Nagrik Dialogue

Change is Constant, Changing is a Choice

Story of Change Makers – Series by Sandi Saksena

Dr. Pallavi Tiwari  ‘Rely on yourself more than you do on others’.

Born to the family of Shri Tarkeshwar, brought up and educated in Sultanpur, Dr. Pallavi is a divorced mother of 2 daughters (19 and 11) and lives with her parents.

Education and a thirst for knowledge lead her to achieve her BSc. in Biology, MSc. in Chemistry, B.ED., and a doctorate in cancer drugs in the topic “Quantitative Structure Activity Relationship Studies Of Some Cancer And Malarial Drugs Using Regression Methodology”.

She did her BSc in Botany, Zoology and Chemistry so that she could become a doctor but her dream was never realized as her father fixed her marriage in her final year. She opted to do MSc in Chemistry in order to pursue her PhD.

‘When circumstances don’t favor your plans don’t focus on what cannot be done change direction, find an alternative’ –  she advises.

Married at 19 and a mother at 21, her husband was dismissed from his job at this time. She stepped out  of  her house to work and financially support her family.

12 hour work days and simultaneously pursuing her MSc degree caused a of lot of mental and emotional pressure. She couldn’t spend time with her daughter. Adding to this was the stress of her husband’s situation and household work. After 9 years of struggle, she finally got a government job.

Under used and over qualified

As a teacher of 6th to 8th grade children, she did not find any use for her PhD.

“I had to choose this job because of financial necessity and liabilities of daughters. I needed job security and a regular salary. How am I using my doctorate to my advantage?  With this degree and knowledge, I am maintaining my health by proper nutrition. My doctorate has given me an added advantage in my Amway business. I offer well researched information and advice on nutritional supplements that will enhance the immunity of those who use the products. I get more customers who trust me and so refer more business to me. I also build awareness by sharing my knowledge on public forums with the help of platforms like Unique Health Foundation, Ghar Sulatanpur Foundation and Aesthetic Group Of Women Empowerment.”

Dreams unfulfilled

“Yes, I wanted to be a doctor I had the aptitude, I love the sciences but the course of my life, my career was decided by others”!

Dreams to Reality…. how she changed the course of her life

Quoting Priyanka Chopra,   “Be whoever you want.”  When I read this, it awakened a latent desire in me. From my college days, I was keen on entering and competing in a beauty pageant. However, in my hometown Sultanpur people talked about how fat I was while others said that small city females don’t have a chance at these things.

Undeterred I  followed  my heart to explore the world of  fashion, fitness and to always look beautiful.  I entered the Mrs. India Globe beauty pageant by Reddwings Production and was delighted to be selected at the auditions. My life’s journey has taken me to an exciting phase. Yes, this overworked, ‘fat’, small town, single mother of 2 girls not only participated but came in 2nd runner up in the finale”.

The Beauty Pageant Mrs. India Globe boosted my self-confidence. The focus is on personality, and not so much on looks and shape.  My mentors supported me emotionally, taught me to think and be a queen. From the walk to posture, public speaking, body language, hair, make up and wardrobe I learnt so much, those 4 days changed my perspective on life.

Her daughters (the eldest is studying hotel management at Manipal University, and the younger one in grade 6) are very proud of her achievements and she encourages them to follow their heart explore and learn. Take their own decisions take risks without any fear.

In retrospect she says,

‘If I was working before marriage, then I could  have continued to work, look after my kids and meet all their needs.

I struggled a lot because of financial issues and missed out on the childhood of my daughters.

No one in my family could guide or advise me. My mother is not very educated and my father had no knowledge in matters of financial independence. However, my mother supported me in my hour of need and my divorce. My father has supported me financially  from the time my husband lost his job till today.

My objective is to empower women help change the way they think, act behave. I a woman from Sultanpur proved that dreams can become a reality! I will mentor and counsel them, guide them to achieve their goals and fame”

Pallavi’s advice and  looking ahead.

Dream big, listen to your heart, and never give up .

Don’t depend on parents, husband or kids, relatives, friends .

Focus on education and career .

Listen to advice, then take your own decisions on what is best for you .

Live your dreams with passion , work smart with honesty to fulfill them ignoring  negative comments .

All women should be financially independent before marriage so that they can deal with any financial issues without any hurdles .

Establish multiple streams of income .

As a ‘serial entrepreneur’ a term given to me by my pageant mentor, I am looking to partner with the pageant organizers to bring more aspiring women from small towns like myself to explore their potential .

My plan is to enhance my business with Amway India to establish my financial security.

Start a new business in the field of nutrition and healthy life style .

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Nagrik Dialogue is the face of Nagrik Foundation’s communication skills that comes in the form of a monthly magazine. It will work as a bridge for those working at the grass roots level and those who support them in any form and manner.