IT Professional/Life Coach/Energy Healer/Social Entrepreneur
Founder – Anurakti, Non-Profit Org & Dance in Pink, Fitness Movement
Founder – Soul Spark Coaching, Life Coaching and Reiki Healing Services
World Peace Ambassador
No Excuse Mom Seattle Leader
Published Model and Pageant Winner
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Pic credit – “Prachi Verma Photography”
Pic credit – Vi Photography
“Staying motivated is the toughest part to move forward, so my focus is to keep the community motivated, inspired and be a cheerleader”
How do you remember your earlier days of education in India. Who supported you the most for higher education and professional career?
I was raised in a joint conservative family, where there was always dissuasion from relatives about investing in a girl’s higher education and especially letting her go away from home to pursue her dreams. However, I am fortunate and blessed that my parents were progressive, and I was given the same opportunities as my brother. My parents always emphasized education, self-reliance, and becoming self-sufficient. I am the first Engineer on both my maternal and paternal sides of the family, but the journey to become one was not that easy.
Being away from home for the first time and being a minority in an institution was very difficult to cope with: discrimination and exclusion was inevitable. I was the only female in a class of 33 males (total 4 in a batch of 200+ students). What helped me survive through those four challenging years was keeping my head high, never underestimating my potential, believing in my dreams, ignoring the inequality and biases from teachers and fellow students, and getting strength from the confidence that my parents are standing behind me like a rock, trusting me, supporting me, and counting on me.
Our readers would like to know about the successful journey from initial engineering days to being a successful corporate professional in an international IT Company?
I came to the USA 21 years ago, as a newly married bride with an Engineering degree and a little bit of work experience and, even though I found the people and the culture warm and welcoming, I didn’t feel it like home. I struggled to find my own identity and to be a part of a community that was not so diversified. I picked up what I considered the main barriers in my community, and I committed to do the work to remove that barrier, to make my community more open and inclusive. I invested in my growth, by learning and working in different IT rolesand educated myself more. The biggest thing that works in my favor is not shying away ever to voice my opinions and learning. I love working at Expedia Group, as it is the most inclusive corporation that I have worked at.
What is the vision and mission of your NGO Anurakti?
‘Anurakti’ is a Sanskrit word that means ‘Love, Dedication and Devotion’. We provide support to those fighting cancer, and their families, because the whole family gets affected if anyone in the family is going through the touch journey of recovery . Anurakti’s vision is to alleviate the pain through selfless service, outreach, assistance, and empowerment. We are guided by the mission to lend a helping hand by providing support, encouragement, and love to better the lives of those affected by cancer.
What are your responsibilities as one of the World Peace Ambassador USA?
I am not engaged in diplomatic communications, but rather I am a peace ambassador to the community and often work behindthe scenes to achieve the mission and goals of the World Peace Tracts. As an ambassador and a leader, I work on creating a paradigm shift in the way the world interacts with and understands peace.
You are associated with “No Excuse Mom” Group Seattle.What are the focus areas of this group?
I became the leader for the “No Excuse Mom Seattle Chapter” in 2020. It was more of an extension to the work I was already doing with my DANCE IN PINK, fitness movementin making my community more aware of staying active, healthy, and fit.
You don’t need extravagant gym machines, lots of exercise equipment or the latest fitness gadgets to get to your fitness goals. You don’t need a watch to track your heart rate or a phone app to keep you focused, all you need is YOU. Motivation is always the toughest part of staying on track, so my focus is to keep the community motivated and inspired.
How much it was challenging for you to win the title of Indian Ethnic Queen 2022?
I never intended to participate in a pageant, but as they say,“Never say Never”. This opportunity somehow knocked on my door when I was going through a tough time like everyone else during the COVID pandemic. This was my first time ever competing in any kind of beauty contest. At my age, it’s not easy either because society expects you to behave in a certain way. Also keeping the Indian-ness in me alive for all these years away from my motherland has been a fulfilling journey, so I took the plunge. I used the platform – Glamour By Sara, to remind everyone the importance of taking care of physical, mental and emotional health and also that the only cure for breast cancer is early detection and prevention.
My journey on Indian Ethnic Queen was exhilarating. The tasks, sessions, mentors, fellow queens all challenged me to evolve and grow. For me it was a new beginning, a beginning of hope, to continuously look out for opportunities and venues to encourage and motivate people with my voice and thoughts and to bring the communities together.
I represented all the immigrants, that take pride in their ethnicity and still hold their countries close to the heart even after staying years away from the motherland. I represented the daughters, wives, mothers who strive for an individual identity apart from these roles. I represented everyone who has risen above mental and physical ailment challenges and still shows up and is trying.
I also won the “Beauty with Purpose” Ambassador and Ms. Confident Award titles.
I am honored that I could break the agebias and societalexpectations to come out as a winner.
What are your suggestions to beauty talents those who want to be recognized in an international platform?
Just be you. All you need is an open mind, a heart full of kindness, and an attitude to support, uplift and bring people along.
You are an icon of women empowerment with multiple achievements. What should be the actual empowerment forwomen in India for their rights?
While India has certainly come a long way in working to improve women’s lives, the fight for women’s equality and well-being is far from over across this globe.
Women empowerment is recognition of women’s basic human rights and creating an environment where they are treated as equals to men. We as a nation need to work on women’s self-worth, giving them rights to make their own choices, with equal opportunities and resources.
How would you like to define success in life.How one can achieve success and fulfill their dreams while facing challenges?
The only thing that we will leave behind is our legacy, our deeds, the love, the kindness, and our purpose of life and that’s what people will ever remember us for.We will not be remembered forthe assets we own. For me success is having that life purpose, having empathy, loving people even when they don’t love us back and not hurting people intentionally ever. That’s for me is success.
For the folks reading this, my advice to you all – life doesn’t stop when you stop breathing, it stops the moment you stop dreaming. So, keep dreaming, don’t give up and you will achieve your dreams with effort and dedication.
What do you do as a life coach?
Since I am mostly passionate about helping people grow and thrive with love and compassion, I took the plunge and became a life coach focusing on overall wellness – mental, physical, emotional. I help people take the next big step by achieving the confidence to pursue a lifestyle that embraces their unique strengths.
I assist them to identify what they want in life and why, develop the courage to take action, and with the slightest mindset shift, step into the power of their potential.
Who inspired you most in your life?
Each one of you. There is so much to learn, and everyone is unique. If you are open for growth, self-improvement, and being the best version of yourself, there is inspiration all around you.
What is your favorite Quote?
“Be the change you want to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi
“Be you! Do you! Choose you! Always” – Nidhi Mehta
What are your compliments for your parents and family?
I am nothing without their love and support. My parents are my anchor, and my family is my biggest strength.
You are a practical person or spiritual. What is the importance of spirituality in your life?
I am not at all a practical person. I carry my heart on my sleeve and hence most of my decisions are from my heart and soul. I am a spiritually religious person. I believe a lot in Karmas, the power of the universe and the divine. I also strongly believe that everything, every person, and every situation teaches us a lesson and happens for a reason. There is a bigger picture that we fail to see, but the divine has a plan and it will not fail.
As a Reiki Practitioner, I also know that each time you connect deeper to yourself, you start to understand what your soul really needs. We cannot change the world overnight, but we can change how we interact with it to help us. That’s for me is spirituality.
You are always fit and energetic.What is the secret behind this?
I am a Life Coach,intuitive healer, wellness mentor, and breast cancer awareness advocate. I have opened up about my own anxiety and health struggles. I am proud to have risen from my fragile physical and mental conditions, to be able to literally climb mountains, and now my passion is to empower other women to do the same. Living a fit and energetic lifestyle gives me that opportunity. The purpose is to give back always. That’s what is my secret and keeps me going.