Slumdog Millionaire actress paints women of the world at Georgia College

Lonkar is an adult, about to graduate from Georgia College with a degree in psychology/Courtesy Georgia College

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. -- In the multi-Oscar-winning 2008 movie “Slumdog Millionaire,” Tanvi Lonkar played a pre-adolescent girl kidnapped and forced into the crime-ridden slums and brothels of India.

Now, Lonkar is an adult, about to graduate from Georgia College with a degree in psychology. The major helped her grasp the type of human nature that leads to sexual slavery -– something she didn’t quite understand at age 11 playing the role of ‘middle Latika.’

College also helped Lonkar rediscovered her love for art, as she painted “Women of the World” –- a vibrant-colored series being followed by more than 16,400 people on Instagram and nearly 5,000 on Face Book.

“When I did Slumdog Millionaire, my role in the movie was a girl who was human trafficked. So, that really put me in a situation where I got angry,” the 22-year-old said. “It started me on this journey in my head that I need to do something that will empower women.

“That’s why I started painting women from different cultures, whose stories remain untold. They’re kind of hidden from the world,” she said. “I’m hoping one day when my art becomes famous, hopefully these women will notice it and see themselves the way I see them – looking very confident.”

She hopes her powerful portraits of women from Ethiopia, Tibet and India will help people be more accepting. Next, she will focus on South American and European women.

“I want to change the way society looks at anything different,” she said. “I think it’s very important to show the world we have all these women as well – women who are not outcasts but who are strong.”

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