Stay Safe!

Safety charts for VOICE4Girls, a non-profit in India that believes when a girl finds her voice, the world around her begins to change. As an illustrator, I feel delighted to be a part of their initiatives, seeing the prospects of my illustrations making a difference in a young girl’s life.

chart1chart-3

 

A world for my daughter

Scientist Alejandro Frid started writing a series of letters to his daughter, Twyla Bella, when she was only 3 months old. Today his letters are part of a book named “A World For My Daughter” where Alejandro as a scientist, environmental activist & most importantly as a father, has shared his optimism for the survival of this world.

frid

Let no injustice curve your spine!

It was a midnight in autumn when Sujata’s husband first hit her. Since then violence continued in different frequencies & forms. Sujata wanted to walk out of this marriage but the whispers of relatives, colleagues & neighbors bent her confidence. Right then her father held her hands & said, “No matter what, I will be with you”.
#myfather #voicestobeheard #heforshe #WeWillRise
…………..
Based on a true story from Mumbai, India. Original name withheld.
[Stats source: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/]

sujata

Break Free

Despite our best efforts, we all fall in the trap of gender stereotypes. Meet Benny Harlem – a father, trying to break free from one such stereotype, showing his daughter how to love one’s natural beauty by taking pride in who you are. In Benny, who is a singer, songwriter & supermodel, Jaxyn finds a super dad & a role model. The father-daughter duo standout for their crowning glories – awesome hairdos that make them social media icons. Check out their photographs on https://www.instagram.com/bennyharlem/
#myfather #voicestobeheard #heforshe
…………………..
[Story source: http://www.deccanchronicle.com/lifestyle/viral-and-trending/270616/father-daughter-duo-with-awesome-hair-takes-over-the-internet.html]

benny

Embrace the brighter side of life

That’s what Shumon Sengupta tells his daughter, Minnie. I was so touched when Shumon shared his blog with me where, out of myriad other ideas, he writes about Minnie who inspires beauty in his life. Shumon is an international aid & #development professional. He has lived in many parts of the world & calls himself a “World Citizen”. But his most cherished moments are spent with the delightful Minnie in whose starry eyes he sees a hope for the future. Here’s a link to his blog http://www.world-citizen-trail.net/world-citizens/

sumon

The flying Zahra!

It isn’t easy to fulfil your dreams when there are prejudices against you. But Zahra Lari was lucky. Her father recognised her talent & fought the odds. Zahra is an ice-skater from UAE. She is aiming for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, where she may make history not only as the first Emirati athlete to compete at a Winter Olympics but also as the first ice-skater in a hijab. #myfather #voicestobeheard
[source: http://m.thenational.ae/world/americas/hijab-is-a-good-fit-for-the-olympic-games]

Zahra

The Unbeatable!

Monica Singh is an acid attack survivor from India. She was 19 when she faced this earth shattering experience. However neither she or her father lost hope. They kept walking until the end of the tunnel & finally the darkness was over. She is now a fashion design student at the prestigious Parsons School of Fashion in New York. She has proven that inner beauty is far more powerful than physical beauty. Her pillar of strength, her confidant, was her father, Mahendra Singh. Monica has established The Mahendra Singh Foundation to help other survivors. #myfather #voicestobeheard Join us to hear & share more inspiring father-daughter stories!

Monica

A gift that grows when you share

When a Daughter fulfils a Father’s dream…
Mohammed Saleem Haji had this dream – a school for the children living in a remote village in Jammu & Kashmir. He knew good education will show these children the right path. Today, Haji Public School is a reality. People travel for several hours to get their children enrolled there. Sabah Haji, daughter of Mohammed Saleem Haji, is not just the Director of the school but she is making an incredible difference in the lives of many kids in need. #myfather #voicestobeheard
[Story source: http://www.thebetterindia.com/31348/haji-public-school-in-jammu-and-kashmir/]

Sabbah Haji

Life isn’t about falling. It’s about rising with grace.

Little Dipa wanted to give up #gymnastics because she was scared of falling down. However her father convinced her to continue. Today, at 22, #DipaKarmakar is the first #female #Indian #gymnast ever to secure an Olympic berth. Her father, Dulal gives full credit to Dipa’s hardwork. But she knows, without her father this journey couldn’t be possible. #myfather #illustrations #inspiring #change [source: http://bit.ly/toidipakarmakar]

Dipa

If you speak the truth I will stand by you

“If you speak the truth I will stand by you” – this saying from Sharmeen’s father always keeps her going. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is a Pakistani journalist, activist and filmmaker. She is the first Pakistani to win an Academy Award and the first to win twice. #myfather #illustrations salutes this father-daughter duo. [source: http://medskoolchronicles.tumblr.com/post/82289488078/if-you-speak-the-truth-i-will-always-stand-by]

Sharmeen

 

 

Emily & Bob Hunter

Today’s My Father illustration is inspired by the story of Emily (daughter) & Bob Hunter (father). Emily is an environmental activist, filmmaker, speaker & author, also known as the ‘eco-huntress’ for the work she has done with‪#‎Greenpeace‬ & Sea Shepherd, inspiring millions to take responsibility for creating a more ‪#‎sustainable‬ ‪#‎world‬.

“My first hero is my Dad…always a strong central force in my life. He reminds me that anyone can be a visionary, not just people at the top. He was about having ideas and spirit and going for it. He made me see I could change the world. He was someone everyone could relate to, so down to earth… a genuine human being trying to save something so big”. Interestingly her father, Bob Hunter, one of Greenpeace founders, never pushed her to follow his direction, but rather to follow her dreams. It was during one of her trips abroad, at the age of 19, that she realized there were too many things not going right in the world and finally decided to become an environmentalist. She learnt from her parents that if she demands for change then she has to take part in the change-making process. At this important juncture in her life, she got informed that her father had terminal cancer. She went back home to Canada to spend as much time possible with him. “My Dad was amazed to hear what I had seen in such a short time and was happy that I had come to my own conclusion about becoming an environmentalist”. What has probably influenced Emily the most is her father’s belief that even one person could help change the world. She says, “He wanted to share ideas and empower people to become their own inspirations”.
[Thanks to Maria Elena De Matteo for volunteering with “My Father illustrations in writing this story. Follow her work @https://instagram.com/melenadem/ & @melenadem on Twitter]
Story sourced from: http://myhero.com/hero.asp?hero=Emily_Hunter_2010; http://www.ecorazzi.com/]

emily hunter.jpg

Gasthini from Sri Lanka

“I am Gasthini from Sri Lanka. We are originally from Jaffna, an area which got affected by the war. My family had to move to Kandy. I have seen many twists & turns in life but one person who was always there with me for every rise & fall is my father. Without him I would not have had the courage to come this far – get my engineering degree and marry the love of my life. Love you Dad for who you are!”

Sri Lanka story

I am Amba from Jharkhand!

I am AMBA from Jharkhand. I was in love with Salva. Wanted to marry him. But at the age of 16, our next-door uncle, Bhiswa, brought me and my two younger sisters to this far-flung city. Now I work as domestic help to support my family.”

Amba_new

AMBA is the one of the illustration from my Epic Women series. In this illustrated series I have developed stories of some of the leading women characters from Indian epics – Ramayana and Mahabharata by presenting them in a modern context. My attempt is to draw a modern Indian woman using the skeletal outlines of the traditional female character. By drawing parallels between the old and the new, I want to create a crosscurrent of narrative that highlights the ageless social crises faced by the women in India.

Have a wonderful year ahead!

I start this year with an illustration inspired by the story of Natalia, a social scientist & a multi-talented artist from Ukraine. Natalia’s poetry, songs and dance have a great influence from her father, Federovna. She calls him ‘Papa’ and wants to be called as “Papa’s girl”. My illustration is about the dreams and realities that this father-daughter duo lives together. Happy New Year!!!

Ukraine

Reshma’s smile

Reshma (name withheld) was in her teens when she was trafficked from a village in West Bengal and sold in a brothel in Mumbai. Her father, Rezwan Kazi (name withheld) tried all his means to find her out and bring her back. Most of the time families don’t want to take back the survivors because of societal taboos. So when the Kolkata-based organization, Sanjog, approached me and shared this story, I was touched. Sanjog told me that Rezwan is also fighting the case for Reshma and he always says, “Reshma had a beautiful smile and I will stand by her until I see her smiling again”. #myfather #illustrations #stopchildtrafficking #change #rights
[Story source: http://www.sanjogindia.org/]

Debasmita-06

I will never let you down

I still remember the day I first went to school, the day I learnt how to write my name, the morning I first joined the Magic Bus sports group in our community. I treasure those moments because I know my life could have been different if you were not my father. Thank you Abba for your love, support and belief in me. I will never let you down. ~ Sabah (daughter) and Akbar Akhtar (father) share a beautiful bond of love and respect. #doodlewithdad #myfather #illustrationswith Magic Bus

sabah

Shahnaz shares her story

“I come from a lower middle income family in Mumbai. The neighbourhood where I live is not completely safe for girls. I would have lived a contained life if my father wasn’t there to support me. He inspires me to think freely, be confident and live my dreams” ~ says, Shahnaz Khan (daughter). Her father is Iliyas Khan. A big thanks to Magic Bus which is making a difference through sports in the lives of Shahnaz & her friends. #doodlewithdad by My Father illustrations

fulfill your dreams

 

a daughter’s dream

“One day, my father will see me on stage playing my guitar. This would’ve remained as a distant dream if Papa hadn’t bought home a guitar for me. He’s my best friend and I’m grateful for all his support,” says Archana during ‪#‎doodlewithdad‬ drive at Vikroli with Magic Bus. Sitting next to her, with eyes full of enthusiasm, Archana’s father Suresh Surosh adds, “Living in an under-developed neighbourhood has its own challenges. But I really want to give my daughter as many opportunities as I can to let her explore and express at best.”
[Thanks to Maria Elena De Matteo for volunteering with ‪#‎myfather‬ ‪#‎illustrations‬ in writing this story. Follow her work at https://instagram.com/melenadem/ and @melenadem on Twitter]

Join us at facebook.com/myfatherIllustrations

guitar

Shine with your best buddy

This Friendship Day shine with your best buddy 🙂
This illustration is based on a lovely poem by Gunjan Khaitan penned for her Dad. The full poem is below –

“Whenever I receive a compliment, I know it’s more about you, Whenever someone thanks me, I pass that on to you… Whenever someone touches my heart, I know it is ruled by you, Whenever someone loves me, I know I am blessed by you… Whenever I am sensitive, I know you will hold my heart, Whenever I get fearful, I know you will not let me rip apart… Whenever I look at myself in the mirror, I know you are feeling proud of me,

Whenever the Sun shines bright on my face, I know you have shredded away the nimbus for me… I haven’t been able to get much of you in this life but you had to step up to illuminate my way, It’s been lakhs of years that my soul knows of you and forever with you would be less on the highway… We will cross the mountains and bridges and oceans and laugh out loud at the world again, Coz only Love is for Real… Rest everything goes in complete vain…”

gunjan

 

 

Sofia’s Story from Mexico

Sofia Castro was the first indigenous woman who won the position of municipal president in an election by a male-only electorate in San Carlos Yautepec (Mexico). This position represents the highest authority in her indigenous communities. Sofia’s father was a political figure and this inspired her to study law and eventually pursue a career in politics.

sofia

mY FaTHer illustrations on Huff Post

It took me a while to publish this post because I was not sure where to start. In April 2013 when I started “mY FaTHer illustrations” Facebook page I was not thinking to earn any profit or fame. There was no marketing strategy or logical framework behind the idea that was born in my head cross-pollinating my love for art and enthusiasm for social work. The idea just took off holding on to my innocent belief that something good will happen. And today I can confidently say, “it did”. True that I still do not earn any monetary incentives from the project but riding on its wheels I have reached the hearts of many, those who support my project and encourage me to do better. Whether by writing about my project, helping me reach out to communities or by sharing father-daughter stories they know – the supporters of “mY FaTHer illustrations” stand by the fathers who fearlessly fought for the rights of their daughters. Thank You All!

And Thank You Brittany Hodak for this wonderful write-up on Huff Post. I have always believed that art can connect people and my connection with you is a real example of that. You have a wonderful father who has made you an amazing person. I’m glad we met 🙂

huffpost snapshot