Meet the all-girl team behind the Karnataka Womens’ Achiever Awards, led by Spoorthi Vishwas who have been working hard to recognise and honour the women achievers in the state
BY NAMITA GUPTA
What were you doing before you started KWAA and how did the idea come about?
I was hardly 15 and had passed 10th grade when I passed my first audition, was an anchor, news presenter, celebrity host and acted in 12 movies in Kannada, three in Tamil and two in Telugu. I’m the only child to my parents and have always been very independent. During my acting days, I met my husband Vishwas who was my co-star and we fell in love during the making of the movie Jolly Days, which was a remake of the Telugu film Happy Days. We got married after eight years of courtship. Although he’s a very broad-minded man and never told me to stop working, somewhere down the line, I put an end to my acting career myself as my family had taken priority over my acting. I wanted to give it all to my marriage, despite my husband and his family being very supportive. I would sometimes wonder why does a woman have to stop working after marriage. I attended many award functions and the highlight at all these events was on actors and stars. Women were not getting the recognition they deserved. I wanted to create a platform for the real heroes in our society, but something on a big scale. I wanted to create a platform for women to do other things as we have the ability to multi-task and we can handle our kids, husband, home and family and still do amazing work. That’s when I created KWAA and we got 850 nominations. The response was beyond my expectations. Within few months everything changed after I met these amazing women achievers. We are surrounded by great women and we need to give them the limelight they truly deserve.
What is different about KWAA from the other award events?
We did a research and on an average across India there are a lot of women achievers awards, but they are usually a part of other awards. There’s nothing at such a large scale as this. We have 18 different categories for recognising women in the fields like senior citizen, physically challenged, radio and also a unique woman award. We also have an amazing mother award for the first time and we have received 300 nominations for that award. It’s a genuine platform where only merit and their credits will win them awards. I’m very inspired by my mother as she being a single parent always brought me up in a very strong way. I was allowed to dream big and always follow my dreams with passion.
Some of the highpoints in your career so far? How many followers do you have on your social media handles?
I hold the trademark of KWAA. I won the Young Achiever Award in 2012 from Whistling Woods by Subhash Ghai. I also host The Face of Bangalore, a beauty pageant where we recognise faces in Bangalore. Some of the winners who won the pageant are now recognised actors and actresses. Also being a mother and getting back to doing what I love to do has made me stronger.
I have 996k on Facebook and 126k followers on Instagram.
Any struggles or challenges and how did you overcome them?
I was part of the glitz and glamour world and leaving all that and organising an awards event for women was completely different. It wasn’t easy creating the whole concept and executing it successfully. My family knew that I would be able to pull it off but they did wonder if I would be able to do it on such a large scale. I just believed in my concept and my team. My core team comprises my group of close friends from 4th grade in school – Varalakshmi Rajendran, Madhu Naidu and Kavya Harish. The other girls in our team are Sonia Shreedhar, Sukriti Ajaikumar and Wanitha V Jain. It’s been 18 years now and we work very closely. We are all the co-founders and wanted to be together even after school and that’s also one of the reasons why we started our event management company called Event Art. We are now a team of 20 girls and are always thinking of doing something out of the box. I travel a lot with my daughter and lot of people tell me that I inspire a lot of them to travel and also multi-tasking. I put up a post when I was looking for volunteers for KWAA and we got 600 calls from all my Instagram followers who wanted to join us in some way or the other. They all are so excited to be a part of it. We have received four international nominations and 12 national nominations. Also my husband has been very supportive. My daughter Saanvi Vishwas has been with me all through and has been very lucky for me.
What are your future plans?
KWAA is at the state level now and we want to take the awards to the National level next year. After KWAA I would like to do IWAA, in Bengaluru.