Members of UK-based group ‘Indian Ladies in UK’ are putting together a crochet blanket – named the ‘Unity in Diversity’ blanket – to mark Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi’s visit to Britain….reports Asian Lite News
Britain’s influential Indian Diaspora is planning to welcome Modi, a leader who can infuse a sense of hope and optimism for a brighter future for the world’s largest democracy. Innumerable community groups have lined up myriad different events to celebrate Mr Modi’s arrival in the UK, none more unique or pertinent than that put together by the Diaspora group ‘Indian Ladies in UK’.
Indian Ladies in UK (ILU) is made up of nearly 4500 First generation immigrant members hailing from all different corners of India and settled across the United Kingdom. Despite their differences of origin, caste, creed, ethnicity and religion, they are united by a shared love for India and India’s future.
As a symbol of that unity, members of the ILU are planning a special gift for Mr Modi that is representative of the community’s sheer diversity.
The massive tapestry almost 8 meters long – named the ‘Unity and Diversity’ blanket – will be made up of thousands of individual crocheted squares measuring 3” X 3” and created by members and their friends and family.
The project has already gone viral and attracted fans of India and Mr Modi from beyond the group with the final product threatening to pip the famed Bayeux Tapestry for sheer scale.
There is no prescribed theme for the ILU tapestry. Instead, ladies are encouraged to use their personal creativity to create little crocheted squares that, when combined together, will rival any modern art painting.
The tapestry is symbolic for many reasons apart from it vast representation of the diversity of India and Indians everywhere and their ability to unite for the love of their country.
1) Askingthe Indian govt to better engage with the Diaspora where by setting up FREE cultural centres for our children so that Indian traditions and culture can be passed on from generation to generation. Our children suffer from identity crisis when they grow up. Proper knowledge of Indian culture along with the British knowledge they already get will help them integrate better and become well rounded and well informed individuals.
2) For All Indian Women leaving India for abroad to get information on their rights in that foreign country as well as a list of organizations to contact in case of an emergency. We come across a lot of women who move to the UK after getting married to British nationals here and sometimes become destitute or victims of domestic abuse. Mostly the only option that’s left for them is to either suffer in silence (as they think they have no rights because they are on a visa) or leave for India and keep fighting for years to get justice. Prior information can help women to not suffer and seek help in an unfortunate situation.
3) For a safer India for us women as we would like to take up the offer of Mr. Modi’s ‘Make In India’ campaign and return back to our country.
Journalist and campaigner Poonam Joshi, the brainchild behind the initiative, said: “Indian Ladies in the UK began as a community group for first generation migrant women. If there’s one thing that unites us all, it is the love we have for our country of origin. We want to send out that message to Mr Modi and tell him that, despite our differences, we are united as one for India and ask him to better engage with us. We bring various skills to the table – utilize it. Mr Modi speaks of ‘Make in India’, then enable us to ‘Make it in India’ by creating the right circumstances and opportunities for us.
The India story will be the story of the next century and we want to play our role in that story”.
Among the specific issues that Indian Ladies in the UK intend raising with Mr Modi are the need for better cultural education of NRI (Non-Resident Indian) children in Britain and elsewhere – setting up cultural centres to teach India’s cultural heritage.
“If a migrant child has a good grasp of his or her own heritage, then that child will be far better equipped to integrate better into British society”, Ms Joshi said.
Another initiative is educating women migrants of their rights in the foreign country they are going to before they leave India. ILU has helped countless young women who have fallen victim to domestic violence but had little or no knowledge of what their rights in Britain are.
At a far more fundamental level, #Crochet4Modi has empowered members of ILU.
Ms Joshi adds: “We have members who have been in Britain for three months all the way to those who have lived here for twenty years or more. Many are professionals who have followed their spouses to the UK. This initiative has given them the opportunity to be a part of something meaningful”
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