Rashida Diwan carries her qualifications lightly. Armed with a graduation in teacher's training, a diploma in pre-primary education and a Master's degree in Home Science, she has served as faculty at well-known institutions like SNDT and TISS. But, for her, an equally important aspect of her life, is raising her family (and now helping raise her grandchildren). She believes, "If every child had access to a mother's time and guidance in the formative years, I think we would raise a generation of children healthy of mind and body, and that would be an important contribution to the nation." Rashida is actively involved in community service. She believes that every person must use his or her talents to enrich society. She works particularly on community projects dealing with women, and through her interactions, encourages them to think and work independently.
Samina Kanchwala's motto in life is simple - be courageous, compassionate, and a person of high integrity. She is no stranger to positions of responsibility. After two degrees (MSc in Computer Science and eMBA) and a distinguished career as an IT professional in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), she runs her own company. Less visible, but equally satisfying, is her role as supportive mother (her son recently graduated with an MBBS from DY Patil University in Pune), and actively contributes her time and effort to community service. If you were to ask her what drives her community work, she would say, "Contribution, charity, empathy, helping, uplifting everyone around me, making this world a better place." Rare moments of free-time find Samina cooking and enjoying great food experiences as well as travelling.
Nafisa Kagalwala has a BA in child psychology and tutors children with learning disabilities. She also teaches French. As she looks back on her 25-year career as a teacher and tutor, she feels a great sense of achievement in the love and respect she has earned from her students. She conducts her life with one underlying principle – to help in any way she can, to make a difference in someone's life. Not surprisingly, she's an active member of many community service organisations, especially those dealing with women and helping the needy. And when she finds a quiet moment in her busy life, she spends it reading and writing.
Zahra Kudrati has a BSc in Food and Nutrition and has pursued a certificate course in creative writing from Xaviers Institute of Communication. She works as a freelance content writer and blogger, since a limitation of 9-5 job can simply not rein in this freebird ! Zahra contributes a significant amount of time to community service work as she "would rather turn souls than turn heads" and equally enjoys running her home. She loves to cook as "it's therapy", write and read. She often quips that she was born with a reading list she will never finish.
Tasneem Fidvi has a BSc DMLT MHA and currently is a Senior Manager Administration at the Saifee Hospital. She is dedicated to creating quality standards in hospital care and has also been invited as visiting faculty and trainer to share her expertise. In her professional and personal life, she strives to be self reliant, result oriented and organised – values she has passed on to her daughter, who is a law graduate and an associate in a law firm. Reading and trekking are her favourite pastimes.
Dr. Tasneem Mustafa Bohari also known, as Dr Tasneem Mustafa Jalgaonwala, has a doctorate in Management Studies and is a Director in her family's agro business. She has also been a soft-skills trainer and a counsellor for the past 12 years. But she would like to be remembered as someone who inspired others and transformed their lives by helping them in any manner possible. She is an active social worker in the Shirpur-Jalgaon area of Maharashtra and well known for her “Save Girl Child" welfare project. She has been a member of various Government committees on Collectorate level as well as holds posts in many community service organisations.
Tasneem Dalal has been an independent Accountant for over 17 years. She has worked with firms like M/s T M Mullaji & Co but now has her own practice handling audits for trusts and companies. She firmly believes that truth and hard work pay off, a principle she abides by, in both her professional and personal life. Tasneem and her businessman husband have raised a son and a daughter. Both her children have pursued Computer Science in USA and have a Masters Degree in the field.
Batul Ratlamwala has a diploma in Home Science and is a home chef. She runs her own home-made chocolate business, but always finds time for her family and community service. Cooking, travelling and reading are her favourite things to do. Her outlook on life can be summed up in the tag-line of her brand of home-made chocolates – Happiness is Homemade.
Alifiya Kapasi is a content consultant. She also has a BSc in dietetics and nutrition. Independent, caring and spiritual, Alifiya believes that success in most aspects of her life come from the values she has imbibed through community service and she devotes a significant amount of time to that. She equally enjoys writing, reading, painting and travelling. She firmly believes that every woman glows with the fire which burns brighter within her than the one around her.
Empowering herself with a host of degrees – a graduation in Microbiology, a B.Ed in Special Education, and an MD in Homeopathy, Dr Fatema Jetpurwala is well known for her contribution to the society in the fields of Education and Healthcare. Her vast experience, education, and wealth of knowledge has led to her holding many prestigious posts. She serves as an Assistant Professor at PSM College in Mumbai, which is certified by MUHS Nashik, teaching Community Medicine. She is also an Ex-Executive Committee Member of IACP - Indian Academy of Cerebral Palsy, and the Pioneer, Founder, and Director of the Fatema Centre for Holistic Health and Child Development, besides being the Pioneer Coordinator of several other Child Development Clinics in Mumbai. A firm believer in the fact that all children are special, she has dedicated her life to the growth and education of children with developmental disabilities like CP, LD, Autism, ADHD, MR, epilepsy, enuresis or bedwetting, and more. The two-time Women's Achiever's Awardee also runs a School Support System – a programme that adopts an inclusive educational set up by way of remediation and cognitive development. She regularly organises camps and conducts lectures to raise awareness regarding the same.
An established Homeopathic Consultant since the last 32 years, Dr Umaima S Merchant realised that medicines aren’t always enough to cure the ailments plaguing us. So, she went on to pursue a Post-Graduation Diploma in Counselling and Health Psychology, to further her passion for the medical field. A firm believer in the fact that there is no end to learning, she regularly provides career guidance to children to help them select the right vocation, and welcomes parents who wish to approach her with their problems. Dr Merchant also holds the position of Assistant Corp Commander of Saifee Ambulance, associated with St John Ambulance Brigade, and conducts training programs in First Aid and Home nursing, to help people manage both Natural and man-made calamities. She routinely delivers talks on how to improve one’s lifestyle as well as to prevent and manage diseases. In addition to clearing all 4 levels of the Jamea Tus Safiya exams for common people, she also helped establish a de-addiction clinic, and provides medical services at camps in urban, rural and tribal areas, working tirelessly to further the cause.
Jamila Shehabi is a Chartered Financial Analyst who started her career as the Finance & Administration Manager at Tropical Foods LLC, Abu Dhabi but found her vocation in working for Dawat-e-Hadiyah Trust, Mumbai. She has been working with them for over 20 years now and is currently a Senior Associate in the Legal Department. She is inspired by Martin Luther King Jr's words, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is 'What are you doing for others'?" It is thus fitting that an important part of her job is to assist philanthropists in setting up charities, one of which has been established for assisting financially challenged cancer patients. Jamila may live in Mumbai, but she's a Kolkata girl at heart – passionate about food, cooking and world culture. Added to that is a love for travelling which is shared by her husband and teenage daughter, making them a family that stays together and explores the world together.