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Pankhuri Mehndiratta - Tender heart & Strong will

by Aditi Rathore |

Meet Pankhuri. A lawyer by training and a nomad at heart. Born in Jaipur and having stayed & worked in different cities such as Calcutta, New Delhi, Harare & the Hague in the past, Pankhuri truly represents the spirited multicultural millennial.

A fierce advocate of human rights, she currently works as an Immigration Advisor for a specialist gender based violence charity for migrant and asylum seeking women in London. Her work involves making representations to the Home Office on behalf of the women that entrust her with their stories. Besides, she also trains professionals such as the police, social services and health services about the issues around gender-based violence that migrant communities face so that they can serve their communities better.

With 2020 being a year of introspection, Pankhuri seemed just the right person to talk about new normals. Here are some excerpts from our candid conversation with her: 
What inspired you to work in this field ?
A strong sense of feminist justice and a passion for human rights would be the short answer :)
How are you dealing with the pandemic?
I have just been trying to take things one day at a time to cope but personally have enjoyed the slowed pace of my social life being an introvert at my core.

How has it affected you and your work?
Work has been busier and heavier than ever - domestic violence in the UK (and I believe in many parts of the world) has increased during the pandemic and the state resources are stretched and unable sometimes to provide for the most vulnerable - not the most cheerful time to be in this job but definitely the most important time. The fact remains that women and in particular marginalised women ( women of colour, migrants and all others with historical disadvantages of race, caste, social status etc) have been disproportionately affected in all crises.

On a personal level, I love the flexibility around my days.

Given the current circumstances, what are you missing the most?
I am missing the certainty around my travel plans to see my loved ones the most and my yoga studio!

How do you see the world changing moving forward?
I see a lot more flexibility in our approach to each other, a (much needed) focus on our local communities, sustainability in the way we consume and (hopefully) the end of fast/cheap fashion - as someone is always paying the cost on our behalf to make fashion cheap.

Your favourite piece of literature?
Seeing as I have to pick only one - I would go with the delicious delectable - Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak <3

What do you do for fun, and to take the steam off?
I paint, bake, read (strictly fiction) in non-work hours, yoga and go on long nature walks.

The one thing you can't do without?
Fresh cut flowers and freshly ground coffee! It is really about the simple things for me.

How would you describe your personal style?
Classic, functional and comfortable :)

According to you, what's the one thing the world needs right now? 
Now (more than ever) and always - kindness.

Favourite Wildflower piece? 
From your previous collection Scarlet Tiered Maxi and the Meadow Maxi from the current collection. I am never too busy to keep up to date with your work :)


Pankhuri is wearing Scarlet Tiered Maxi