Thursday, March 20, 2014

Father-daughter stories

Happenings, Mar '14 (update 1)
Debasmita Dasgupta invites inspiring father-daughter stories, which she promises to illustrate for a series called mY FaTHer Illustrations dedicated to all fathers who stand as pillars of strength for their children

It all started with a TED Talk by an Afghani woman, Shabana Basij-Rasikh, in 2013. She shared the story of how her father helped her to continue with her studies against all odds during the Taliban regime. She quoted her father: “We will let nothing stop your education, even if we have to sell our blood for it.”

I was bowled over by Shabana’s story. It reminded me of my own father’s ironclad adherence to his ideals. I thought there must be many other fathers in different corners of the world, who fearlessly stand for the rights of their children. Why aren’t enough people talking about these stories? There should be a way to showcase and share such untold stories. Every positive story can create another.

Then the question arose – how do I communicate such stories? I didn’t have to look any further than my study table. My answer was right in front, shining in all glory and truth: My illustrations. The idea came like a bolt of lightning, but it changed me forever. Within a week, I started the mY FaTHer Illustrations series dedicated to fathers who fight for child rights.

Every child-related issue needs the direct involvement of children. We need to hear from them with a very open mind and heart to faithfully address such issues. That’s why fathers and daughters are equal owners of mY FaTHer Illustrations. The picture stories are not just about how fathers stand for their children but also about how the children imagine them to stand for them.

Currently mY FaTHer Illustrations is an online initiative in the form of a Facebook page with nearly 3,000 followers. I would encourage all the readers of Varta to join the page and help me spread the word. With every ‘like’ on my Facebook page, and every word of appreciation I get in my inbox, I feel more driven towards the cause. These single drops of inspiration mean an ocean full of positive waves that keep me moving on.

The Facebook page can be accessed at: Your stories can be sent to within May 30, 2014. If all goes as planned, I would like to publish them in the month of June 2014 to celebrate Fathers Day.

Note: TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a global set of conferences owned by the non-profit agency Sapling Foundation under the slogan ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’. TED Talks are organized across the globe to spread inspiring ideas.

Debasmita Dasgupta is a freelance illustrator from India currently living in Singapore. She enjoys illustrating for children’s books. Her illustrations are inspired by simple but special experiences in her life. They echo the spirit of positivity as she continues living life on a positive note.

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