‘The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.‘ – Ayn Rand.
Rashmeet Kaur, the co-founder of Lean In India, lives by this statement. She witnessed and faced a lot of gender stereotyping at a very young age, especially as a mechanical engineer. The field of mechanical engineering is supposed to be a ‘man’s job’ where women (the few who opt for it) end up facing a lot of bias, be it in projects, markets or industry. While still in college, she heard Sheryl Sandberg for the first time, which became her inspiration to start Lean In India.
A mechanical engineer, a digital marketing expert, author and a social activist, Rashmeet dons many hats. She has achieved a lot at a young age, making her an inspiration to all of us.
Her new book, Colored Lens, got published recently. This is her second book, her first being The Diary of a Young Blogger. She is already becoming known for her relatable characters and stories.
Eyra decided to speak to her about her new book and her journey of life:
Jyoti: Colored Lens. Even the title is enticing. Please tell us a bit more about it.
Rashmeet: This book is a Journey of Self Exploration of a 27 year old divorcee in India and how she finds her passion and true love while traveling. Chained by patriarchy, her life is pretty much a sad story in black and white. Unless she finds the colored lens of her passion!
Jyoti: What is your inspiration behind this tireless struggle on behalf of women?
Rashmeet: As the Co- Founder of Lean In India, I have spent five years interacting with women from different backgrounds. In my interaction with more than 4000 women, I was inspired by stories of how they break the patriarchal chains and learn to fly anyway. However, I saw a few patterns in their behavior and that’s why I went ahead to put it all together in a story and ensured more and more people have the access to reading it!
Jyoti: This is your second book. You wrote a book before this one. Is it on the same lines?
Rashmeet: Yes. My first book was The Diary of A Young Blogger. It was a compilation of alternate endings for men and women. I wrote stories of co-existence that showed women in the driver seat rather than the assistant seat. And yes, both the books were about strong headed women! In fact, my next book will also be about interactions and adventures of women like us!
Jyoti: Very exciting to get a sneak peak into your next book! How has your journey been from leading a book club of 10 people to heading a 4000 strong Lean In community across the country?
Rashmeet: Lean In has become my way of life. I have grown up with Lean In in these five years. Lean In gave me the wings to fly and I gave Lean In India community my time, my dedication and all my love to nurture it and make it grow. And this continues.
Jyoti: Do you think education and empowerment go hand in hand? If there is one thing you would like to tell the women of today, what would it be?
Rashmeet: Yes, education is the foundation of empowerment. It is where the journey of empowerment starts. Education converted to experience, coupled with dreams and ambition becomes empowerment. Having said that, I see a lot of educated and talented women playing the role of special interest gender and I don’t like that. I want women to become independent in the truest of the sense, be it mental and financial. These two things hold us back. Let’s change this scenario for our daughters, leading by example!
And that’s exactly what I see Rashmeet doing every day. Not only that, she has dedicated the proceeds from her book towards girl child education.
Colored Lens is available at:
Amazon – https://www.amazon.in/dp/9388930878/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_BB7sDbYPMTJTR
The Diary of a Young Blogger is available at:
Amazon – https://www.amazon.in/dp/8193299213/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_AU7sDbDDQK628