Worth the name!

Worth the name!

Lilly Singh aka Superwoman, after being appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador of the UNICEF, is all set to transform stereotypical ideologies with her videos. By Mansi Bhansali

Lilly Singh aka Superwoman has done it all. A YouTuber, an author, a comedian and even an actress, she is the most talked-about Bawse of the world. She has replaced Priyanka Chopra, who was appointed in 2016, as the Goodwill Ambassador of the UNICEF. With 11.9 billion subscribers on her Youtube channel, the Superwoman has collaborated with stars like Dwayne Johnson and Priyanka Chopra.

Singh felt highly honoured to be presented with the designation. “It always feels good to be in India. I’m overwhelmed with the love and respect which you all have given me,” she said.

 After associating with the UNICEF, Lilly Singh went to Madhya Pradesh for promoting the initiative Youth4Change. She shared, “I travelled for the first time to promote it and really loved it. What I loved the most was that the children were so proactive. Unlike others, they didn’t have to be told what to do and what not to. Every child is engaged in some or the other activities like singing, dancing or acting. It was incredibly inspiring to see free karate lessons for girls that not only build their self-confidence  but also teaches them self-defence tactics. So, I believe changes are happening.”

She is obsessed with Unicorns and has launched her app called, ‘Unicorn Island’ and a feature film called, A Trip to Unicorn Island. Singh has inspired many through her online movement #girllove. In 2016, #girllove was launched against girl-to-girl hate and to promote positivity. This campaign was appreciated by both celebrities as well as masses.

The title-conferring event saw participation from school students, who were excited to meet their role model. “The event was inspirational. It was amazing to see her comic timing in real. I like how she answered the question about disability, how she won’t be focussing only on girls, boys or gender equality but also about the different kind of people who live around,” said Tanisha from Ahlcon International School, Mayur Vihar.

Yasim Ali Haque, UNICEF Representative in India, addressed how they arrived at a consensus with regard to Singh. “Our teams at the UNICEF headquarters in New York City are always on the look-out for the Goodwill Ambassador for people who represent issues that people face or someone who can reach out to common people or whose behaviour  can be emulated through strong messages around breaking gender stereotypes. That’s how we decided upon Singh as a potential ambassador. We have come to India to appoint her as she has her roots here. But, she will be a Global Ambassador.” Haque said Singh brings several qualities on board.“She challenges norms and practices that are not always in the best interest of girls or boys. Her style, commitment, energy and focus on making a difference are what we need. As she said, ‘It is not about money or fame but it’s really about issues’. She sees herself as an agent of change.”

Children too were deeply impressed with Singh. “Her promise that she will start making her videos in Hindi as the majority of people in India speak the language was the best part, because of her willingness to make her videos universal.  Though she was not able to speak fluently in Punjabi or Hindi, the way she understood  questions deeply impressed me. We love her so much,” said Pallavi from Ahlcon International School, Mayur Vihar.

Haque said Lilly can promote many of UNICEF’s initiatives. She said, “We will be inviting Lilly for several UNICEF events and in her videos, she will pull us long. This will be a two-way process. Our focus will be how to connect with the young Indians, how to quantify their voices and to discuss what solutions they have to their problems. But the biggest issue to address is education. Success could only be achieved when along with education, we are able to touch some not-so-nice issues like violence, gender discrimination or child labour,” replied Haque.

The female YouTuber had an advice for the new generation. She said, “You should love what you do and not be scared about what people will think. Sometimes there are clashes between aspirations of children and their parents. It happened with me and my mother too. But she is always happy when I do something. Mothers always want the best for us. My mom uses to say ‘My dad never let me take singing lessons so you can’t take singing lessons either.’ But I feel mothers should give those opportunities to  children that they weren’t offered. A lot of happiness comes from children being happy. And all of it starts from the older generation. It’s time to stand up for what your children want and not what the family or the society wants.”



Sunday Edition

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