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Indian Diaspora: Voices of Indian Women Across Generations in Silicon Valley Video

In This Episode:

In Silicon Valley, about 45% of the Indian diaspora faces mental health challenges stemming from work-life balance, immigration uncertainties, and cultural isolation. Additionally, 40% struggle with cultural assimilation, impacting their social and psychological well-being. Despite high education levels, Indian families also face a 15% income disparity, highlighting prevalent underemployment and wage gaps.

Indian Diaspora Problems Of Silicon Valley

  • Mental Health and Well-being: Approximately 45% of the Indian diaspora in Silicon Valley report experiencing significant stress or mental health issues related to work-life balance, immigration status, and cultural isolation.
  • Challenges in Cultural Integration: Approximately 40% of Indian immigrants in Silicon Valley report experiencing difficulties in cultural assimilation, affecting their social inclusion and mental health.
  • Income Disparity: Despite high educational attainment, Indian households in Silicon Valley exhibit a 15% higher income disparity compared to the general population, indicating underemployment or wage gaps.

"I was completely boggled by the concept that these educated, affluent women in Silicon Valley were putting up with this abuse and still married. That really pushed me to journal these stories, write them in my diary, and eventually turn them into a film."

About Rashmi Rustagi:

Rashmi Rustagi, hailing from Lucknow, India, has graced both the big and small screens in roles from “The Avengers” to “Never Have I Ever.” Her talents extend behind the camera, too; she produced and starred in “Unborn,” a short film on Amazon Prime that tackles female feticide. Her latest project, “Designed by Preeti,” a film she wrote, produced, and acted in, delves into the themes of domestic abuse and empowerment inspired by true stories. Besides her cinematic endeavors, Rashmi is a passionate gardener, cook, and Indian food blogger.

"Interpersonal abuse doesn't have to be between partners only; it could be at work too. The term extends to any abusive relationships, not limited to physical but also verbal and psychological."

Show Notes:

  • Introduction to Rashmi Rustagi: Learn about Rashmi's multifaceted career as a writer, producer, and actor, and her motivation behind creating “Designed by Preeti.” 
  • Inspiration from Real Life: Rashmi shares personal stories from the Bay Area that inspired the themes of domestic abuse and resilience in her film. 
  • Defining Domestic Violence: Rashmi expands on the various forms of domestic violence, emphasizing that it's not always physical, and highlights the nuances of abuse. 
  • The Role of Culture: Discussion on how “Designed by Preeti” explores the complex identities of Indian women and the cultural stigmas they navigate in arranged marriages. 
  • Addressing Taboos: Rashmi's storytelling highlights the significance of representing interracial relationships and breaking cultural taboos in Indian communities. 
  • From Acting to Producing: Rashmi discusses her transition from acting to producing and writing, driven by the lack of roles for middle-aged Indian women in mainstream media.
  • Silicon Valley Influence: Discover why Silicon Valley's unique cultural and social environment plays a critical backdrop in Rashmi's films. 
  • Film's Impact on Community: Rashmi hopes her film will prompt Silicon Valley and wider audiences to acknowledge and address the issues of domestic abuse. 
  • Supporting the Film: Information on how listeners can support the post-production of “Designed by Preeti” through donations, highlighting the film's aim to foster societal change. 
  • What's Next for Rashmi Rustagi: Rashmi shares insights into her future projects, which will continue to address societal issues, aiming to inspire and educate through powerful narratives.

"It isn't just about acknowledging that domestic violence exists; it's about understanding the depth and varieties of abuse that occur, which often go beyond physical violence to include things like gaslighting and emotional manipulation."

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"Rashmi Rustagi's deep commitment to shedding light on the untold stories within the Indian diaspora through her film 'Designed by Preeti' is truly inspiring. Her passion not only enriches our understanding but also empowers those who feel voiceless in their struggles."

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