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“Empowering one girl leads to the empowerment of ten more others” – Anjusha Chaughule

Anjusha Chaughule is currently celebrating Navratri with Sheroes. Her company, Thrumyeyes Entertainment is honouring nine days of Navratri nine role models across the world to inspire girls to follow their hearts when it comes to pursuing their careers. In this interview, she talks about how she started off as a social activist, her stints in theatre and movies and her views on women empowerment.

How would you describe yourself for those who have not heard of you before?
If you looked out for Anjusha Chaughule, you would know that she is abundantly creative and innovative. She loves creating new ideas and concepts. She is extremely motivated and ambitious and steadily she is going to create her own niche.

How did you become a social activist? What were your real motivations?
My own life circumstances motivated me to become what I am today. I was strong to deal with the toughest situations but I saw many women who were vulnerable and needed guidance and support. I wanted to stand for them and create something that these women can use when they are in a difficult situation. That’s how my journey as a social activist started seven years ago.

Where did the idea for the Jai Devi Jai Janani campaign originate?
Five days before Navratri, a thought struck me, to create a transition from mythology to the real world, to connect the current Gen X with real women of India from past and present while keeping the tradition and festive intact. That got me going and I implemented the execution, within five days. With the help of great team support, I was able to create lyrics, visuals, videos and the entire song. I can’t thank my team enough in believing in me and this powerful concept.

How did you conceptualize the songs? Was it an easy task?
The concept was very clear from day one; 9 days, 9 colours, 9 stree shakti. So with the help of one of my friends, Asim Shaikh, we created the lyrics and he put words to my thoughts. And together we created a meaningful song “Dashmi”. Creativity is not easy, but putting extra efforts gets you the result.

Are you satisfied with your gigs as an actress as you have played in Hindi, Marathi movies and theatre shows, as well as some brand commercials?
In fact I never got a desired opportunity to really do what I wanted as an actress but I am grateful to all those who believed in me while I played my part so far. I look forward to play some good offbeat characters. That would be my happy moment.

What do you want to achieve as a producer?
Like every other producer, I see creating sensible content, an emotion which will connect with my kind of audience. But the industry runs behind those who are at the peak and neglect really good and innovative subjects created by passionate people.

How did you come up with the name ‘Thrumyeyes Entertainment’ for your company?
I’m blogging from 2012 and I wanted people to see the world through my eyes, so every thing I post always has an ending saying ‘Thrumyeyes’. The day I decided to become a producer, it was the same thought, the world should see cinema ‘Thrumyeyes’ and get entertained. Hence ‘Thrumyeyes Entertainment’.

Which part do you enjoy the most in filmmaking?
Telling stories. To create what you actually visual gives me goose bumps.

Why are you interested in parallel cinema? Explain your fascination. Do you also like commercial cinema?
I believe in sensible cinema may it be drama, comedy, thriller or suspense. If a film can make me laugh, cry and smile, I call it a good cinema. Not every director can touch your soul and make you emote.

How do you see the theatre scene evolving these days?
I love real people and real performances. To see them performing live is a bliss. More and more producers should invest in theatre and audience should make it commercially able.

Are you active on social media? What is the importance of social media these days?
Yes I am, probably not the way I should be. One likes it or not, but social media has now become an integral part of our life. The moment you decide to take a break you are out of the game. The mantra nowadays for the youth is ‘The more you show the more you gain’. I personally believe, one must try to keep the social media real as there are many who are being influenced because of you.

Do you think the #MeToo movement in India has caused more noise than any concrete progress towards protecting women’s rights?
I have already shared my realistic views during the movement. Now when you look back, it has only proved my words right. It was more of a noise than a concrete solution. People don’t want real solutions, they want Insta-fame and Insta-justice, which can never have a silver lining.

Tell us about your self defence workshops. Do you think they are making a difference? If so, in which ways?
I’m so proud of myself for creating this self defence program which works on your inner qualities, having taught 11 lakh girls and women does prove it is liked and loved by various organisations. It is certainly making a difference in society. Empowering one girl leads to the empowerment of ten more others. I am now in the process to take this program Pan India.

Which recent Hindi movies have you really appreciated and why?
There are few but the most recent I loved was ‘Dream Girl’. It is indeed very nicely executed.

As a personal counsellor, what advice do you have for our female readers?
Believing in yourself when the world around you is finding faults in you is the best gift you can ever give yourself. When you start living for yourself and not for the society, the same world will praise you. Any day, any hour, I am just a click away to hear you without getting any judgemental.

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