Interview with Swapan Deep Kaur
Swapan Deep Kaur
Assistant Professor, Content Manager, Sociologist
Founder at Tatava Connect
Q1. Please share your educational and professional journey with us?
My scholastic and employment journey has been as transitional as possible and is nothing short of a metamorphosis in its own way. What started with having dreams of becoming a chef or a guitarist, took a radical turn when I joined an engineering college backed by the traditional idea of having a job that will provide a regular paycheck. In my heart, I knew that I did not want a job that would require sitting in front of a screen all day but this seemed like a logical choice back then because in Indian families, if you’re a child who is good at Math and Science, this is the ideal option for you.
To enhance my acquaintance with the non-academic realm, I chose to opt for debating and anchoring. The kind of interpersonal interaction that these aided, made me realize that there were numerous socio-cultural dogmas that needed to be worked upon. As a result, after my graduation, I decided to sit and prepare for the UPSC Civils exam. It was then that I was introduced to the subject that changed my life both academically and professionally.
Sociology is seen as a bland subject by many but to me, it was just the right blend of research and exposure that one needs in order to work on social issues in the most pragmatic and eclectic manner as it facilitates the learning the way any individual or collective functions. I decided to opt for post-graduation in the same field while simultaneously looking for part time roles that would assist gaining familiarity with the way the masses operated.
It was during this time that I stumbled on an internship that required me to curate content for a mental health orgainsation named FeelJoy. Almost 3 years later, today I manage their Content department and it has been a beautiful learning curve under the excellent mentorship of its founders who gave me enough creative liberty to structure content in a relevant yet sensitive manner and helped me harness my leadership abilities.
Simultaneously, I believe the best way to start working towards eradicating a social evil is by starting a constructive discourse with the young minds. Everyone is aware of the problems but a solution based approach is what we need next and for that, the youth needs to have the right informational tools to work towards the same.
Education and awareness are our only hope and my role of an Assistant Professor and my subjects of Sociology and Human Rights provide ample scope of interaction with young minds. My agenda is to help them understand the importance of empathy and equality when looking at the societal problems from the policy making lens.
The next phase came after meeting a kindred soul, a phenomenal psychologist working in the field of relationship counselling and through our discussions, we realized that the only way to quash the stigma around mental health wellness was by curbing the gap between the awareness and application aspects of it, giving birth to our brainchild, Tatava Connect.
We’re trying to bring together professionals who are working in the domain of wellness and wellbeing in order to create a holistic setup that assists the commencement of an individual’s healing journey, creating a ripple effect that’ll enhance the odds of creating a more balanced, mindful society.
Q2. How do you motivate yourself every morning?
Honestly, it comes naturally to me now. I can’t say that that has always been the case but ever since I’ve been involved in doing things that I love and am really passionate about, both personally and professionally, I have never had a day when I didn’t wake up with a smile and full of energy. One thing that definitely helps though, is efficient time and task management.
I make sure that I have set clear goals for myself for the next day before I go to bed and I avoid looking at my phone when I wake up. It’s a conscious change I’ve made in my morning routine. I check my phone only after I’ve left my home for work and that has made a world of difference. Also, usually instead of watching something, I read something at night. It’s the tiny habits in your morning routine and your sleep hygiene, if you ask me, which make a huge difference.
Q3. You are an Assistant Professor, Founder, Content Manager. How do you play multiple roles simultaneously in your life?
Initially, when I started toggling between roles, it was really confusing and got exhausting really quickly. I knew what I wanted to do and how but somehow, then “when” part was undivided during the day which caused burnout. This led to a lot of cluttering and as much as I tried to master multitasking and working without taking a break, juggling between tasks became almost impossible. That was when I realized the importance of making to-do lists in time bound intervals and taking short breaks in the middle.
This has been a true savior. I started compartmentalizing roles and duties and worked on segregating them from one another. I don’t think about college once I’m out of there; similarly, I only work for Tatava Connect after 6 pm. This helps me focus on one task and role at a time and by the end of the day, I have time to reflect on it individually because of that segregation. Decluttering and proper allocation of time, task, and resources is what helps me stay on the top of my game.
Q4. Which one thing do you want to change in yourself and why?
I wish to learn to know when to stop and be satisfied with what I’ve built or have accomplished after a certain point. Don’t get me wrong, the unyielding zeal to do more and wanting to ace at whatever it is that I’m doing is a trait I value a lot and is the kind of thing that has kept me going but it can take a toll on your mental, physical, and emotional health if not kept under check.
Satisfaction and cutting yourself some slack are as important as working unremittingly towards achieving your goals is. I’m working on incorporating the former in my routine by learning how to be kinder, gentler, and more accepting of myself by allowing myself to take breaks whenever necessary without feeling guilty about it.
Q5. Please share something about your venture Tatava Connect?
Tatava Connect is the brainchild of a Psychologist and a Sociologist that aims at bridging the gap between application and awareness of mental health aid by connecting an individual with the right healer. The awareness aspect of it is out through webinars, seminars, and social media campaigns by collaborating with specific resource persons.
We’re a mental health awareness network, bringing together professionals and alternative practitioners to enhance the well-being of the society through mental health lens. Our primary aim is to create mental health awareness through holistic interaction across multiple lifestyle domains. As the society evolves, so does the discourse around mental health awareness and application.
Q6. Which one skill do you like most about yourself?
I can’t truly call it a skill but that it’s a manifestation of a personality trait. I’m an empath and if there is anything that has helped me gain a thorough understanding of the way individuals function, it’s this trait and its active application in all scenarios. Empathy can be a huge asset especially in the particular domains of my professional life.
As a mentor or an educator, I need to be able to understand the perspectives of our society in order to further acquaint my students with it, and in the same way, I need to be able to understand their viewpoints to be able to connect with them and guide them accordingly towards what’s best for them.
You can’t truly make a difference in the field of mental health if you fail to understand and recognize people’s struggles. Trivializing other people’s issues has led us to where we are today and it is only through actively practicing empathy, as both a part of a collective and as individuals, I believe that we can change the status quo that degrades and undermines the fight against deteriorating mental health in these testing times.
It’s the one skill or practice that I think makes me truly human and has helped me help make other people feel better. Nothing makes one’s day like knowing that you have made another human feel lighter and happier, does it? At the end of the day, people just want to be heard, seen and accepted for who they are. Empathy helps me do all of that and more.
Q7. What do you think most when you go to write on any topic as a Content Writer?
RESEARCH. There is no other way to go about it when writing about anything. It has to be the first thing you do whenever you wish to write anything. Comprehensive research not only gives your content an edge over a mediocre piece of writing but also assists coming up with interesting narratives and analogies when writing anything.
You may be an expert on a topic but with the endless amount of data augmentation happening around us, there is always scope for emergence of new information or interesting perspectives in relation to the given topic. So, whenever I start working on an article or a blog post, the first thing that I do and the only thing I keep on going back to is researching the topic and reading about the general perceptions regarding the same.
Get more about Swapan Deep Kaur @
Linkedin (Tatava Connect): https://www.linkedin.com/company/tatava-connect