She is god-gifted and blessed with various talents since childhood. But most importantly she is socially adept; which inspires others and they look up to her as their role model. Keying down for the cause of humanity and her inclination towards social work and a die-hard urge to help others and do some good to the society.
I always say a woman alone has power, collectively we have impact. We need to reverse the stereotype that women don’t support other women. I know women who’ve struggled; who’ve made horrible decisions. Women who have experienced hurt more than any human being should ever be permitted to hurt. These women have also built companies, raised wonderful human beings, shown kindness to others in their darkest of times, and taught me about strength. I love them. I love their brokenness, their fragility. I love the strength they show in getting back up and continuing forward. I love what they teach me about beauty, love, frailty, and kindness.
We suffered (me and my husband) a financial setback from the loss of a partnership. For the longest time we felt like we were victim of cheating, that didn’t really help much in recovering from it; on the contrary only made things worse. Just getting through the next hour, day and week seemed hard enough; and it was then that I realized, we need to maintain a perspective and not panic. We need to rebuild our business. And we did. Today, we are back into the business, we are not a 100% there yet, but we are taking baby steps towards it and we are sure we will get there soon! I’d like people who are reading this to know, that yes, the emotional and physical effects of a major financial loss are similar to the grief you feel over the loss of a loved one; but we are far more resilient than we give ourselves credit for. So yes, the process of recovery will be hard, but it can be done!
Originally from New Delhi, I moved to Udaipur 10 years ago and now it is home. I have an undergrad degree in commerce and a diploma in hardware and networking. After finishing my diploma, I took a job at Indian Institute of Hardware Technology – where my salary was a mere Rs.5000; but all I wanted to do was to work to gain some experience. I also did my MBA later and currently work as an advisor at Aditya Birla Life Insurance.
But it was some time ago when something changed my life or at least the perspective on how I looked at life. I met my mentor who encouraged me to read self-help books or watch videos on motivational speaking. That changed something in me and I decided to become a motivational speaker.
When I first watched the videos or read the books -the words of the speakers were so powerful and inspirational. I still watch a lot of motivational videos; but recently, I have been creating my own. I believe in being positive and that’s the message I want to convey to my audiences. When you choose to become positive, life becomes easier. So, let go of all the negative thoughts around you and believe in yourself. The accumulation of the little achievements and failures, make the big difference. What remains important is positivity!
So today, apart from my day job (as mentioned above) I am a motivational speaker too; which I also feel is my true calling.
I am Aamatullah; and my biggest inspiration is my mom, Rashida Bohra. Coming from a lower middle class family and sister of five brothers-sisters, my mom did her schooling till higher secondary in science. She wanted to become an engineer but due to family condition and her marriage at a very young age she couldn’t. We come from a small village in the Chittorgarh district.
She wanted her kids to become engineer, but again the family condition was biggest challenge. For that she worked hard and cleared her government competitive exam to become a school teacher and pursue her dream. She worked at home in morning, followed by teaching in school and tuition for underprivileged kids. Later in evening again house work, and in night spending time with us to make sure our studies and goals are on track.
She worked hard going one village to other on a two wheeler to educate old ladies as a part of her Job. However, one day, she met in accident which left her bed ridden for a while. She did not lose hope and in the shortest recovery time she bounced back. However, as her job entailed good amount of travelling, she had 3 more accidents in short span of time and the last one was a brush with the death and left her bed ridden for the longest time possible.
Though she could have continued her government job, she decided to give the opportunity to another candidate and moved to private sector with minimal travelling. Here again she took up work in the best stride and dedicated her rest of the time for her family and pursuing her passion to teach and educate others.
At last her hard work and sacrifice paid off, and today my brother is an engineer. No one can explain the feeling I saw in her eyes on the day of his graduation. This inspired me to move forward and enroll myself in MSC which will be followed by a degree in MTech. She has just recently retired from her teaching job and now at the time when she can relax and rest, she is still the same active woman looking her family and making sure that our dreams are achieved. She till date makes sure that we are focused at our goal and always inspires us to try the things that we are scared of. She is the center of our family and we are proud to be a part of her solar system.
She is a colleague, a friend and most importantly – she is an Inspiration. She is the real embodiment of work hard, play harder.
Coming from a well off family, it is easy to get used to the lavish lifestyle. But most important thing is to carve an individual identity for yourself; independent from your family’s. She stood shoulder to shoulder with her brothers and has set an example for all – that no matter how the circumstances are, if you push yourself to move forward you will grow and evolve.
She worked at Arcgate for a year or more and even during that short span of time – we exchanged a lot and learnt a lot from each other. I actually interviewed her for the job and had seen a spark then, which continues to sparkle even today. Currently, she works in investments and has a team of her own, mostly female staff, and each day she continues to inspire her team and friends to stick with their goals, as there is nothing which is impossible to achieve if you put your heart and mind to it.
Meet, Shikha, one of our colleagues here at Arcgate – a calm, composed, cheerful woman – going about her life like any other normal person would. But behind this calm, cheerful composure lays many a tales of struggle and hardships. At a young age, she probably had endured what others may not endure in their whole lifetime.
Born as a second child to her parents, Shikha is 6 years younger to her sister Anjali; however, both she and her sister were children of a troubled marriage. With little to no support from her husband or in-laws, Shikha’s mother had a very rough life. From managing all the household chores to handling all the emotional abuse – she was on the receiving end of it all. But when it came to the education of her children, Shikha’s mom took a bold step and didn’t give in to her husband’s demand of providing her daughters sub-standard education. She decided to send both her daughters to her parents; where their maternal grandparents took care of their education and upbringing. This didn’t go well down with her husband and their marriage got to a point of no return. They were soon divorced; leaving her mom unprepared for what lay ahead. Yet her mom didn’t give up and took the decision of working at her father’s company to fend for herself and her daughters.
Being a first-hand witness and a passive victim to all the hardships her mother went through; Shikha herself turned out to be a survivor. Of course the child within her till date misses and yearns for a normal childhood, love and care of both her parents; but life isn’t what we always want it to be. So Shikha keeps making peace with that fact time and again; pushing herself to continue to make her and her mom’s life better with things she can control and achieve.
With her mom as her role model, she learnt to overcome all the things that held her back. She gave her best shot at everything she did – be it education, sports, or work. And at times she was doing it all together; in the sense she was she started working simultaneously to be able to pay for the education she was getting. Nonetheless, she topped at school, went on to become a district level champion at kick-boxing (talk about getting knocked down or knocking down everything that comes in your way), got a promotion within 6 months at work because of her dedication and willingness to excel.
But then life has its own way of hitting you hard – her maternal grandfather, who was the pillar of their strength passed away and so did her father (whom she secretly hoped to talk to someday to get some answers). This loss hit her hard in the gut, not only that, they could no longer stay in their grandparents’ house and had to move out to a less desirable rented place. Yet she didn’t let it dissuade her from her life goals. Instead, she focused harder on finding herself a better job which could help her realize her dreams. Her quest to find the perfect workplace ended when she joined Arcgate in May 2011. This was the turning point, she was hoping for her in life. She found the perfect atmosphere, a perfect place to showcase her talent and skills which were all well rewarded and recognized at Arcgate.
There is no manual for how to respond when life throws lemons at you without warning; but Shikha with her grit and perseverance – has finally managed to reach a ‘happy place’ in life. She was able to buy a house – yes, a place of her own she could finally call, ‘home.’ It was possible only because she worked hard enough and never gave up. And in that process, she made living on a budget her second nature. She taught herself to be self-sufficient and a hands-on person, from fixing furniture to home maintenance , she did it all and at times challenged herself to fix it on her in order to spend as little as possible to save up for her dream home.
The house is a testament of her grit and determination and Shikha’s life story is a living example that if a woman puts her heart and mind onto something or decide to take things in her own hands, she can conquer anything and achieve everything. Shikha is currently living in her new house with her mother and is looking forward to the next chapter of her life. She is better prepared to now move forward in life and while doing so she wishes to inspire and help other women realize their dreams.
Thank you, Shikha, for being this wonderful strong woman that you are. You clearly are the pride of Udaipur!
This story is about my friend, Pooja. The day she was born, her family was not much happy with her birth as they were expecting and willing to have a boy and was not ready to accept a girl child. Even her mother was not ready to support or to raise her.
Somehow, they did raise her and when it came to her schooling they sent her to a government school as they didn’t want to spend much on her education, and thought there is no point in educating her.
However, after completing her schooling in 2014, she decided to pursue BSTC (Basic School Teaching Certificate) to become independent and support her family. She could not qualify her exam in first attempt in 2014, yet she did not give up and reappeared for that exam again in 2015 and this time she cleared it.
She got a college allotment in Udaipur, but her family was not ready to send her far from home and her family was not even well to do financially so they could not meet the expenses of city.
Fortunately, she got a college transfer near her village itself, and that was a happy moment for her as well as her family. Today, despite all odds in life she proved herself and she also qualified REET and has joined as a government teacher in Feb 2019.
For me she is strong and #Sheisudaipur
A magnificent childhood ensures memories of a life time. Shweta had an amazing time growing up in the Darjeeling. She grew up in a joint family along with her three younger sisters. Her father worked in Tea garden and that gave the kids full liberty to run to play in the tea gardens any time they wanted. It was always great fun as some of the gardens were right in front of their big house. Their daily routine included playing hide and seeks; and picking up as many tea leaves as they could. On some little adventurous day, they would try to climb the mountain just near their home. Weekends were always a blast as whole family used to visit famous Tiger hills, and yes Toy train ride was the compulsory fun activity.
Shweta was also passionate about singing. She was gifted with great voice and she won many singing competitions in the school. The life was going great and it was all fun, until one fateful day her father got diagnosed with horrific kidney disease. The sickness grew and her father was bed ridden for several months. This led to one problem after another – the tea garden contracts were lost, all financial savings were lost in the treatment, people cheated and ran away with the money, and many more. It was very tough. Shweta was only 7 years at that time. Due to increasing problems and deteriorating financial conditions, she was moved from private school to a lesser known school having moderate fees. Her father could never recover fully from that disease. Being the eldest, Shweta knew that she has a role to play in the family. She didn’t want her sisters to suffer so she sacrificed whenever she got a chance. She gave up her dream of singing as she knew it would cost good amount of money to continue. She handled her expenses carefully and like a mature person, stopped demanding things from the parents. As she reached 12th class, another tragedy struck when she herself got diagnosed with serious disease. Just before giving the Board exams, doctors declared her unfit and asked for immediate operation. Her one year was lost as she had no option but to spend the year waiting to finish her school.
The financial conditions were getting worse. Shweta decided to do something about this. She stopped playing in the evenings and started giving tuition classes to the students. The tuition earned her some money which she gave to her parents. She worked hard for the next year taking tuition classes and managing her studies. After 12th, there were not many options for Shweta in Darjeeling as the colleges there were expensive. At this moment she took a big decision and moved to the Udaipur city to stay with her Aunt and cousins. Here she enrolled in Gurunanak Girls college and started adjusting to the new city. The new place and new environment demanded more hard work and internal strength. Every day she used to miss her parents and her sisters, but she knew she had to keep going. While attending college she decided to do something to earn money. After attending college from 8 am to 11 am, she used to spend next 7 hours at her brother’s office to learn new computer technologies. This was completely new and unknown field, but she decided to learn as she had decided to become instructor. After learning the software courses, she joined her brother’s office as instructor. She started getting salary and used this money to pay her college semester fee. She felt strong; she knew she was slowly achieving something. At such young age she stopped being dependent and learned to stand on her own. Along with all this she never missed any house hold work – waking up early in the morning to cook for all, then college, then taking coaching classes, then coming back and cooking again – She was managing everything single-handedly.
The money she was earning as instructor was not much and she was constantly looking to get a good job so that she could support her sisters back at home. In 2018 she joined Arcgate and since then she never looked back. The safe and modern environment excited her. Once she started earning decent amount, she made sure that half of her salary goes to her parents. With her own money, she managed to get her younger sister enrolled in painting classes. Shweta couldn’t complete her dream of being a singer, but she is working hard to make sure her sisters don’t have to crush their dreams. She misses her family a lot; she misses those beautiful tea gardens of Darjeeling. It has been over one year since she has visited her family, but she has no qualms. She believes her hard work is paying off as today she is able to support her sisters and parents. She just wants to continue working hard and excel at her work place. Shweta’s life has been full of problems, but she never gives up. She makes sure that she continues to fight with all the issues; she doesn’t want to stop until all her sisters are well settled and her family has everything required for a comfortable life. Shweta doesn’t even consider this as sacrifice, she believes fighting these problems and overcoming them gives her great satisfaction, it gives her a sense of freedom and a feeling of achievement.
Jyoti and her elder sister had a very rough life. She has spent a good part of her life in a society where girls are still considered as a burden; where exorbitant dowries are essential to get married, and where girls are always considered inferior to the men. Her father was in the Army and was away from home most of the time. Her elder brother played the role of the guardian and the relation between him and Jyoti was not the best one. He always criticized her for one reason or another, basically for being a girl. Some of the abuses were – you are a burden on the family, what’s the point of studying, why roaming outside, and so on. There were too many whys and what’s; which Jyoti could never understand. Whole conversation would come to the point that since heavy dowry will be paid in the future to marry her off, there is no point in spending too much money on education. Jyoti hated this kind of toxic environment where verbal abuses were part of the daily routine and every single minute she was reminded of being a girl (burden?).
Limits were crossed one day when physical abuse replaced the verbal abuses. Jyoti and her sister, both were beaten mercilessly by their brother. Helpless mother couldn’t do much apart from begging him to leave them alone. He didn’t stop – shoes, broom, stick – he used whatever he could grab to beat them with full fury. Jyoti still has the scars of that day, not the physical one, but the mental scars. She knew that the horrible physical attack was the price they were paying for being girls in a society which regard them as the unwanted – a burden.
In spite of such depressing environment, Jyoti kept her focus on studies. She knew that if she wants to get out of this place, she must study hard and do something on her own. She also started to take tuitions to divert her mind. Every day she used to commute 20Kms to teach students, but of course, all the earned money was given to the family. With her hard work and dedication she managed to secure scholarship and joined a hotel management college here in the Udaipur. Cooking was favorite activity which provided her relief from all the stress and bad memories. While studying she joined a five star hotel as an intern. When she thought that life is back on right track, she faced immense trouble. According to her, verbal abuses were common there and she always feared for her safety, especially after encountering some very scary situation.
She decided not to continue in this stream and started looking for another job. In 2017 she came to know about Arcgate and joined the company after giving interview. It was like a dream came true for her. She was pleasantly surprised with the infrastructure, the professional environment, and above all an extremely safe environment. Today, she is a strong and independent woman, and gives huge credit to Udaipur city and Arcgate for her new life. She believes this is the happiest phase of her life and she just wants to forget all the difficulties she has endured. Jyoti has one mantra for all other women facing difficulties- “She is able who thinks she is able”. Problems are going to come, but one must fight hard and overcome them by showing extreme internal strength.