Queen’s Brigade on a mission to empower every woman


This year, International Women’s Day has been celebrated with great fanfare, especially after Covid fears ensured muted celebrations last year. Organizations and individuals celebrated women through lectures, awards ceremonies and other creative media. Members of Queen squad – an organization made up of women who interact with each other for business and social purposes – decided to do something unique to celebrate the ladies who reside at Swami Vivekananda Marg Basti in Chanakyapuri.

Queen’s Brigade founder Heena Sodhi Khera has worked closely with artist and social activist Ruble Nagi over the past few months, in a concerted effort to improve the lives of the slum dwellers of this basti. In the program Misaal India, Ruble and Heena regularly give educational and recreational classes to children. Their mission has always been to teach or impart a skill, instead of handing out gifts, so that the recipients of these life teachings can stand up.

Members of the Queen’s Brigade at Swami Vivekananda Marg Basti in Chanakyapuri

It can be said that every day is a day to celebrate women, encourage them and support them in the pursuit of their dreams. However, the 8e of March is a global institution to be commemorated appropriately. Thus, this year, the members of Queen’s Brigade have chosen to celebrate it by valuing the lives of underprivileged women.

Life is full of struggles for all women, but for those who live in slums, life is difficult on a daily basis. With the pandemic, even their work-dependent sources of income have diminished or disappeared altogether. These women are creative, intelligent, willing to learn, and most of all, looking for gainful jobs. A few members of the Queen’s Brigade visited the Basti on Women’s Day to teach them a new skill – the art of block printing on fabric and paper.

Heena Sodhi Khera of Queen’s Brigade and Ritu Gupta, with a creative and confident woman from the Basti

Block printing as art can be used to decorate envelopes for gift giving and create beautiful designs on fabrics that can be used for costumes, dresses, linens and cushion covers. It can be used as a decorative skill to showcase one’s own home or for business purposes to sell one’s designs. Ritu Gupta, textile designer, life coach and NLP practitioner was the teacher of the event. Heena and I were there to offer our support and help.

A group of 60 enthusiastic ladies, dressed in their finest Sunday outfits, lined up on the trail outside the basti for the hour-long event on Monday, March 8. necessary to learn block printing first on paper, then on fabric. Ritu taught the method and shared valuable advice that only an expert would know about, with patience and skill. Heena happily supervised and guided the participants in their task, while I photographed and documented the event. It was a real pleasure to see the women enthusiastically collaborate to create beautiful designs – the true demonstration of their talent and ability. The hour ended with group photos, hugs and requests that we return soon. It was a woman’s day well spent!

If you would like to join Queen’s Brigade and participate in our social outreach programs or networking opportunities, please contact us at [email protected]

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