Press Release

Media Advisory – Friday, March 19, 2021 Washington DC.
Press Contact: Pooja Bailey,

Embassy of India advances cross border women’s participation in sports

The Embassy of India (Student Hub) celebrates International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month by hosting the second annual Fempowered Films Festival. The two-day virtual event is themed Determination & Grit: Indian Women in Sports. The 2021 Festival kicks off with a message from Ambassador H.E. Taranjit Singh Sandhu and features crowd-sourced positive athlete stories and short sports documentaries, fabulous conversations with women in sports, and even a mini-workout or two that you can join!

Date: Friday 19 March & Saturday 20 March 2021
Starting time: 9:30 am ET/ 7 pm India Time
Virtual LIVE at and on YouTube
FAQs | Program schedule | Crowd-sourced athlete stories & short documentaries

Photos here (credit: Varsha Yeshwant Kumar)
For more information:

Ambassador of India to the United States, H.E. Taranjit Singh Sandhu: “This event focuses on some fascinating stories of women in sports. They demonstrate that with courage, hard work and determination, the impossible is possible. An increasing number of Indian sportswomen have excelled in various track and field events at national and international levels. I am confident that the stories that would be showcased and discussions that take place at this Fempowered Film Festival will be a source of inspiration for many.”

Fempowered Film Organizing Team Co-Lead Pooja Bailey stated, “I hope those of you watching will have as much fun as we did putting these two days together for you. Witnessing the courage, passion and determination fills my heart with pride and hope for the future of Indian women in sports. Working on this project has had such a huge learning curve and these stories are going to stay with me for a while to come. My wish for us all is to continue having these conversations and finding ways to support girls and women from all walks of life to live more fit and healthy lives.”

In conjunction with Fempowered Film Festival 2021, the India Student Hub also hosted a launch event of Varsha Yeshwant Kumar’s documentary, Strength of the Pack, on 8th March 2021. Saahil Bijliwala from Mumbai said, “I started watching [the] documentary today morning while having breakfast. My coffee is cold. My inbox is bursting at the seams with people who want me to do things. My eyes are watery and I’m so behind schedule. 10/10 would do again.”

Fempowered Film Organizing Team Co-Lead Aakash Kulshreshtha said, “The abilities and achievements of Indian women in the sports arena is unprecedented, and that serves as an inspiration for all of us to join hands and work towards providing a stronger and supportive system for women – for their all round development and to help them fulfil their dreams. This film festival has really had some beneficial take-aways for me, and hopefully for all of us, to move ahead in this journey.”

Co-Host and Ultimate Players Association of India (UPAI) Communications Director Adwitiya Dawn stated, “It’s been great to hear so many instances of women leading women and the impact it can have. We at the UPAI are developing a women leaders fellowship wherein we have amazing female facilitators curating curriculum across gender concepts, leadership, financial literacy for young budding ultimate athletes from all corners of the country.”