New Delhi, Aug 1 : Vidya Balan's eagerly awaited biographical drama 'Shakuntala Devi' had its world premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on July 31. This is not the first time the actor plays a self-made woman who knows her mind. Balan has consistently portrayed strong women on celluloid.
The actor spoke with women entrepreneurs and artisans from e-commerce giant Amazon's 'Saheli and Karigar' programmes in a virtual event, to laud the company's 'Stand for Handmade' initiative. Launched about a month ago, Amazon's initiative aims at helping over 10 lakh entrepreneurs -- including artisans and weavers from Amazon Karigar and women entrepreneurs from Amazon Saheli -- rebound from the economic disruption caused by COVID-19.
Balan stated, "India is home to so many art forms -- the weavers, artisans and their creations are a part of India's heritage and our daily lives. The last few months have brought an unprecedented challenge for them and we need to encourage and support them in these tough times. I appreciate the efforts by Amazon to empower them through this initiative. I also Stand for Handmade." She added, "The spirit of thousands of women entrepreneurs resonates in Shakuntala Devi's grit, determination and passion to beat all odds to follow her dreams. Through the promotions of 'Shakuntala Devi', I have exclusively worn only hand-made garments by artisans, it is my humble effort to draw attention to the rich heritage of art and craft that India boasts of." During the interactive session, Vidya further spoke about her love for Indian textiles, arts and crafts, and how Amazon is successfully bridging the gap between artisans and consumers across the country, fulfilling the need of the hour. Women entrepreneurs who attended the initiative discussed about how many of them want to take their home made products to a global audience and make India proud.
Under the brand Stand for Handmade initiative, more than 2.8 lakh women entrepreneurs are benefiting from 100 percent SoA fee waiver for 10 weeks, which is otherwise charged from these sellers. Amazon has created a 'Stand for Handmade' storefront to help generate customer demand for the locally crafted, handmade products from artisans and women entrepreneurs from different parts of the country. Customers can visit and buy from specific pages created for selection from North, South, East, West and Central India. The storefront showcases traditional handicrafts & handlooms while highlighting stories of craftsmen and their works, bringing their stories closer to the consumers.
Pranav Bhasin, Director Seller Experience, Amazon India said, "We remain committed to help women entrepreneurs and artisan community get back to business and rebound from the recent challenges. With Stand for Handmade we are working to enhance the visibility for the products and creations offered by women entrepreneurs and artisans on Amazon.in while helping them with working capital needs with the 100 percent SoA fee waiver. I would like to thank Ms Vidya Balan for expressing her support for this initiative. This will bring greater awareness about the art and craft as well as the artisans behind them." Sunita Bali who sells handcrafted apparel under the brand name 'Roshni' on Amazon.in says, "It was inspiring to speak with Ms Vidya Balan and converse about how success comes from the passion to follow your dreams. It is the same passion that has driven me to work with weavers and artisans from Himachal Pradesh to set up Roshni. While initially we would sell at exhibitions and trade fairs, but now with support from Amazon Karigar, we are showcasing the unique hand crafted products from some of the remote villages in Himachal to customers across India." The biographical drama based on the life of the world-renowned math genius Shakuntala Devi is directed by Anu Menon and produced by Sony Pictures Networks Productions and Vikram Malhotra (Abundantia Entertainment). It addition to Balan, it stars Sanya Malhotra, Jisshu Sengupta and Amit Sadh who essay pivotal roles in the film.