Native Village/Country parent’s background
I hail from New Delhi, India. My parents originally lived in Lahore, Pakistan but had to relocate to New Delhi during the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947.
Your Early Education
I am Bachelor of Arts and Education and Diploma in Cosmetology,
and a Bachelor of Education degree.
Your career advancement initiatives, volunteer work and present occupation
Since immigrating to Canada, I have continuously pursued education and personal growth.
Despite facing challenges with my Indian education not being recognized, I was determined to upgrade my skills.
I took courses in English, Math, and computer technology and began working at a daycare on the meagre wages of $5.50 an hour.
Despite becoming pregnant with my daughter, I continued working until the last month of my pregnancy. However, after my daughter’s birth, I became pregnant again with my son. With the arrival of my son, we realized that we needed an additional source of income. I decided to pursue work in the evenings so that my husband could take care of the children. It was emotionally challenging juggling two kids, household work, and lack of sleep. However, I decided to upgrade my cosmetology skills to open a spa and started from my basement.
With the help of my husband, we built our basement spa after moving into a new house. Unfortunately, after a few months of operation, an accident prevented me from providing services.
After a slow recovery, my sister Anisha and I decided to venture outside our basement spa and open a spa/ salon elsewhere.
However, it was a challenging experience as we had no prior knowledge of running a business, and people tried to take advantage being rookie.
To combat this, I decided to upgrade my hairstyling skills and become a licensed hairstylist, again thanks to Anisha, who took care of the salon and spa.
Following this, I enrolled in a massage therapist program.
I also became an active member of my community, volunteering at my children’s school and becoming a proud member of the Rotary Club.
Eventually, I sold two spas and successfully opened a cosmetology school running for the past ten years.
Recently, I ventured into education technology, creating a one-stop learning management system called Eduley for colleges and corporations.
I offer scholarships to women who faced domestic abuse or were victims of human trafficking.
I also have a patent pending for an augmented reality VR training system.
Your Regret in Life
I don’t have any regrets in my life because I view everything as a valuable lesson. Every challenge and problem I have faced has made me stronger and taught me to persevere in pursuing my dreams. I feel grateful for the experiences that have shaped me into the person I am today.
Pick Any One of Your Best Achievements
My kids are my best achievements. I am so proud of them.
Another achievement, I am proud of is NIWE Academy (Beauty School in Calgary).
I have received quite a few nominations and won awards and recently recognized with Queen Elizabeth 11th platinum jubilee award
Were You Ever Discriminated?
Yes, but I guess we must accept that it’s part of the package and move forward.
Are You Happy in Canada?
Canada Is home to me, and a home is always a happy place. I have been living here for 31 years.
I can bet, Canada is the best place to live.
I call it God’s country.
Any Comments on Canada’s Culture
Canada is a unique and multicultural country that has been built by generations of immigrants. One of the best parts about living in Canada is that you can experience and appreciate different cultures all under one umbrella.
Any Comments on Canada’s Weather
O My God, Cold and its cold. By the time we realise Spring/Fall/Summers have arrived, we are again into Winter/Cold mode as these three weathers are so short lived.
What Brought You Success in Canada?
Canada is truly a land of opportunity. No matter how many times I stumbled or fell, I got back up and tried again. And I can honestly say that Canada has never let me down. Thank you, Canada, from the bottom of my heart. I love you.
Are You Willing to Help New Immigrants and How?
As an immigrant myself, I have a soft spot for others who are going through the same journey. I’ve made it a point to hire and support new immigrants and show them the path to success. My efforts have earned me recognition as an Asian change-maker by CBC.
Your message for South Asians residing in Canada
Be resilient. Kick off negativities as they are short lived. Embrace multiculturalism and humanity with open arms. Give back to society in any way you can. Women have the level play ground to excel. Strike the balance between personal and professional life.