IMPACT HOUR With Swetha Varma

Written by Sahithi Divi as told by Swetha Varma

Actor, Human Rights Influencer, Engineer

Swetha is born and bought up in Hyderabad whose mother tongue is konkani as her mom is from Goa. She speaks six languages in total and she is a self made actor who has made her imprint in the field of performance and acting. She went on to experiment her liking with camera through anchoring which ultimately pulled her to acting where she belongs. As a child she wanted to be everything she saw. Curious about various roles played by people in the society, she often comprehended imagination to her future career choice and found herself wanting to be something each day. She enjoyed the cultural diversity and possessed varied interests. She did not have to abide by common norms around a girl child due to having a multicultural family and open minded parents. The world around her and the education system does not promote the art talents of students on power with academics which creates a longing gap between life dream and characteristics exhibited by a child as a natural talent. Peculiarities of children must be embraced and given importance by providing more resources , she says.

She was doing her undergrad in electronics and communications engineering when she saw the advertisement of the miss hyderabad contest. Swetha took the first step of enrolling with the 3000 other beautiful women, walked the ramp in her flip flops and made it to the top 20 finalists. Process of the beauty contest gave her essential learnings about the acting scenario. She transformed herself into a free spirit walking on high heeled stilettos making herself differentiate with her exceptional answers to the jury about sustainable environment. This whole experience gave her the learning curve and network exposure. She then ventured into some trails for anchoring. One day she suddenly agreed to a short film with a book, as her first remuneration.

Swetha came across behavioural hurdles from different directions. Alongside the personal parameters of being a strong opinionated woman in a male dominated industry , she also explains that there is a lot of stigma attached to how the main leads are perceived. Short films, web series, cameos and traditional film making are the various platforms where she has acted. She has been vocal about exploitation in order to provide her voice to others who are unable to get opportunities due to adversity towards non consensensual demands made by powerful people. She emphasises how important it is to have a perquisite screening process for actors according to the role.

She has chosen very bold and socially challenging characters to play in search of adventure in her field. Owning her life is her greatest assest. She is a fearless influencer of positivity and attracts stories which can open her to new dimensions. Like she played the main lead in a movie called Rani in which she played four characters. In 2020 she is looking forward to six releases in which she is playing the main lead character. From her last experiences she thoughtfully understood what she can bring to table.

When asked about her take aways for the aspiring young actors she laminates the importance of working continuously on oneself, dealing inclusively about emotions, believe and love your dreams unconditionally. She says that it is very important to observe compassionately and learn new skills everyday. As an actor an individual interacts with a production house, director and audience with contrasting environments that demands constant updation to skills.

Swetha defines democracy as yet to arrive, women as shakti and love as freedom to choose. She says , The world will say , don’t be an actor and every-time you hear that , evolve into a stronger person. She resonates to sustainable development goal five of gender equality by using her platform to voice rights violation especially for women and goal number seventeen by partnering with impact-scientist by sharing her experience to empower others.

Written by Sahithi Divi ( source : http://www.impactscientist.com )

‘ Impact Hour ‘ with Manju Kalanidhi

Written By Sahithi Divi as told by Manju Kalanidhi

Manju Kalanidhi , Mother, Indian Journalist, City Editor – The New Indian Express, Founder of Rice Bucket Challenge

When asked about her childhood wishes, purpose, happy quotient, scaling up plans, self discovery and milestones of life journey ….. Here is the impact I collected.

The perseverant curiosity of this 70’s kid foresees what is beyond the drawn lines as a girl child, which transpired a will to cut through the finite awareness and resources available to visualise a dream from a small town Kazipet of Warangal district in Telangana.

She choose journalism as her tool to deliver value to the world although from a science background. While pursuing journalism in Bangalore, she closely tackled the challenges around diversity paired with competence. Balancing herself through the setbacks of coming from a middle class family, which also means that inclusivity was difficult to sustain yet very important for not looking back. Extracting resilience from the setbacks empowered her to be financially independent which in-turn impacts the personal choices too.

” To be useful is a privilege” , she says with a standby smile held up.

The Rice Bucket Challenge is her brainchild. Connecting her dots with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals , while 821 million people are facing food deprivation in the world as of today with rising numbers, Manju profoundly came up with the rice bucket challenge as an effective solution using collaboration to mitigate hunger. Through this initiative she aimed to connect the rice donors to those in need. As a part of this campaign she collected more than 200 thousand kilos of rice as her initiative towards Hunger Mitigation. She is looking for potential partnerships for scaling this to educational institutions for a sustainable and automated operation. She is fighting towards zero hunger using shared economy and collaboration as her key drivers.

Her visit to the United States for a social exchange program encased a brilliant networking stage with a community of common thinkers from across the globe for her.

As a journalist she says that women are the forefront for millennial media. Women of this era create more voice , especially now a days media is playing a crucial role in bringing social intelligence into limelight. Women in STEM , menstrual health, educational / career opportunities, sport attributions are the current affair to socio economic strata of gender equality in media.

Manju defines ; Women as POWER , Democracy as NECESSITY and Love as NECESSARY EVIL.

Dreams became milestones when urbanisation gave her words a loud voice that irrigates change. Choosing her own path provided her the tenacity to remain committed and continue her journey into who she is today. Financial freedom gave resistance to personal challenges, independent risks and a sustainable career. She entitled hope for human centric solutions using Sustainable Development Goals. She proved that Journalism , Shared Economy and Collaboration has the power to make a remarkable change in the world by just one person alone…..Manju Kalanidhi.

Written by Sahithi Divi ( http://www.impactscientist.com )

The Difficulty Of Being Oneself

Written By Sahithi Divi

In the dire need of circumstances, when comes the time to act for yourself , what stops you ? What are the thoughts that hold you back from fighting back with the inner voice which knows how the spark will admit to fire ?

We often think about what is not there. It is time to revise the strengths and use them for good. This process obviously comes inclusive of the withered flashes of flying time.

Read the below lines to find out reasons behind the difficulty of being oneself ….

  • Answerability is certain , avoid it.
  • Individuality is a human right that can be enjoyed through a learning process.
  • Recognition cannot be voluntary.
  • Chances if not given can be taken.
  • Protection is a habit born out of being protected.
  • Expectation can create doubts.
  • Surprises are the way of life independent of their nature.

The difficulty of being oneself is not a condition, infact it is just the beginning of an other chapter.

Written By Sahithi Divi

Thoughts Of A Girl

Written By Sahithi Divi

Why is my birth questionable…?

I not the goddess you worship ?


Why are you looking at me …?

My clothing choice is affected ! 


Why your dirty stare at me…?

My freedom is compromised !


Why are you rubbing against me…?

My fearful mind is unable to rest !


Why do you intimidate me …?

I am failing to self discover !


Why are you my decision maker …?

I will fade away in the lost way !


Why are you assigning me roles…?

My time will never belong to me !


Why are my mistakes less forgiven …?

Less chances to learn is inequality !  


Why do you practice patriarchy …?

You’re Oppressing my strength with power !


Why don’t you just make your own rules…?

You don’t know me to make mine !


Why don’t you let me free…?

I will always choose to be with you !

Sahithi Divi

Identity Crisis For Women . Why ?

Written By Sahithi divi

Where does the challenge begin for women ? Why is their identity at stake ?

Women in especially developing countries and in this case India, seem to battle with identity crisis due to the lack of equal resources and cultural speedbreakers controlling her capacity to achieve or dream. Identity crisis begins with the most generic habit of giving her feminine and household rolemodels only as an option, to pick from categories to explore.

At the same time we color the girl’s life with so many identification pointers reminding her the limitations of her being a girl. Her abilities are limitless but how much can she unfold is often not for her to decide. How can a person be confused about uncertain expectations of others ?

Fulfillment of purpose and happiness inside the soul can exist when all the factors in your life are decided by you yourself. Gender roles are tearing up almost every women to defend herself against the feminine responsibilities written off by everyone else for the women in most of the cases to forgo her real identity to fulfill the voids of a shared promise all by herself.

A women has no choice but to contribute hertime and preferences to soo many people trying to create a strong influence for her well being. Every person has a vast layout of their life, a women’s layout is created by a team of family members and influencial society examples. All she can do is decorate the provided layout with her choice of theme.

This kind of a situation occurs because she is not designed to think like a bread winner instead she is told to be a meal maker and at the same time homemaking is considered compulsion not luxury.

Identity is more than a person’s right where as we are creating layers of identities with divided classes of norms and expectations.

Focusing on one’s own prosperity is much more eventful than thinking actively for an other adult especially influencing them to such an extent that gender actually becomes a considerable point of accepting inequality .

IDENTITY CRISIS IS NOT TRUE IF YOU DON”T BELIEVE

Written By Sahithi Divi

Gender Is A Home Affairs Matter

Written By Sahithi Divi

I strongly believe that gender equality is born and begins at home…….

Gender is a Home Affair

Gender Equality closely opens down to how your home and surroundings have shaped you. But now it is about how you shape it for the future generations to beleive what gender equality is ? Gender Equality is not about teaching new ways yet more about unlearning unconscious habits about showcasing inequality in any form backed by gender as the reason.

Home is the place which lands as the horizon for anyody to form a crazy imagination about their life. How many can uphold living multiple lives ? Gender equality will be true if each home has an advocate to remind irreversible benefits of bringing a mindshift of equality independent of gender as we will be able to enjoy the combined affect of identically allocated, consciously taken roles.

No matter whether you are living with a partner , you still run a home for your basic survival. Suddenly one day you get married and you forget to fulfill your own life skills . Some life skills are literally grounded as rules to be fulfilled naturally by women in most of the developing and under developed economies.


Education and awareness can definitely benefit us in some way and why not that begin with working on converting each of our homes into experiment centres to find out the ways to pluck out the gender inequality that shelters within us. Inequal exposure to resources, domestic voilence , patriarchy are the very few embedded characteristics that we can restructure into something useful. Homes have the ability to create unstoppable leaders but homes can also hide away the most mesmorising performances from coming to life. Every home can navigate it’s people towards who they want to be rather than who they must be.


We must stop asking a person what was your dream ? and start asking what is your dream ? Let your home nuture the dreams of all equally. Gender is after all a construct.



Written By Sahithi Divi

Kanya = (Fresh) daughter ; Daan = Donation ? I Oppose This Practise

Written By Sahithi Divi

#iopposekanyadaan

Kanyadaan is giving away the bride as a symbolic marriage ritual . Father of the Bride take’s his daughters hand and places it in the Groom’s hand, requesting for him to accept his daughter to be an equal partner.When I google the word ‘Kanya ‘ , it confuses me what a modest, fresh and virgin daugther means. This is performed in order to transfer the responsibility of daughter into the hands of the groom and his family. In my opinion giving away your daughter in donation to wash your sins after bringing her up with such compassion does not fit well with my beliefs. Along with the changing times we forgot to update the rituals to what applies today and why ? The big change is hard to imagine but what about you who is reading this ?


While we are talking about serious social issues leading to gender inequality and the changes we cannot bring on the larger scale, what about advocating for your own equality to stand as a strong example for others to begin their life not as a donated object but a person who underwent a celebration of their union called marriage.


By practising Kanyadaan, the positioning of woman in the family is naturally a draft of bound customs. A lot speaks about the things that we do not question about. There must be some beginning , a collective voice and a powerful repulsion about how we demonstrate rights,in public in form of customs. Due to the potrayal of idiolic rituals gender bias get priorly infused on public platforms and hence, such unopposed beliefs become common norms.

“Unopposed beliefs become common norms”.

Kanyadaanam is a personal expirience which one goes through and it is your own descision to question it or to convert that to a meaningful context that hooks to your view of life. While this ritual occurs at the start of wedding journey , it lays foundation to behavioral hierarchy and common expectation for millions of uniquely different girls. Inferiority need not be economic status , it can also be highly comparable to how she is treated or how her decision making naturally becomes someone else’s right or responsibility overnight.

Everything begins with you. Let us know your thoughts about this custom and why we must bring an end to it as it gives a very inequal picture to the whole world from where the life of a girl begins after marriage.

#iopposekanyadaan

I raise my voice against donating daughters publicly in a wedding celebration.

Written By Sahithi Divi