Shaina began her career as a qualified Chartered Accountant and worked with one of the prominent audit and assurance companies. Her passion for working with people and for Indian grassroots soon pulled her towards joining ICECD (International Center for Entrepreneurship and Career Development) – a foundation started in 1986 working for women entrepreneurship across 55 countries and all states of India. Since then, she has worked with a large cross-section of society in the fields of entrepreneurship, health, and sanitation, women empowerment, industrial safety, environmental issues as well as education. Her work has reached out to thousands of people especially in the grassroots of India.
What is your favourite word?
Light. I think light captures everything. It has within its darkness. It has within its light. It has the good, bad, everything and in light, I think everything becomes one.
Human beings were made to feel and are light-hearted. If you are that, you can do anything on this planet. It also means the light that comes through from inside when we go through something and come out with lessons we could otherwise have not gotten. There is so much to the word, "Light" and I am fascinated by it.
What was the moment in your life that made you Blossom into the person you are today?
The legacy that I got from my family to be a part of an NGO that they have started in 1986, 35 years ago. Me being a chartered accountant, I quit my fancy job and have been working with this NGO for the last 11 years now. I worked with over 10,000 women across India. I worked in remote areas that still don't have water and electricity. I've had the pleasure of working with adolescent girls, I have had the opportunity of training women entrepreneurs. Our main aim is to make these women financially independent so the disposal income of the family is going towards the development of women and girl children, rather than to purchase basic needs for the family.
Experiencing so many stories, living with them, and getting to know them on a first-hand basis made me a better person in so many ways. It further inspired the idea in me to find inspiring stories of women across the world. I have been a painter since I was a child and I wanted to marry that with my idea of narrating inspiring stories of women from across the world. That's how I started The Wow Woman Project.
What would you want the young boys & girls to learn from your journey?
The biggest lesson that I learned is that we are all the same. We are just divided by geography. This lesson has made the world my home. For example, when there was a big chemical explosion that happened in Lebanon and the house of a woman from "The Wow Woman Project" got burnt, it felt like someone from my family got affected. When borders are removed, you realize that every action of yours affects the rest of the world too. It's not just your small area. If we expand ourselves, we can touch everybody on the planet.