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Hundreds of people have captured images in pink to inspire and raise awareness about breast cancer, writes Mai Al Khatib-Camille.
The Women of India Series Bahrain (WISB), founded by housewives Sumithra Praveen and Vidya Sreekumar, launched the Pink Gallery Photo Exhibition to mark October, marked around the world as breast cancer awareness month. It aims to draw attention to the disease as well as remind people about early detection and treatment.
Sumithra, a mother-of-two from Segaya, said: “Our aim is to add to the global efforts to raise awareness on breast cancer and the need for early detection. It is also about lending a hand. Not all can help with money or material things. So we, as a simple group of women, are doing our best to shed light on the month.”
People were asked to capture anything in pink and add a caption to the photograph, to inspire people to advocate for the cause.
“We care for those who are battling breast cancer and we salute them on their strength. We believe every little action and gesture counts – hence such an initiative makes a difference,” said Ms Sumithra.
Images were sent through WhatsApp and selected entries were published @womenofindiabahrain on Instagram and on their Facebook page Women of India Series Bahrain – WISB.
“The response since we started on October 13 was overwhelming and we have received 78 photos in one week,” said Sumithra.
The team stopped accepting images as of yesterday.
However, people can still see the inspirational images on their social media platforms.
This is one of the many community initiatives created by WISB, which includes Biji Siva, Suchithra Madhusudanan, Jisha Jyothis, Anupama Binu, Parvathy Mohandas, Ranjusha Rajesh and Mira Krishna as its members.
Sumithra said: “WISB was formed when Vidya and I felt that there are a number of women like us who have skills, talents and unique abilities. It is open to women of all ages and from different backgrounds who would excel if they are given a platform suiting their situations.
“I think it is every woman’s dream to pursue her dream, which at times may look impossible amidst her multitasking as a daughter/ daughter-in-law, wife, mother, sister, grandmother and professional. It is possible with a little support from family and groups of like-minded women. I believe a true woman is one who appreciates other women as well as inspires and encourages them.”
The group, which now conducts its activities online due to the pandemic, has hosted a few projects. Nail It was a week-long nail art competition in which women were invited to showcase their colourful creations.
Shelby Shefikas won the ‘plain colour’ category for her pretty powder pink nails and Uthara Udayan’s fancy floral work won the ‘design’ category. According to Sumithra, their entries stood apart from the other 61 contestants because of their design, blend of colours and aesthetics. They were judged by Bahraini actress Farah Ali, businessman Mansoor Ali and beautician Harsha Jobish.
WISB also hosted a webinar series entitled She Speaks, that introduced six inspiring women – including YK Almoayyed and Sons managing director Mona Almoayyed, Radio Bahrain’s Noor Nooruddin and doctors such as Dr Kiran Bijlani and Dr Nidhi Menon.
They also marked Onam, Eid and other occasions such as Teachers’ Day, Indian Independence Day and Nurses Day.
Their upcoming projects include Retelling Classics which is a video narration of 10 classics from world literature, Indian festival Navaratri programms and a series of women-oriented workshops.
For details on the exhibition, WhatsApp 39062720.