Dietician Rashida Vandeliwala’s story is one of passion and self-discovery. Trained in Home Science, she began her career with a prominent hospital in Mumbai. It was during this stint that she found herself feeling particularly suffocated, as she was unable to treat her patients with the kind of empathy she would have liked to have exercised. Thus, in 2005, she made the bold decision to start her own practice, and tied up with a number of leading doctors. “Over the course of my journey, I realised that nutrition alone cannot heal a patient. I took a more holistic approach, and clubbed yoga and inner healing with nutrition, as part of the treatment offered by me,” she explains.

Having realised the critical importance of all round treatment in achieving effective results, Rashida’s journey continued through a yoga course she undertook, to fully understand the relationship between nutrition and physical well-being. It was at this point that she took up mind training, which not only greatly benefitted her patients, but made a huge difference in her life, as well. “Through the power of mind training, I was able to understand the various thought patterns and trigger points which caused the severe migraines I used to get. Using a holistic approach, I was able to reduce the suffering I went through, and implemented the same method of treatment across all my patients.”

As a young working mother, Rashida is extremely grateful for the contributions of her husband and family towards her success. It is no secret that women enjoy a very important position in the Dawoodi Bohra society, and family is the backbone for them. To this extent, Rashida’s husband and mother in law arranged for a house-help to manage all household chores and duties, so that she could freely focus on her career.

Rashida further goes on to tell us how most of her household affairs were taken care of by the community, helping her pursue her own path, freely. “Thanks to the FMB programme, we were supplied with daily meals, which left me free to focus on my personal growth. Our community, led by Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, is extremely encouraging and supportive, and as a result of his vision, women entrepreneurs have flourished in the community. As our spiritual leader, his words have inspired me greatly, and it is because of them that I have achieved what I have today.”

Such stories of women from the community are not only great examples of how empowered they are, but also demonstrate how they continue to achieve success every day, with the help of friends, family, and their entire community.