· The Orange Flower Awards recognized best women talent among bloggers and influencers in areas like Social Impact, Literature, Lifestyle, Travel, Wellness and Activism
· Star-studded guest panels from Bollywood, Literature, Media and Industry discussed issues pertaining to equal opportunities for women, career choices, individuality, breaking norms etc
· A power-packed day filled with no-holds-barred conversation, performances, workshops, poetry, and the buzz of unabashedly opinionated women getting together.
Goa Khanbar: Women’s Web, India’s multiple award winning digital platform conducted its annual mega event called The Orange Flower Festival on 25 January 2020 in AntiSocial, Lower Parel, Mumbai. This event brought together women from various creative fields from authors to artists to poets, bloggers, actors and influencers.
The Orange Flower Festival began with the opening address of Aparna Vedapuri Singh, Founder, Women’s Web who set the tone of the day by introducing the concept to the audience and all that is in store for the day. The day started with a chat between acclaimed author Sudha Menon and acid attack survivor Zakira Shaikh who moved the audience to tears by sharing her story of survival and struggle.
Bollywood celebrities like Kanika Dhillon, author & screenwriter, Aahana Kumra, actor and Sucharita Tyagi, film reviewer & Youtuber came together to talk about the new wave of change in the industry and this was moderated by RJ Prerna of Radio Mirchi who kept the discussion lively and relevant for the audience.
The other panel discussions of the day ranged from various topics like discussing the new vocabulary of love where women talk about pleasure which saw speakers like Roshini Kumar, photographer & influencer, Anushka Kelkar, photographer and Suparna Datta, Co-Founder, Oh My Hrithik sharing their views. Influencers spoke about the future of the industry and saw Prerna Sinha, Deenaz Raisinghani and Anju Jayaram sharing their views. The author panel spoke about women portrayal in books and the stage was shared by reputed authors and names from the industry like Kavita Kane, Gajra Kottary and Preeti Vyas.
Gynoveda was the executive partner at The Orange Flower Festival 2020 and in a chat with the Founder, Rachana Gupta, the audience were exposed to many ideas on managing period issues by use of Ayurveda. This interesting and innovative concept could also be experienced through the stalls and the products of Gynoveda on display.
Apurva Purohit, President, Jagran Prakasha & author obliged the audience by signing her book ‘Lady, You’re the Boss’ after her fireside chat. Kainaz Messman, Founder, Theobroma and Snehal Pradhan, Former Indian Cricketer & YouTuber also shared their stories and inspired those in the crowd. A stand-up comedy act by Poornima Toprani was a much appreciated programme.
The Orange Flower Awards 2020 were given out across 24 categories during the day. Some of the most popular categories were writing about women at work, writing about wellness & fitness, writing on social impact, short fiction and poetry. A juror for the Hindi segment, Naima Imtiyaz ‘Shama’ gave away the awards to the elated winners on the podium.
Among the other activities was a poetry slam curated by Jasmine Khurana, a collaborative art installation by Ashmi Sheth, a gender writing workshop conducted by Richa Singh from Breakthrough and a quiz conducted by Yooti Bhansali. The Crossword book stall catered to the crowd and was especially curated by Women’s Web with titles of women authors, some of whom were among the audience for the event.
The event culminated with the screening of a movie ‘Aajkal ki Auratein!’, directed by Kaustab Debnath and presented at the festival through CineShorts Premiere. The Founder of CineShorts Premier, Saif Hyder later moderated a session on judging non conformist women for which RJ Meha from 104.8 Ishq FM, Ethel Da Costa, Founder, Think Geek Media and Virali Modi, disability rights activist and influencer came together to share their thoughts on this subject.
A finalist in many categories and writer, Vanaja Shankar shared her experience. She said, “Yes, I can see that it is becoming a huge sisterhood movement. I can visualise that the next year’s Orange flower festival award getting much bigger – a huge auditorium with thousands of women participating, lot more events like the writers workshop, art connect and many more stalls celebrating women writers, artists and achievers. I can hear the claps and cheers, I can feel the energy.”