On the 18th of October, Sara Zaker , a renowned face in the entertainment industry, graced us by her presence in this year's round table “ How old are you?” jointly organised by Dove and The Daily Star. Clad in a green and white jamdani sari, her eyes rimmed with kohl, Sara Zaker carried herself with pure elegance and simplicity. We know whilst she initially started her career with acting, over time she has created a strong hold over many sectors and is now a business entrepreneur, social activist, deputy managing director of Asiatic 3sixty and a loving mother of two wonderful children – Iresh Zaker and Sriya Sharbojoya.
Over the years, she has learned that in a free market economy, mass media caters to the market and particularly to the consumers. With market driving the industry, many brands such as Dove has taken up the challenge to break stereotypes that is predominating the society. Nonetheless, this task is not easy she said. Most people in South Asia are very critical when it comes to height, weight and body type. When a certain image such as skinny body and young age is being appreciated everywhere, it becomes really tricky for anyone saying otherwise to have a fair ground in the entertainment industry.
However, Sara Zaker is a firm believer of positive changes. She believes education, itself, is an ideal way to combat such parochial mindset. She also emphasised on the big role that a family plays in a woman's life. Since the beginning of existence, family has a huge responsibility towards the upbringing of a child and in a country like ours, the responsibility is doubled. Families, especially parents, should focus on raising self-esteem in their female child and thereby enable them to realise their full potential. Sara Zaker believes that girls can excel in any sector if each set of parents takes an oath to create a shield of confidence for their child from a very young age.
On the other hand, she thinks the absence of education from a woman's life is absolutely appalling. Families in the rural areas still continue to bid off their daughters at a very young age but in doing so they are killing a resource of a country. Growth is stunted and a life falls flat just before reaching its zenith. Her advice to young girls would be not to let the fear of age crawl under their skin. Age is just a number and there is no binding for girls or boys to get married by the age of 25. She added with a force, get married only and only when you're ready.
By Mayesha Raidah
Photo: Rashed Shumon