I grew up spending my summers in my parent's villages just outside of Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Year after year my mother brought me and endured the hot summer months as I spent time with my grandmothers and played with the children of the village. Little did I know those hot summer days would one day serve to be some of the most meaningful moments of my life.
When I was 17, I decided to go between India and the US whenever I had off from university to work with differently-abled (also known to society as disabled) children and young women from villages. This eventually led to the inception of Mamta School and Aahana. More importantly, it led me into the deeper unknown of development work and what it means to be of service. I saw the good and bad behind working in financially poor communities, but came to an understanding that "poor" has many levels.
Through these experiences and a series of questioning, I left the world I knew of corporate business and non-profits and dove deeper into the world. I backpacked through Southeast Asia, motorbiked through Vietnam, worked in slums, walked 1,000 kilometers across Spain, and lived on and off for 2 years in the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
I am now back in the United States finding ways to bring my learnings into the work that calls me the most.
"What do you do now?" is a question I get a lot these days.
I have continued my work as a writer and consultant in helping non-profits, social enterprises, and other mission driven companies find their voice and tone through positive internal and external messaging. I use my blog and the writing I do for companies to deliver messages we don't talk so much about in our society today.
I am also writing a book which has been 8 years in the making. After visits to India and numerous family interviews, I began writing the story of my ancestors, parents, their life in India, and their immigration from India to the United States.
I also help new mission driven organizations and companies grow through helping them establish organizational structure and programs that drive their mission.
I believe in bridging the gap between humans and reestablishing human connection through storytelling, authentic dialogue, and positive messaging to solve some of our world's most pressing social issues. I believe in talking about the things we shy away from and creating spaces, especially amongst young people, to bring relationships to life. This involves engaging in community dialogue, facilitating spaces both within the community and company setting, and exploring new forms of leadership.