Indrani Ray

An Unstoppable Force!

Indrani Roy re-realized that there is life beyond her home. So she chose to start an organization which provides providing a better life for women who need help and sometimes, just an ear to be heard.

My mother is my life, my everything. She has single-handedly influenced my life in more ways than I can even count. Her story has very humble beginnings. She came from a very basic middle-class family, that always stressed on education as a means to form a solid foundation in life. She was educated in Calcutta and Chandan Nagar, in West Bengal and went on to do an MBA in Economics from Sofia College in Bombay. She had wanted to go into the foreign services but she was in love with my Dad and due to various commitments for his work, had to give up on those dreams and follow him to Russia. This she did happily and thoroughly enjoyed the time she spent abroad. I hear that while she was in Moscow, she began teaching English to a bunch of little school kids. She was only 24.

When my parents returned to India, my mom started working again and then I was born. She gave up on her career to take care of me and didn't start working again until I was much older and able to take care of myself. I know that she had multiple offers that came her way which would have taken her to greater heights of success but she turned them down, knowing the impact they would have on me and my father's lives. I always wonder whether I could have been more understanding and helped her take some chances but I didn't know any better at the time. When you ask her whether she regrets turning down those opportunities, the answer is a vehement NO! Her daughter and her husband mattered to her more.

I always felt that my mom had such potential, such drive, ambition and a sense of leadership that she could have been one of the most powerful women in India today. God knows our country needs more women like her. But she has made a difference in our society in her own way and is very well respected for that. As I moved to the US for my bachelors and further studies, she started to find her own niche, and come into her own. She realized that work was not all she had and that if she wanted, she could do a lot more to help others. As a result of this, she started this organization called Arunima, which is an organization that helps women who are victims of domestic abuse, rape, marital atrocities, and other social evils. She leads this organization with various other women from the locality. She organizes periodic events, where the organization facilitates counselling sessions for women who need help. The organization has also held sessions to educate women about self-empowerment and the importance of economic and financial independence. Sometimes, they also invite artists, performers, and others who work with these women to teach them how to paint, do pottery, dance, etc., which gives them a sense of purpose beyond just what they do with their normal lives. Through this organization, my mother has made a huge positive impact on not just women but girls as well who need a place to just talk to someone who understands what they are going through or need support to get through their lives.

I have always felt that these are topics that are sensitive and extremely painful, but the fact that my mother has been able to create such an organization to provide a support system for those women who need all the help they can get is absolutely fantastic. It isn't easy to embrace a topic such as this and strive constantly to be the voice of comfort and safety for others who need it. I will always be tremendously proud of her for what she has done and the impact she has had on the many women and girls who have attended the various meetings, seminars, events that have helped them live a better life.

Mom has always been someone who has fought for what she believes in. If a cause has resonated with her, she has always done whatever it took to make her voice heard, right from participating in marches, to signing petitions, to holding meetings with local politicians and other civil officers to make her voice heard. I wish I could be more like her but I have a long way to go before I can get there!

Kudos Mom and may your love and kindness continue to touch the hearts of many more women out there who need it!

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