Naira looked at her image in the mirror and cursed her luck again. I must have done something to displease the Gods, thats the reason I have been cursed with this dark skin which everyone detests. Known as the black sheep of the family, not due her deeds but due to the colour of her skin, she had borne the brunt since childhood. Tormented for bringing bad luck to the family, compared to her light skinned siblings, told to use haldi and fairness creams and when nothing worked, she was asked to try some cosmetic surgery to lighten the melanin pigment in her skin. Once she was older, the taunts became even more harsh, who will marry you they asked? In a country obsessed with fair skin, who would even want to think of a second marriage to someone like you. You are doomed they often said.
The years of negativity had affected Naira and she often thought its her fault, her shortcoming and she has to be willing to compromise as she lacks something vital.
One day she had a chance to travel abroad to Krakow, a city in Poland as a part of her theatre group. She was surprised to see the transformation here, the attitude of people was so different, they loved her tanned skin. Strangers complimented her and some clicked pics with her. Out of the blue, a theatre group director offered her a pivotal part in his play- he saw her performing one day in the arts festival and was impressed by her talent and her dusky skin would be apt for the role of the protagonist. Her joy knew no bounds. The skin she had been cursing had given her a new life. Alas, she realised it so late and subjected herself to years of agony, she needed validation from strangers to make her realise that she is beautiful in her own skin.
There was no looking back now. She wanted to go a step further and do something for scores of girls and boys in India who are made to feel inferior about their skin. #ProudOfBeingBrown – thats how the powerful initiative in support of brown skin was born.