Tanishka | Currently pursuing my 3rd Year of computer engineering | Actively advocating for mental health and bullying after I happened to witness it myself at the tender age of 9 | Pune, India
1) THE BEST THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS?
I have been recovering from the physical abuse I faced due to colorism. I have started working on maintaining boundaries and practicing self-care. It also helped me gain confidence and win my very first pageant in college!
2) THE WORST THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS?
Scars of abuse tend to leave an impression on some aspects of your life. As a victim of sexual abuse, physical and mental abuse, I’ve been struggling with nightmares and sudden panic attacks. I was recently threatened to not speak up about my story and even if I’ve decided to lead on boldly, there’s an eerie feeling that sometimes comes along.
3) YOUR BIGGEST WISH FOR THE NEAR FUTURE?
I will be graduating in a year and I wish to accomplish it with good grades. I want to speak up more about bullying, create more awareness among people and leave a legacy behind. I know there will be some point in life where I will be facing my bullies (when I visit my hometown) but whenever I’ll stand before them, I want to be completely brave and fearless. This time, I wish to stand with my head held high, make my inner child proud.
4) YOUR BIGGEST WORRY FOR THE NEAR FUTURE?
My biggest worry is not being able to accomplish my goals. As a computer engineering student, I want to focus more on technical aspects and learn more coding. I am worried if I’ll be able to learn new languages and improve my skills within a year or not.
Along with it I am also concerned about the extreme environmental change happening. We, as humans, together need to take immediate steps to curb down this crisis otherwise it will be too late. We’ve already caused enough pollution and I am worried it might be irreversible.
5) A CONTEMPORARY WOMXN YOU CURRENTLY ADMIRE?
It is none other than my mother. While I was getting abused, she’d rush to fight for me, stand by me and was never scared to raise her voice to protect me. She’d sit in the Badminton Academy for 6 hours while I practiced so she could protect me from being physically bullied. If there’s anyone in my life who’s fierce, compassionate, gentle yet firm, it’s my mother.
6) A ONE-SENTENCE MESSAGE TO OTHER WOMXN?
No matter what, never ever walk with a hunch and never put your head down.
THE WORLD HAS BEEN CHANGING DRAMATICALLY IN RECENT MONTHS:
7) HOW ARE YOU COPING?
Initially I had trouble coping with the Pandemic but thanks to a my friends who taught me about coping mechanisms, offer a listening ear and make me feel safe. Whenever I find myself in the middle of a panic attack, I sit with it and have a conversation with my inner child.It helps me understand what happens at the grassroot level and makes me feel that I am the one controlling my emotions and not vice versa.
8) WHICH CHANGE OR EVENT HAS AFFECTED YOU THE MOST / HAD THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON YOU PERSONALLY?
The only incident yet that had the biggest impact on me was getting slapped by my bully. I remember my cheek being swollen and it had turned red. I had even trouble chewing food and till today, it sends shivers down my spine. It reminds me of how far I’ve come but also kindles a fire within me. The fire of justice.
9) WHAT ARE YOU MOST CONCERNED ABOUT THE RIGHT NOW?
I’m concerned about the fact that I have a lot to achieve and to do. Even though I will be doing it at my own pace, it raises a few concerns about how am I going to handle work, responsibility while recovering from the traumatic incidents.