I was born in Chennai but I have lived in Mumbai for more than 32 years. Because of my father’s and husband’s jobs in All India services, I had a good Bharath darshan from a young age. I traveled across the country and was exposed to people of different cultures. As I grew old my father’s and husband’s liberal outlook encouraged me to be inquisitive and not to accept things blindly. I was always a people person and have loved interacting with and serving people in my earlier workplaces. I tend to put my heart and soul into achieving things that I believe are for a good cause. All these qualities came in handy as I started my own foundation.
The motivation to start my own venture was after I visited a charity called knittedknockers.org during my U.S. trip. I learned about their concept of FREE knitted breast prosthesis which they lovingly call Knockers. Inspired by them, I happened to knit a pair myself and gifted it to a close relative who had undergone mastectomy. Her positive feedback encouraged me to take the leap of faith. Upon discussions with my like-minded friends, we registered with knittedknockers.org as one of their providers in India. We eventually named it Saaisha India Foundation, which meant a “meaningful life”. It became a Charitable Trust in September 2019. We started with 5 Volunteers in 2018 and we have grown to over 300 by March 2022 across 5 countries! With great pride, I think of SAAISHA as nothing but its enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers. From delivering just 248 Knockers in our first year we have grown rapidly and delivered over 3200 Knockers last year!
I believe in personally interviewing every volunteer. I have a wonderful band of passionate, committed women who will go to any extent to meet the needs of the organisation. Our volunteers engage in all the activities, including knitting or crocheting, as well as stuffing, dispatching, maintaining databases, accounts, social media platforms, webpages, extension work for awareness creation, feedback survey of volunteers, designing brochures, flyers, and YouTube tutorials.
I have learned and developed several qualities within me during this journey. I have buried my ego for a good cause. I am willing to devote my personal time and effort to a common cause. I believe that we came into this world empty-handed and we will be leaving it empty-handed. There is no purpose in accumulating wealth and things needlessly. Through my experiences, I believe, “The best lesson that parents can teach their children is to differentiate between “Need” and “Want”. That is the key to happiness.
My family and my husband have been a great source of strength for me. Lastly, I have no hesitation in saying “Behind every successful Woman there is a Man!”