Introducing SANKALP Art Contest’s Winners!

Updated: Sep 8

Sankalp means “oath,” or “pledge” in Hindi. Fifteen South Asian artists pledged to fight domestic violence in Project SANKALP. Today, we’re introducing you to the winners of SEWA’s second art contest.

The artists were challenged to create a piece that reflects domestic or intimate partner violence. For inspiration, they were provided with a few phrases:

Violence has become a culture.

Pledge to CHANGE the culture.

Silence will not PROTECT you.

Project SANKALP was divided into two art contests: one for those who identify as women, and one for those who identify as men. Judges then looked through the submissions and selected the top three from each category, which we’ll introduce to you now! You’ll be hearing directly from the artists on their works.

The First Contest

First Prize: Sanjukta Mitra — Draupadi

I will! I will Rise… I will hold all my fears and sorrows …I will rise! Deep inside ,I know I’m strong …above the fire, I will rise! Hurt I am .. yet I will break the shackles of pain. I will stop ruminating about the past and will fly with the wings of my inner strength. I will! I will unleash the “Draupadi” in me .. I will! I will be a victor .. not a victim .. I will!
“Draupadi is the epitome of strength and she inspired me to paint hope. She was subjected to domestic violence but she made a comeback with her inner strength. We all have a Draupadi within ourselves… It’s just about unleashing it. In my painting you will see Draupadi’s inner strength (Krishna) symbolically painted as the wings (peacock feather).”
“About Draupadi – Draupadi also referred as Panchali is the tragic heroine, one of the central characters and the common wife of the Pandavas in the Hindu epic, Mahabharata. She is described to be the most beautiful woman of her time and was prophesied to bring a major change in the future.She was regarded as one of the most powerful ladies. She was subjected to domestic violence but with her inner strength (belief in Krishna), she not only made a strong comeback but set things on fire.” – Sanjukta on Draupadi

About Sanjukta

Sanjukta Mitra is a Decision Sciences consultant by profession and an artist at heart. Art is her calling, her way of giving back and touching lives. She is extremely passionate about creating original art and particularly loves the expressive form of art. She lives in Minnesota and engages in coaching art aspirants as young as 5 years old all the way to 85 years old.

Second Prize (tied): Sindhu Gupta — Speak Up!

“This artwork depicts the message to stop the domestic violence. ‘Exploitation, suffering, and, as redressal, also her awareness of her situation with assertiveness and dignity.'” – Sindhu on Speak Up!

About Sindhu

Painting is my passion. For me, it is neither a profession nor a hobby, it is a way of being. It is a meditation and self-connection that gives me reason for a joyful living. Creating a piece of art and giving meaning to it gives me immense satisfaction and absolute peace.

I live in Plymouth, MN and work as Senior Product Manager in US Bank. In the past, I have worked as an independent interior decorator in India before moving to the US.

In my spare time, I love to volunteer for the community. I have created a variety of artwork during COVID-19 lockdown last year to help our c