Puunam Khaur couldn’t have timed her personal trip to the US better, considering it coincided with the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Because as a part of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi at the UN headquarters in New York, the actress got a chance to gift portraits of Mahatma Gandhi to the Indian diplomats in the US. The paintings, sketched by Hamstech students, are inspired by Kalamkari and Madhubani art forms. “I’ve always believed that handloom is a material of peace, so I wanted to showcase the art on a global platform. I had only four days when I learnt the event. I was amazed with Hamstech students’ collection and to spread the message, I requested them to incorporate the handloom in the painting,” says the actress, who hopes to spread peace through art. The Souryam actress is grateful to the UN officials who gave her the opportunity to be part of the celebrations. “I’m thrilled and never thought that I’d be part of historic celebrations,” says the former ambassador for AP State Handlooms.
On a mission for peace
Puunam, who believes that the phenomenon called Gandhiji is amazing, went on to elaborate her views about how peace can be instilled even with what one wears. “After I went through forgetful experiences, I was always interested in peace missions. I also realised that Mission of Peace isn’t an easy task. But when I learnt that UN is celebrating Peace and Climate Change mission, I wanted to be a part of it to spread the message. And what better way to do it than on the World Non Violence Day?” adds Puunam.
“I am determined to spread the message and contribute in whatever way I can,” shares Puunam, who believes that though Gandhiji’s journey of peace brought us freedom, peace is a choice to make and that it comes with a lot of struggle. Incidentally, Puunam had earlier gifted a saree to Michelle Obama. “That saree was accepted by the Permanent Missions India to the UN. I also sent one painting to PM Narendra Modi ji; it has an Indian flag with Gandhiji on it,” she says beaming.