(Patna) “All the toys at home are mine. Now that my brother and sister are older, I get all their toys too. I go to an art and craft school. I learn a lot there. I can make a rose from paper and a doll from wool. I have made crafts from toothpicks and pistachio shells and earrings from rubber bands. 

A pigeon has made a nest on a tree next to my room. She warms her eggs all the time. I leave rice for her whenever I get time.” 


(Patna) “I have seen casteism at the grassroots level where humanity is less important than a person’s caste identity. People from the upper castes avoided contact with lower castes. My husband and I were totally against this and we invited people from all walks of life into our home.

During my tenure at a women’s organisation, we successfully built 20 toilets to maintain hygiene. I also worked to bring medical attention to pregnant women, ration card authorization to people in need, and helped in school admission of children among other things.

Aside of this, my husband, who is a social worker built a school and a community hall. This hall was built especially for those who were denied rentals at other committee halls because they were ‘untouchables’. Currently, the school and committee hall are still in use.”


(Patna) “When my father retired, the conditions weren’t very conducive at home for studying. So I stayed at my maternal grandmother’s place and completed my matriculation in 1953. After finishing my BA degree, I got married. I did my M. A. after 5 years. Everyone always encouraged me to study. I was also eager to learn and enjoyed working too.

Now that I am retired, I spend my time reading. I like to read more and talk less. At my age, I can’t go out much but even earlier, I never preferred going out. But yes, a lot of people do come over to meet me.”


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“When my daughter got married, her father-in-law did not ask for dowry. I had also decided that I too would never ask for dowry for my sons’ weddings; my husband had the same views.” 


(Gurugram) “We used to live in Jahang, Pakistan. The men in Pakistan were like our brothers. My father had a good relationship with everyone around us. He was a good person. We moved to India during the partition. We faced a lot of hardship while coming from Pakistan. The ground had just sand. The men used to put their pagri on our feet because the sand used to get very hot. We were very young, some of my siblings were still in our mothers arms. We took things that we could carry on our own but we left the rest in Pakistan.

We sat on the roof of a train for 15 days to reach Kurukshetra. We used to get down at night to cook and then get back on top in the morning. We were scared. Water was scarce and we saw a lot of people dying during the journey because of thirst and hunger. There was a well along the way and people jumped in the well for water. We drank water from the toilet. When we reached India, the government gave us some ration and in lieu of the land we left behind in Pakistan, we got a shop and a house left behind by Muslims who had moved to Pakistan. My father and my brother started running the shop.

My father is no more. My younger son passed away too. My nephews and my older son manage the business now. Everybody is very well settled. Happiness and sadness are part of life. If there is happiness, there will be some sadness too.”

(New Delhi) “When we rented this place, it was a godown with no windows or doors or flooring. There wasn’t even electricity. We literally built the place from scratch. Most of the furniture is upcycled. Whenever we travelled, we picked up stuff. We did all the painting ourselves. Everybody encouraged us and asked us to go for it. We were each other’s biggest support. When you have somebody to work with you, it gets easier. 

We started working on the place in 2011 and opened it in 2012. We built it gradually because we were not doing it with a money-making objective. It was a place for us to enjoy and be happy, the business just grew from there. In the first year, the business was very slow as we were very far away from other commercial and popular areas. The area has now really grown in the past three years, more so with the development of Metro. 

We always wanted to have a tea house called the Rose Café, which is very English. The concept was to have something to do with roses and tea. We just put together what we liked and the food we ate at home. Our main idea was that it should be simple and fresh food that everybody would be familiar with. We are trying to keep it healthy and yet not too over the top that people will find it boring. 

Many people said that we should open a franchise. But we chose not to make it a chain. We don’t want to have any investors. We have decided to keep it small and simple. This is not just a business for us; we love to see people happy here and we get direct feedback from our customers. They tell us what they don’t like and we change it and further develop that area. People are used to seeing us around. They know it’s an owner driven café. We make mistakes and we adjust. We are not overambitious or competitive. We have never done any advertising or marketing; we built our clientele through word-of-mouth.

We feel that we are very lucky because we have had great reviews and feedback on all the food forums. If a food blogger shows an interest in reviewing our food, we tell them not to tell us in advance. We don’t believe in calling somebody and paying them for a review. We want people to come here, relax and enjoy themselves: without any stress.

Sometimes, we do get worked up when our chef leaves or when we are understaffed, which happens quite often. In the beginning, we used to get really hyper but, now, we take things in our stride. Everyone including the customers are very relaxed in the café. No one yells at us or is hysterical.”

(Rose Cafe is one of the popular cafes in Delhi and is run by the mother-daughter duo.) 

(New Delhi) “I used to be a business journalist by profession, I had a good income but I was spending it all on bags, shoes, clothes and spas. My goals were to earn from my investments, build my own property, and build a corpus for my business. Like me, most of my female colleagues were spending in a similar manner, while my male colleagues who were earning the same amount of money were investing and making money from their investments. It hit me, “What am I doing?” My male colleagues suggested to invest in stocks and recommended a broker. I opened a Demat account and put in Rs. One Lakh and bought the stocks that the broker suggested. 

In 2008, the market crashed and I lost 90% out of that One Lakh. I was sad and I didn’t know what to do. I took a break from work and thought, “Now what?” As a business reporter, I had the privilege of meeting people who had created a lot of wealth: industrialists, venture capitalists and other professionals. I realised that they were investing independently. They were not dependent on someone else to tell them where to invest. So, I got a mentor and she started teaching me how to invest in the stock market without depending on anyone else. I started investing in the stock market and making money. I bought my own property and had a corpus to start a business. Gradually, I developed healthy money habits. 

When I looked around, my female colleagues were still not creating wealth. Though they wanted to create wealth, they were just making tax saving investments, FDs or PPF. I thought to take that up as a mission! So, ‘Women on Wealth’ was created.

In the beginning, there were some tough times like when I had just Rs. 30 in my pocket or the time I walked several miles from Noida to my home in North Delhi. There were times when I had to pay an EMI on a property and had no money. But eventually I reached a point where I prepaid my entire loan. The journey wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. I’m very happy where I am. 

Today we run training programs for women, teaching them how they can save money, get out of debt, build an investment portfolio, invest in the stock market, and reach goals which may look unreachable. That’s our mission: we want to help women create wealth. We have 3 centres, in Gurgaon, Saket, and Rajinder Nagar. We are a community with a core team of six people. Our mission is to impact fifty lakh women.

Apart from Delhi, we have also helped women in Pune, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Ludhiana. Over the last seven years, we have built many success stories. For instance, a woman managed to pay a Rs.10 Lakh debt within 20 months of doing our program, another bought land in her hometown; another opened a bakery. Some of the women are now the finance ministers of their house: their husband gives them their entire salary and they are the ones who are managing the insurances, income tax planning, and putting all the investments in place. They are also giving financial advice to their family members. Some women who were making losses in business have gathered the courage to shut it down and look at how they can make it profitable. One of them doubled her money in the stock market; another has increased it ten-fold. These women know that they have managed to save, invest and generate good returns; so their self-esteem has improved. They are perceived differently by their families.

Our programs run from having no charge to Rs. 35,000. You can enroll by just giving us a call, or by filling a form on our website and we will call you back. Our programs can help anyone who wants to save money, get out of debt, build an investment portfolio or start their own business. We welcome people to come and build a community. I think that’s important because we really believe we are better together; that’s our tagline.”

Read more about Women on Wealth here


(New Delhi) “I was born in Meerut and grew up in Dehradoon. My father and mother used to be away. I was primarily raised by my Bua (aunt) and my grandmother. They are my two strong pillars. They instilled in me strength and values. They taught me to learn from everything happening around us.

Even as a kid, I used to see a lot of stuff happening around me. My father was violent with my mother, and sometimes with my grandmother, my aunt and me. My coping mechanism was to focus on studies. I really wanted to distract myself and wanted to become someone and get away from the violence. I wanted to stand up for my mother and my family. But as a kid you are not allowed to express your feelings the way you want to. My grandmother and my Bua regularly counseled my father to change his behaviour and not be violent with my mother. My father has changed a lot since the time I started confronting him and stopping him from being aggressive with my mother. I feel my empowered voice has helped my mother become empowered. 

I did my graduation in Computer Science. I gave up my information technology job in IBM to work in the non-profit sector. I was very driven towards work related to human rights and activism. There was a lot of pressure from my family not to quit my job as a software engineer. Till date, they tell me that I would have earned well if I were working as a software engineer because the non-profit sector doesn’t pay so well. But I always argue that it is for my personal satisfaction and that I am developing my skills and an understanding about where I want to be in the next few years. For me, money isn’t the most important thing. I want to work for the community.       

I have worked on human trafficking and women’s and children’s rights at the grassroots as well as at the policy level. It has been 10 years now I have been looking into a lot of issues intermingling with development. I train people in the communities ask them about their problems, and try to find the best ways for them to exercise their rights.” 




(Gurugram) “I did Math (Hons.) from Delhi University. When I used to tell people that I was pursuing Math (Hons.) then the first response usually was, “Girls are not good at Maths. How come you landed up in such a course?” I had studied in a girls’ school and then in a girls college, and I saw so many girls like me doing the same courses and excelling in them.   

After doing Math (Hons.), I felt a little bit lost about what should I do in my life. When I started working at Internshala, I really didn’t have any clue about how technology worked and didn’t know much about analytics. But while working here, I got a sense of how technology works, how to analyse different datasets, and now I have a better idea of what I really want to do in life. Although, I am not sure if I want to pursue Masters degree at this stage since I am learning so much on the job itself.                                    

I joined here as an intern and now I am a Product Manager. is an internship platform where students can search for internships to learn and gain experience, and employers can post job requirements and hire interns. We are basically trying to bridge that gap between the students and their prospective employers. We frequently review our website to check user experience. What kinds of issues they may be facing? How can we make the experience simpler and easier for them?

The best part about this place is that it has great people. My peers outside have fixed working hours and fixed number of vacation days; they cannot take a leave easily. We do not have any leave policy as such. If you think that you have done good work and you want to go on a break, then you go ahead and take a break. Nobody counts your vacation days. At times, you may be under a lot of pressure and need a break, and everybody here is supportive. We have an open environment; we do not have cabins or closed work places.”

(Stories from Internshala:


(Gurugram) “I am currently working at Internshala and I am managing an initiative focussed on internships for women who are restarting their career. We are trying to help women who had a break in their career, or who have not yet got a chance to start their career after graduation. Now, the question is “Why an internship?” and “Why not a job upfront?”. There are various reasons why women often hesitate to go back to the work force after a break. It could be that they lack industry relevant skills or may lack confidence. Internships provide flexible working options like work from home or part-time work. Also, an internship is a short-term engagement with a company. The women can go and work for a company for a couple of months and realise for themselves whether they are able to balance work and family.

The idea came around last year during a discussion with my mentor. At first, I couldn’t really relate to the idea because we had always focussed on providing internships to currently enrolled students. Later, I researched and had the chance to speak to many women who had quit their jobs because of marriage or maternity. It was then that I felt emotionally connected with this initiative. I got an opportunity to hear straight from horse’s mouth, the troubles these women were facing. 

For instance, I called up a certain lady as part of a survey. After asking few preliminary questions, I asked her if she was currently working, and she said, “No”. I asked “Do you want to work?”. Her response was that she needed to ask her husband. Later, she shared her story about how she had graduated couple of years back, and she had gotten married. Now, while she is very willing to work, her husband doesn’t allow her to do so and wants that she should take care of the family. Instances like these really trigger something inside me. Work-life is not just about career or earning money or independence, it is more about feeling good about yourself. Out of the 80 women that I called as a part of the survey, the majority of women said they would be ready to work on anything in any area.

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I was born and brought up in Bhopal. My parents have always emphasised that career is very important and that I should do whatever I feel is right for me. They guide me but they have never imposed their ideas on me. I personally feel very blessed with the people that I have around. I often encounter emotional turbulence in my life due to one reason or another. It is very fortunate that there are people who are there to boost my confidence and motivate me to not give up.”     


(Stories from Internshala:

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(Gurugram) “I lost my dad when I was 12 years old. My dad suffered from brain tumor. He was on bed rest for the last four years of his life and my mother took care of him. For four years, my mother’s life totally changed and revolved just around my dad. She had to send my brother away to my grandparents home where he could get better care. It was the toughest part of her life. My dad passed away in 2007, and as a result my mom suffered severe depression and she had to get help. The psychiatrist told my mother that if she did not move from the house where we were living, then she won’t recover. So that’s when my mother and I moved to Ajmer to my grandparents place. It was the hardest part of my life as well because I had recently lost a parent and my mother was regularly having epileptic fits. Every morning I used to get up with fear that when I would come back from school, I would hear that, “Your mother is no more”. I fought with that fear for quite a long time. I never cried in front of my mother because her condition was bad and I was her support system.

I remember the last time my dad spoke to me. I was studying and my back was towards him. He asked me “Are you studying?” and I said, “Yes” and then he responded “Study well”. I had no clue what he was going through. Everyone in the family knew that he was at his last stage but I didn’t know. It was my exam time and my only response was “OK, Dad”. I didn’t even turn around. Those were the last words I heard from him. A few days later he passed away. I feel bad sometimes but then that’s part of life.                         

Prior to my father’s illness, my mother was a very bubbly and warm person and she loved meeting people and talking all the time but during her depression, she went into a shell and stopped talking. She feared going to market places or any crowded areas. She is still on medications, even after 11 years. Then we faced another loss when my grandfather (my mother’s father) died. It was another jolt for her. She had lost her two pillars. I live in a joint family so every one of us supported her. 

My mother had a good academic record and she used to be the school captain. She was very ambitious and had always dreamt of doing something good for the society. With the help of my family, my mother started an NGO, Shri Vishwa Karma Mahila Udyog. It is an entirely women run organisation that provides financial assistance to women. Currently, there are about 10-12 women who are trained in creating handicrafts and tailoring which helps them live a better life. Since this is an NGO, she doesn’t earn any profit out of it but there is happiness on her face now. Her work is being recognised, and now she goes to markets, meets new people, develops relationship with them.

She is a strong woman and now a member of government committee that approves installation of sonographic machines in hospitals. I feel very proud of her struggles and successes and I share her story with everyone.

Mental health is an issue which is not well understood in our society. Some people used to say that my mother may be faking it. She used to cry all of a sudden and or her hands used to go numb. Sometimes we even had to make emergency visits to doctors. She was unable to control her emotions and she still can’t deal with news related to death. She is taking medications for her depression and yet people don’t understand. 



I am very bubbly and ambitious person. I travelled to Delhi three years back. I always wanted to study in one of the top institutions in the country. The first two years in Delhi were life changing because I had always been the pampered child at home and lived in the bubble of a small city. In Delhi, I counted every little thing as an achievement, for example, crossing the big road by myself for the first time, swiping up my first ATM card, traveling in a subway metro all by myself. I volunteered for an organisation where I headed a project for child and women empowerment. I went to various government schools and gave presentation on “good touch” and “bad touch” and covered around 9-10 schools. I trained other volunteers and juniors to give this presentation and how to make it more interactive.

Currently, I am living my dream. I am the International Student Community Manager at Internshala.”      

(Find out more about Internshala here: