padmini of Hayavadana, Girish Karnad’s female protagonists leave a deep impact on readers and viewers.
Zomato has recently announced a new, more inclusive parental leave policy, taking into account not only dads, but also surrogate, adoptive, and same sex parents.
Fear of social stigma means that we tend to hide any issues of Indian women's mental health until it is too late. This May, Mental Health Month, let's address this.
Recently, the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) removed the topic of virginity tests from MBBS syllabus – and rightly so.
As a single parent of a daughter, this mom is proud of her child's pride in her as a writer, and would rather be called a 'parent', eschewing the expected pedestal that comes with being a mother in India.
Have a powerful women, what better tool to use to discredit her in a patriarchal society like ours but to slut shame her? In this, #IStandWithAtishi.
Ex-Union Minister MJ Akbar's defamation suit naming only Priya Ramani, one of the several women who have accused him of sexual harassment during his tenure at The Asian Age came up for hearing today.
Yet another allegation of sexual harassment against a Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi begs the question - will this top judiciary body remain the safe space it should be to demand justice?
Former Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra thinks "marital rape should not be made a crime in India for the sanctity of marriage". This normalises sexual violence in the name of 'tradition'!
UPSC topper Kanishka Kataria was recently trolled for crediting his girlfriend for his success, and the nasties all came out of the woodwork.
Rules in many places still need a child to have a father's name on documents. Let's outlaw this patriarchal compulsion in this day and age!
Recently, Actor-Director Renuka Shahane spoke up for sex workers in response to a common cliché about them being “dishonourable criminals”.
Can Holi be a teachable moment for our families and communities, with people coming together in joy and comfort with each other? Yes! Make this Holi an occasion to talk about Consent.
In the last few decades women across the world have stormed almost every profession with élan, but it has led to a double burden on women, especially in conventional societies like India where women’s work in homes and families is still almost invisible.
PM Modi recently used the term 'dyslexia' as a joke to get back at Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, and the attendees found it funny! Those who suffer from it deserve better.
What is the Geneva convention? What rights does it accord captives or prisoners of war? Given the social media usage of this term, here are some things you need to know.
How to deal with gaslighting, if you are in any emotionally abusive close relationship, not just a romantic one. How do you help yourself as a survivor?
Women might be 'worshipped' in Indian culture as goddesses, but one just needs to look around to see how ironic and misleading this pedestal is.
Knowing these signs of gaslighting can help you identify if you are in an emotionally abusive relationship. Remember, all abuse is not physical in nature!
Are there any of these signs of intimate partner abuse in your significant relationship? You have to read this list of signs - to understand why you don't feel completely comfortable with him.
This independence day, it is 43 years since the release of Sholay. Pooja Priyamvada tells us why, despite her flaws, Basanti is a feminist icon to her.
Sophia Naz is a Pushcart Prize nominee, who writes in both English and Urdu, and is also the poetry editor and columnist at The Sunflower Collective, as well as the founder of rekhti.org
Fear, shame, prejudice - all comes the way of a girl from the moment she is born, changing form only to suit the stage of life she's at. But despite it all, she survives, thrives. How?
She suffered immense emotional and sometimes even physical abuse at her husband’s hands quietly for the sake of her child. But her struggle was yet not over.
Dr Savita Ambedkar was Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar's 2nd wife and a great support, but was sidelined like most women through history have been.
A poignant poem that takes its unfortunate inspiration from the Kathua rape and murder of an 8 year old. Do read.
This beautiful letter to an ex is filled with the peace of knowing that life's experiences leave us with precious memories - even the ones with scars.
Kusum said, “She is didi, seems also a few weeks pregnant, so now it seems all will be sorted. If it’s a boy then her future at her in-laws will be secure, but if it’s a girl…”
As he drove away ashamed and insulted, Jyoti was scared seeing that look in his eye, that of an injured wild animal as he shouted “If I can't have you, no-one else will!"
This beautiful poem pays tribute to Gauri Lankesh and to all those who refuse to stay silent even when answered with abuse and threats.
Every year comes Dussehra, and the Goddess is crafted again. What of the goddess' own dreams?
To feel and respond to ask for intimacy and beyond, of touch, smell and sound, being a woman who knows desire.
In a country where sensitivity to an invisible illness like fibromyalgia is abysmal, life can be very lonely indeed. A personal account.
“... good families do not talk about sex and you are saying our daughter is being raped by her husband. Husbands never rape, it is their right on a wife’s body."
“Like a warrior at war with life...She is claiming HERSELF finally...The maps are still patriarchal but she is not...following them blindly!”
“The defiance is actually the last push to a glass ceiling... Her mother and mother’s mother have been pushing too long.”
“Why should Harsh’s sexual orientation take away from his political acumen or his capability as a leader? Would it change her love for him as a foster parent?” A short story. Here is the first winner of our December 2016 Muse of the Month contest, Pooja Sharma Rao. The cue for this month was “There is love […]
"Men were the masters of their destinies and their bodies,... a widow needed to be punished for her misfortune of outliving her husband." A short story.
Is it enough that our 'boys' in blue wore their mothers' names on their backs, to strike at the roots of patriarchy? Is this #NayiSoch going to change society?
"But Kamayani was blinded by love and ideals ... she lived her ideology, ... everything about her was so anti-establishment." A short story about personal choice.
She gave in, but when she knew better, she stood up for herself, creating a new life from the ashes of the life she had till now.
Freedom is a precious thing - and getting freedom for others can sometimes free us! April 2016 Muse of the Month winner.
Through the ages, women have served as a looking glass, a companion, a mirror; is it surprising that Jane Austen's intelligent women had trouble finding men they could love?
Don't forget who you are, even if everyone else fails to recognize you, says this beautiful story.
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