As Women’s History Month comes to a close, we thought it’d be fun and interesting to pay tribute to the women who inspire us. In this post, you’ll find words from SEWA-AIFW staff and community members about the women who inspire them. As you read, think about your own life. Who are the important women in your life? Who inspires you?
We posed the question to our staff and community. Who are the women who inspire you?
We received a wide range of responses. Mothers, sisters, daughters, teachers, colleagues. We at SEWA are blessed to work with such inspiring women in our community every day. Here are some words from a few of them…
My mom inspires me with her endless energy, her constant positivity, and her never-ending faith that we can do anything. My sister and I are lucky that both my parents raised us sisters to be self-sufficient & independent, but she especially encourages us to dream big and provides an unwavering source of support.Reena Maheshwari, SEWA-AIFW
Ever since we were born, someone is guiding us and nurturing us. In the journey of my life, my mother gave me the birth and from day one until she died. She was my Role Model and inspiration. She was the embodiment of resilience, and helped me face many challenges. I am incredibly confident knowing she has been, and always will be, part of me.
I admire her patience and her unconditional love she always maintained to her family and her extended family. My mother cooked for us, helped us every time in need, took us to doctor’s visits, shoppings, gave us disciplinary lessons, showered her love, gave us confidence, made us adventurous, and gave us very strong willpower. My mother was among 8 kids and from a very poor family, has only been through seventh grade of school class, and her desire for higher education inspired all her children for a good college education.
Her crafting, organizing and cooking skills always amazed me. She knew most of the time how long the project would take. Being a daughter of a father who was very involved in his own business, she took us all alone to our summer home in a village, where transportation was not just one vehicle.
She was a woman with high self esteem. Her inspirational steps mainly were: Hard work does pay off. Don’t complain about problems. Believe in yourself. Keep your head up and be strong. Prioritize and spend the time and energy on what you want to achieve first. Give comfort to everyone in your surroundings.
I truly bow to my mother who inspired me to be what I am today. Her nurturing skills helped me survive the 2020 pandemic and learn to live in ups and downs of life.Jayshree Desai, Community Member
The woman I’m choosing to highlight is talk show host, YouTuber and activist Lilly Singh. Her skits run the gamut of being a Desi girl in a Western world to silly things like, “Weird stuff that happens at School.” She highlights important social issues, whether they are worldwide, like the farmer’s protest in India and the struggles of living with anxiety. At the end of a long day or week, I can always turn to one of her skits to make me laugh and add levity to my day.Rupa Kryzer, SEWA-AIFW
Life as a woman is full of fun and challenges. It is interesting to see how the community that worships the women, at the same time makes life hell for them. Growing up in India, I struggled with this a lot and at the same time found inspiration around me in the women who fought this system of oppression. It would be hard to say one woman has inspired me, as it would be an injustice to others. I feel I am a sum of all those wonderful women who taught me how to be!
My inspiration is my mother, who always inspired all of us three sisters to stand for what is right and not give up, yet still be respectful to the culture and traditions. I think she broke my first misconception (like many of us) that a homemaker cannot fight her battle and is docile. She was always courteous and respectful but taught me that having your voice does not mean raising it high, it means speaking the truth with conviction. My inspiration is my sister, who has fought for her rights and has taught me perseverance and resilience in the wake of problems. My wonderful girlfriends over the years are my inspiration, with whom I understood how to survive without depending on anyone. My teachers Kusum Midha and Pam Chahal are my ‘sheroes,’ who always had faith in my abilities and taught me to never give up. Ms. Kusum was the one who told me I could do a lot with my love for languages. Ms. Pam taught me the nuances of research in a beautiful way, always inspiring me with her affection and hard work.
It would be not fair if I do not mention my sister-in-law, Saloni, who has always been my support and backbone when I came to the US. She has shown me what a single mom can do! I learned that nothing is impossible when you make up the mind for it, whether it means surviving in a country you have immigrated to. My friends in the Twin Cities have been crucial to me as they helped me get assimilated into the new culture with less of a shock, and made it feel a little bump on the road of life. My female colleagues inspire me and support me every day and so does my boss, Raj Chaudhary, who does not accept the term ‘boss’! From the day I came into SEWA-AIFW, it has been a life-changing path for me, with Raj ji mentoring me with her caring direction where it is hard to lose track of my mission. She has inspired many, just like me!
I feel every woman who stands for herself and fights back inspires me, whether it is my four-year-old daughter who shows her fearlessness at such a young age or a survivor that has come to the office to seek help or a woman who is struggling every day but not giving up. I feel that we all have a network of feelings that connect us all like the roots that are there and nurture the tree of life. I am thankful for all the women in my life as you all inspire me to be ME!Geetanjali Mittal, SEWA-AIFW
We tend to look at the outside world for inspiration, for motivation. We assume that people near and dear to us have not faced hardships or difficulties. This notion is embedded in us because we fail to notice their efforts and wars from an unbiased perspective.
I don’t have a role model. I never fancied or looked up to someone popular or known. But I have always had someone I aspired to be — my mother.
A woman who started contributing to her household at the fragile age of 17, worked multiple jobs day and night, supported her siblings and paralysed father, became the ‘man of the house,’ raised two kids while giving them education under the most eminent University and school, recovered from a stroke, and moved to another country to do all of this over again.
I have never had the need for a father in my life. My mother has always fulfilled the role and gone beyond to give me access to opportunities which even normal kids with both parents can’t. The person I am today is a reflection of her teachings and the constant guidance she has given me. Even on days when she had absolutely no strength, she hid her pain like an ideal giving mother.
Her commitment towards her work, dedication towards her friends, and absolute selflessness towards her family befuddles me every day. If I can acquire even a fraction of her character, I would be content.
My mother has constantly made sure the goal post in my life is moved further away every time I achieve what I aim for, because she knows and believes that there’s nothing you can’t achieve if you set your mind to it.
My mother is my inspiration to be a kind and selfless human being.
Thanks ma!!Sana, Community Member