“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change…I’m changing the things I cannot accept.” – Angela Davis
Feeling empowered is the essence of living a life where you realize your potential to the fullest. Women’s empowerment – where women realize and define their sense of self-worth, their ability to determine their own choices, and the right to influence social change for themselves and others.
“Women are leaders everywhere you look — from the CEO who runs a Fortune 500 company to the housewife who raises her children and heads her household. Our country was built by strong women, and we will continue to break down walls and defy stereotypes.” – Nancy Pelosi
I have always believed in empowering myself if the need arises. There are different kinds of empowerment. I will focus on one kind.
My journey started when my son was diagnosed with Autism at the age of three. At that moment, I had two options: I could either break under the pressure of raising an autistic child, or I could be the strongest support in his journey towards becoming a more independent and happy child. I took the second option of being responsible and empowered and, in the process, empowering my child.
To begin with, I started writing articles for Namaste Switzerland where I could talk about my experiences as a mother who struggled in her day-to-day life with a special needs child. It made me feel better about sharing knowledge with other mothers and people in similar situations. I sought encouragement in support groups where people would resonate with my ideas and thoughts and vice-versa. It was a great platform for knowledge exchange.
With the passing of time, I realized that I needed to have some time to myself and do what makes me happy. It was a time to reflect and realize one’s potential and self-worth as an individual, woman, mother, wife, and member of society.
My motto: Focus on passion to create something new
I started my food blog, Lona’s Loving Ladle on Instagram, and got a great response from my followers. The joy of cooking and serving food to family helped me to de-stress and focus on my passion for creating something new and putting it on the table every day. I created festive sweet boxes for Diwali last year. This was quite a success as homemade authentic sweets were loved by the Indian community here. This year, I plan to do a similar thing for Holi.
I also started with a fashion blog under the name “gem0208” on Instagram when my friends encouraged me to promote their products and help generate awareness for their small businesses during the lockdown.
I was not too keen on it initially. But then, I was lucky enough to be approached for a collaboration with a well-known Indian Jewelry brand Studio Hülya which plans to go global. The fashion blog gave me confidence again to feel good and look good. It taught me to love myself irrespective of the hard times that I face.
Stories of two mums I met through support groups
I need to share the motivating stories of two mothers with autistic kids who broke barriers and started their own journey of empowerment by relentlessly following their passions and making them a reality.
Divya Kalidindi, Cham, Switzerland
Divya Kalidindi is a mother of two, who runs a food blog ‘ddining1’ on Instagram and has started her own catering business in Cham, Switzerland. She makes authentic Andhra food.
She elaborates on how she decided to make her free time more productive: “I was motivated since childhood to have my own independent business. A close friend of mine saw my inclination towards cooking and encouraged me to start food blogging. lt started during the Covid lockdown. I got a good response on my blog and it opened the doors for food catering.”
Divya decided to make a change in her life, and it has definitely helped her to find her passion. She further adds, “I am passionate about the whole process of buying groceries, cooking, packing, and delivering delicious food to people’s homes on time. It keeps me disciplined as well.”
Her message to the other mothers with special needs: “You need to grab every opportunity that knocks at your door. You may give up your career for your family but, never give up on your dream – even if it sounds too big or difficult at that point in time.”
Rituparna Roy, Zurich, Switzerland
Another friend of mine, Rituparna Roy, a mother of two boys runs a successful jewelry business under the name Asteria’s Creation with a friend. She says, “When you are a mother of a special needs child, you are also ‘special’ and capable of doing whatever you wish to do. Just go for it!”
She adds “Jewelry is about creation and creativity knows no bounds. I was looking to channelize my stress into something productive. One day, my friend proposed the idea of a jewelry business. Making jewelry helps me express my ideas and keeps me engaged too. It gives me a platform for social interaction and meeting new people which is always fun!
Her message to mothers in a similar situation: “Where there is a will, there is a way! You can do wonders when you believe in yourself and change your life situation for the better.”
One needs to remember that women feel empowered when they start living safe, fulfilled, and productive lives. They focus on contributing their skills to the workforce and can raise happier and healthier children. They are also able to help fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.
Finally, my message to ALL women who seek empowerment, “Do not fear the unknown. Be the master of your dreams, own your happiness, independence, and worth!”
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed belong solely to the content provider. Namaste Switzerland does not undertake any financial/reputational/legal/misrepresentational impact or other obligations/ liabilities that may arise from the content.