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Asian Media Awards 2019: Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise the

Two years ago, I decided to leave my job and embark on making my own creative work. My desire to start creating my own work came in 2015, after being immersed into London's Southbank Centre's Alchemy Festival and producing a national show theatre show called Mother Tongues from Farther Lands in 2017. I craved to tell stories that were real, authentic and made an impact on people and in society, but the dreaded imposter syndrome prevented me from making that leap sooner.

In 2019, I had the opportunity to make Asian Women & Cars: The Road to Independence. An art installation and film which told the stories of the first generation South Asian Women who learned to drive in the UK. The exhibition and story attained international attention from audiences and the media - it was an unexpected and welcomed success. I was incredibly overwhelmed and so very pleased that this story of humble and often invisible older Asian women, was told and they were recognised, appreciated and valued.

In October 2019, I won the Creative Media Award for Asian Women & Cars: The Road to Independence at the annual and prestigious Asian Media Awards 2019, held in Manchester.

It was an honour to be shortlisted but to win was incredible. It re-affirmed that my decision to make my own work, was the right decision. And I was right to follow my instincts and passion to tell the stories of often marginalised South Asian communities.

It was an honour to be a winner amongst some incredibly talented South Asian women in industry; including Shobna Gulati who won the Sophiya Haque Services to British Television and Film Award 2019.

Sunetra Sarker for Best TV Character.

Ash Sarkar for Media Personality of the Year 2019.

Yasminara Khan as Journalist of the Year 2019.

Leesa Gazi for Best Investigation Award 2019.

Arooj Aftab, for the Best Blog Award 2019.

Harpz Kaur as Radio Presenter of the Year 2019.

The evening was brilliantly hosted by Dani Sinha, ITN's 5 News presenter.

This was a fantastic awards night, organised by a brilliant team including Umbreen Ali, Media Manager at AMA who I am photographed with below.

Thank you all those people who believed in my work, in this story and to the judges who awarded my project with AMA Creative Media Award 2019.

Last but definitely not least, thank to all those pioneering women who have come before us and paved the road for independence for South Asian women like us. And if you have a dream, a story to tell - then make it happen in 2020. Make that leap and keep the faith because growth and adventure lies just outside your comfort zone.

So here's a toast to strong women in 2020 and beyond. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.

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