Daksha Sheth, celebrated dancer, was three years old when she told her mother that she would never become like her. That is a bold statement to come from a child so young, but it did not stem from a moment of defiance. It was a very matter-of-fact remark made by her, for she seemed to have understood the importance of making decisions on her own very early on and revelled in the liberation that came with it.
Ms. Sheth held a small audience in thrall during a session organised by the Indian Women Network (IWN) under the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here on Friday. She spoke fondly of a childhood spent in a joint family, and being one of nine siblings. Ms. Sheth remembers how tired her mother was, and how little time she got to spend on any activity beyond the responsibility of nurturing her children.
Perhaps it is this background that led to Ms. Sheth’s firm belief that every human being needs to find a purpose, “to cultivate an interest outside your self and your family, and it could something as simple as planting a tree and watching it grow,” said the dancer, who runs a school, the Daksha Sheth Dance Company.
Unlike her siblings who resigned themselves to wearing the exact same pattern of clothes that the family tailor made for them, little Daksha rebelled against this ‘military camp’ uniform set-up and began designing clothes made from bits of old saris on her own.Freedom
“I decide what I do. And that was the beginning of empowerment – that sense of freedom to make my own choices.”
Her decision to marry Australian-born musician Devissario, her choice to not pursue her PhD and go on to become a professional dancer, going against her family’s reservations, build on this sense of empowerment.
During Friday’s function, Ms. Sheth launched the ‘Help Me On Mobile’ app – a free 24x7 mobile application that addresses safety concerns and helps women and children call for help during emergencies. It can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and was developed by ‘On Mobile.’ It sends real-time location updates as well.