Bold and Becoming: Women Empowerment vision of Pooja

Published : 30 Nov 2022 06:24 PM | Updated : 30 Nov 2022 06:24 PM

Bold and Becoming is an initiative to empower, encourage and enable women and youths. Growing up in a minority middle class family in Bangladesh and struggling to navigate in teen and early twenties, Chitralekha Kar (Pooja) realized the utmost importance of cultivating courage, confidence, self-respect, self-love and self-dignity, to navigate life with purpose and fulfilment. Thus, to empower, encourage and enable women and youths around the world, Pooja, a bold and brave United Nations activist and levermor global scholar, initiated a series of workshops and webinars called Bold and Becoming.

Three main purposes of this initiative:

  • To connect and create strong networks of women and youths
  • To cultivate courage, confidence, self-respect, self-love and self-dignity
  • To achieve SDG goal no 5

Three main focuses/objectives of the workshops:

  • Finding Purpose/Set life goals
  • Learning Leadership Skills
  • Building Mentor-Mentee Relationship

Bold and Becoming has been striding in creating a positive and impactful difference in the society. Currently the workshops of Bold and Becoming are being conducted in 5 countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Nigeria impacting over 3000+ women and youths through its workshops and webinars.

In Bangladesh, EMK Center is Bold and Becoming's primary outreach partner to conduct these workshops. Additionally, Bold and Becoming conducts these workshops in various levels of educational institutions and students from across Bangladesh. There have been students from more than 100 institutions such as Asian University for Women, ULAB, Lalmatia Mohila College, Eden College, Dhaka Mohila Polytechnic Institute, Govt. College of Human Science, Chittagong University, Canadian University Bangladesh, Kazi Serajul Islam Mohila College, Shaheed Smrity College, Shashikar, Amazan Nursing College etc. to name a few, attending and being impacted from these workshops.

To empower, encourage, and enable women and youths Bold and Becoming also conducts monthly webinars. Regarding webinars programs Pooja said, we were privileged and honored to have highly accomplished, celebrated and distinguished leaders from different industries to join us in important and impactful discussions and dialogues regarding different aspects and issues of women empowerment. We were fortunate to first hand listen to award winning Bangladeshi Actors such as Bipasha Hayat, Iresh Zaker; Profound musicians such as Fuad Al-Muqtadir, Shitom Ahmed; Mathematic Olympian - Chamok Hasan etc.

In celebration of International Girl Child Day, we have conducted an empowering Poetry Writing and Recitation Competition in all our participating countries and celebrated the girls with love, support, and pride and kind notes.

In this Girl Child Day, to seed courage, confidence, self-respect, self-love, and self-dignity, Bold and Becoming, conducted a nationwide Positive Affirmation Campaign in Bangladesh impacting and seeding positive affirmations in more than 1800+ young hearts! To bolster and solidify these positive affirmations in the young generation, Pooja also authored a Self-Affirmation Children Book called I am Bold and Becoming. "I am Bold and Becoming" illustrates 36 positive affirmations to encourage, empower and enable young children to become more confident, courageous, self-loving, respecting and dignifying to own selves.

Growing up without an active mentor, especially a female role-model, has made Pooja crucially realize how important it is to have a mentor in life to obtain guidance from and to look up to. And that realization, has led Pooja launch Bold and Becoming Mentorship program to connect women and youths from different paths of lives with accomplished industry leaders such as Fairooz Beether, Goalkeeper Award Recipient and Co-Founder of Moner School, Sabira Mehrin, CEO of Wander Woman, Fahmida Faiza, Safety Head of South Asian Football Federation, Md. Asif Uddin, Director of ULAB, Rijve Arefin, Forbes 30 under 30 and so many more other empowering leaders.

These distinguishing leaders will play the roles of mentors and will help hundreds of young lives to navigate their personal and professional lives more meaningfully. The mentors and the mentees had the honor to firsthand listen about the importance of leadership, mentorship and connection of these to achieving SDG goal no 5 from Sarah Dyer, Co-Founder and Board of Director of 100 Women in Finance and Asian University for Women; Janine Lee, Global L&D Leader of Google; Peter DeBartolo, Associate Professor of Adelphi University, and a PhD Candidate in University of Oxford. Lastly, no one can do justice writing the feelings of listening to the resilient stories of First Bangladeshi Female Mount Everest Achiever, Nishat Majmudar, who was kind and gracious enough to empower us with her absolute heart-dropping and powerful summit journey anecdotes!

Bold and Becoming has also been partnering with local industry leaders such as Ikigai and Magnitio Digital with similar visions to empower, encourage and enable women and youths by providing them industry based digital technology training.

Chitralekha kar pooja, a Bangladeshi woman and Adelphi university alumni has been living at magical city of New York, the capital of the world, since 2015, She has born and brought up at Dhaka, where she has completed her 'O' and 'A' level graduation and became the awardee of the Daily Star Certificate of Excellence. She was a volunteer at Mirpur stadium for ICC world twenty 20 (T-20) games in 2014. With a scholarship, her educational journey to USA started 2015. She obtained her BBA degree (2018) and MS degree in Accounting (2019) from Adelphi University, garden city, NY. She also got a Levermore Global Scholar degree as she completes Levermore Global Scholar Program at same University. She is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Pooja was actively involved in various activities during her university life such as Peer Assistant Leader (PAL), Student Admission Ambassador and International Mentorship etc. She bagged seven awards including first prize winner of Adelphi Business Plan competition (with $510, Presidents student leadership award (with $1k) United Nations Outstanding Participation award (with $1k), Courage to Inspire and Strength to Empower award, Deans list, Dean Award. She is the founder of UNA-USA (United Nations Association of the United States of America) Adelphi university chapter and was its Founder President. (2016-2013).

Pooja joined 2015 summer Youth Assembly at the United Nations as a student ambassador from Adelphi University. Besides it, she joined many seminars and deliberated speech at the United Nations. Pooja was very lucky one, selected as student ambassador speaker from entire student body alongside one board of director and a female executive of Adelphi University at a special ceremony for Christine Riordan, president of Adelphi University as she was honored from her alma mater, Georgia state university,

Pooja joined a special interview session on "Celebrating Women's History Month" conducted by Education Center, USA, Dhaka Embassy on 20th March 2022. Her topic was "Creating empowered young women & the journey to Adelphi University."

Adelphi University made two video documentaries on Chitralekha kar Pooja and uploaded in youtube. "Pooja kar: Morally Bound to Succeed" is the title of one documentary uploaded in 2015 and another titling "A Life Transformed at Adelphi: Chitralekha's Story" was uploaded in 2018. Outstanding deliberation as UN speaker and world Changer motives are exposed over-whelmingly in documentary.

Professionally Pooja is an auditor and worked as an intermediate Assurance Associate at Ernst & Young (EY), one of the big four, at NY.

Senior journalist Chittaranjan Kar and retired nursing supervisor and teacher Shipra Rani Karmoker are her parent. Darshana, Dasar, Madaripur is their permanent residential address. Their only son Chinmoy kar Victor is also studying in Canada.