Swati Mohan

I was raised in the most lively city of Mumbai for a decade and then we shifted to  Rawatbhata in Rajasthan for another decade. There is a striking contrast between both these cities in terms of culture, people and the general upbringing. In Mumbai we girls were raised to be bold and outspoken, but in Rajasthan the patriarchal predominance was a completely opposite world. Made me feel like an outcast. It took me years to inspire girls to speak their minds. Most of them knew their ultimate goal in life will be to get married at a young age and leave their career pursuits to the so- called “better discretion” of their spouses and in laws. Lack of independence, no voice to speak for themselves and living as per other people’s choices was the norm.

I joined National Cadet Corps at school mainly because I was inspired by my Mom, who was an ex NCC cadet. I was selected as the Best Cadet of Rajasthan Directorate and that was a major step in making a difference in the mindset of the bunch of young girls who needed my words of inspiration and support.  At that moment the path for the rest of my life became crystal clear. I should live to uplift the spirits of  the downtrodden and  the needy. I moved to Chennai in 2010 and made this vibrant city my home. The college I studied in, promoted women empowerment and  the  NCC in Chennai was connected to various NGOs and women centric organizations. So, it was easy to connect with a much wider audience and create awareness on issues such as menstrual hygiene, career counselling, female foeticide, diversity and inclusion.

At my office I was nominated by my managers to encourage active participation in  International Women’s Day celebrations and Every Woman network. I also presented an award-winning case study at LIBA to bring out Board Diversity and Quality at workplaces. My future goal is to help girls from my native place in Trichy to secure jobs, acquire skills and become financially independent. I want to make them feel liberated and free from patriarchal suppression which many of them face post marriage. Gender equality and equal parenting should be fostered, and no voice should go unheard. I believe people shouldn’t fear rejection and failure because we have one life which we ought to live as we wish instead of merely existing in this world. My teachers always told me that actions speak louder than words and we should rather set an example for everyone than just preach. No matter where you come from or who you are, no one else gets to decide your worth. Eleanor Roosevelt said “Women are like teabags. We don’t know our true strength until we are in hot water”.

I feel like a drop in this rising world of women warriors who are breaking the barriers and pioneering in their field of choice. Believing in oneself is more important than anything in this world. With this pledge in mind I would love to carry on the bandwagon of nari shakti for the rest of my life.

Total Work Experience : 7 Years (Natwest Group)

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