WomenNow: Tell us something about yourself
Dreamer and believer in Karma
I am originally from New Delhi where I grew up and did my under-graduate studies from the prestigious School of Planning and Architecture (SPA New Delhi). After graduation I worked in NGOs who were actively engaged in social causes such as women empowerment and good governance. It was an enriching experience for me as I worked very closely on women issues and possible interventions. In 2007, I got an opportunity for further studies with scholarship in Cornell University, USA-an ivy league university. After completing my post graduate program I shifted to Mumbai where I worked towards providing affordable housing solutions for low and middle income group. It was truly an engaging experience for me as I learnt a lot on housing problems related to poor sections of our society. I shifted to Pune in 2011 and started my journey as a Professor. Whatever I learnt in my professional field and academics I try to teach the same to my students.
WomenNow: How was your childhood?
We are nuclear family with father , mother , sister and brother and I am the eldest of all siblings. I will define myself as socializer and loved visiting neighbors and making new friends. Dancing has always been my passion and I have learnt kathak for few years. I always used to wait for neighborhood events and family weddings so that I could get enough opportunities for dance performances.
I still remember when I saw Sushmita Sen won the Miss Universe crown in 1994 on television. My fascination towards beauty pageant began from that moment.
WomenNow: What inspired you to participate in Mrs. India Queen?
I believe participating in a beauty pageant gives any woman a chance to not only showcase their talent and culture but also through this platform she can campaign for social causes she fully believes in. I am from the field of education and totally support the girl child education. Today’s girl child will be the mother of tomorrow. As a mother she can give her child a capable upbringing. A woman has the maximum impact on the social, economical decisions making in the family generally. At micro level, educated woman help in making the whole family including the older family members, understand the values and importance of education, and at macro level, educated women add to the social and economical development of the nation.
I am thankful to Sajid Sir from Jazz Matazz world for giving me this wonderful platform of Mrs India Queen as now I will be able to work towards this cause with more enthusiasm and fervor.
WomenNow: How was your journey of Mrs. India Pune been so far?
By far this has been most memorable and wonderful journey. I have learnt a lot and the experiences have been enriching that I will cherish in years to come. In the journey of Mrs. Pune Queen I have made many friends who are as passionate as I am in working towards their goals and aspirations. .
WomenNow: Tell us about your upcoming plans. What do you wish to do next?
I am interested in working towards social causes and promoting education for all.
WomenNow: Can you tell us about a female role model who has inspired you ?
Savitribai Phule has been my biggest inspiration. She was an social reformer, educationalist based in Pune. She played an important role in improving women’s rights in India during British rule. Savitri bai Phule founded the first girls’ school in Pune. Savitribai was a crusader for women empowerment as she broke all stereotypes and spent her life promoting the noble cause of women’s education.
I also adore Malala Yousafzai who is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobwl Prize laureate. She is also known for human rights advocacy, especially the education of women and children
WomenNow: What are your views on Feminism?
Feminism is about empowerment and empowerment comes from freedom to make informed and calculated choices. I believe both females and males should have freedom to make choices on their life. Choices can be anything-related to what education they want to take, what profession they want to pursue or what kind of life partner they want to be with.
WomenNow: What is real beauty to you?
Real beauty comes from the character of a person and it is the combination of personality, intelligence, integrity, elegance, and politeness. It is who you are without any layers of makeup or false presumptions. If your intentions are pure, then real beauty radiates and outshines the physical constraints.
WomenNow: Do you have any message for our readers?
Yes, always believe in yourself and go for your dreams.
Womennow Wishes Neha a very bright future ahead.