Lady Who is Passionate About Empowering Women- Shalini Gupta

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Pinkishe is the fastest growing self-help community of the Indian Women. It is a non-government Organisation focussed on the development, well-being, pride and happiness of the Indian Women. Pinkishe helps the women of India grow with pride and dignity by undertaking all causes that impact them. Be it providing financial aid to the needy girl child, fight against social injustice against women, providing them financial independence opportunities, working towards handling women security issues and providing them with a platform for them to interact, share, learn and seek help. It is pleasure to share about Shalini Gupta, the National Secretary General of Pinkishe in the ‘Entrepreneur of the Month’ section of Womenlines. In a short period of 15 months reaching out to 50 cities in India and building up the team there and getting 1.5 lacs women associated with Pinkishe is really commendable work. Read and listen to her incredible journey in her own words-

1. Please share with our reader’s little bit about yourself.

I am Shalini Gupta, National Secretary General of NGO Pinkishe in India. I am a graduate from Lady Irwin College, New Delhi. I have been associated with the field of education for last 15 years and have been training young kids Abacus and Vedic Math. I have been actively associated with social and community work for last 10 years and have been involved in educating underprivileged kids.

Apart from that, I am a happy and proud homemaker. My family is my priority. Raising my two sons into fine gentlemen is what I always wanted, and I am glad that I have not failed.

Over the last 15 months, Pinkishe has taken over almost everything else. I now spend almost all my time in Pinkishe. Pinkishe is a women organisation and doing wonderful work for women empowerment. Padbank is our one such initiative whereby we are creating awareness about menstrual hygiene among the underprivileged of the society. Pakhi is our other programme where we are creating a network of women lawyers all over India. If a woman is in distress she can call our helpline no.and can connect with our lawyers for free legal councilling. One of our prime objectives is to empower the women by making them financially independent and we are working towards this.

 

2. So when did you joined this venture and what inspired or motivated you to take a plunge into this venture?

Pinkishe is now 15 months old. It has risen fast. A few of us started it in May 2017. As I mentioned above, social work has been a major part of my life thus far. I have worked at the grassroots level – happy, content & thankful for having the opportunity to be impacting a few lives positively. Over the years, the urge to do something at a larger level increased. Something that can touch many more lives. On one side that thought was building up, on the other side I was getting more and more restless with the condition of women all over the world. Despite the visible positive change in a woman’s life, a very large population still has to struggle with a misogynistic society and its norms. Crimes against women do not appear to be subsiding. It might look or feel otherwise, but at least in a country like India, women’s participation in the workforce has dramatically declined.

To challenge that, we thought women must unite. They will need to come to a common platform and fight the ills themselves. And that paved the way for Pinkishe – an all women platform.

3. Can you share with us some of the challenges you faced during your initial days?

Honestly, we did not face many big challenges. Or rather if I look back, everything about Pinkishe has been a huge challenge but it’s just that we never took a challenge as a challenge. Everything looked like an opportunity.

Actually, the challenge that came our way was a different kind.

Pinkishe grew fast. Women associated fast and came forward to take on responsibilities. Society at large has been very supportive and appreciative. No institution whom we approached ever declined any reasonable support we requested. Setting up processes and handling the growth came as a challenge. Suddenly exploding into 50 branches across the length and breadth of the nation was challenging to handle as it demanded many more hours and many more hands daily than what we had anticipated. But all that extra work and pressure rather motivated us. The challenge has not vanished even today. But we have handled it well and we will continue to do so.

Another practical challenge that came our way, and it was pretty much on the expected lines was that many women who have happily been ‘homemakers’ all through, did not believe in their abilities. They suspected if they had in them what it takes to come out of their homes and start working towards women causes.

But the good part has been, that those fears vanished very soon, and the same women are now actively leading Pinkishe in their cities and doing very well. That, in fact, has been the most heartening aspect of Pinkishe.

4. So how do you balance your personal and professional life?

Well, Pinkishe has been demanding, very demanding! It has led to a complete change of my routine and timetable. I was very apprehensive initially about how my family will take it and cope with my new extremely busy schedule. But they have been most supportive…especially my husband. I think he could notice the content and pride on my exhausted face and has been very supportive. My elder son has just joined a job. The younger one is also quite independent. So I think I have chosen the right stage in my life for doing what I really wanted to do. On my part, I remain constantly aware of the fact that my family needs the same love, attention and involvement. So I ensure that their time does not get sacrificed. Sundays are strictly family and we make sure that we sneak in some vacation time mandatorily!

 

5. What would you suggest to other aspiring women who want to venture out in the social work field?

Many women don’t feel the need to work outside their homes. Their husbands earn well. But they lose their self-identities overtime. I believe it is essential for any human, and more so for a woman, to never let that happen. Identities are important. It’s important to have a feeling of happiness and pride. Social work I believe is a great medium. By utilizing your time and skills, one attains pride at many levels. You feel great to be helping in nation and society building. You sharpen your skills and feel better. I think every woman who can, should get involved in a little bit of social work and trust you me, you will love it!

 

6. Is there any person who has mentored/supported/inspired you?

My husband has been my greatest support. He has been that force who has always nudged me ahead. He has stood like a pillar and has never let me fall. I think every man can take a lesson from him. I believe that if a man stands by his lady and shows respects and support to her wishes, women have an amazing wealth of love to share. Families and the society will become a much better place.

 

7. Can you share some future plans for the venture you are part of?

We believe Pinkishe has just started. It’s in its inception stage. With the kind of vision it has, we have kept the first 5 years as just the stabilizing period. Lots will happen during this period too. We have so many things planned, it will need a lot of space. Rather than talking about that here at this stage, I would rather ask all to walk with Pinkishe. It is going to be an interesting and important journey.

 

To know more details about Pinkishe visit https://www.pinkishe.org/.

Charu Mehrotra

Promoting Excellence in Women!

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