In Focus

She Does The Balancing Act, Social Work Too

The Draft Colaba, in continuance of the International Women's Day celebrations held on 8 March 2021, profiles superwomen of sorts, from all walks of life, for a full week on till 15 March 2021
(Read all the Women's Week stories here)

By Anushka Singh 

Today, while women from all walks of life have been successfully pursuing their dreams and performing social obligations in their stead, some have gone on to excel even further. They’re exploring territories beyond households and work as they breach their ‘comfort zones’ willingly, they set spanking new standards for others to follow.

Andheri-based Poonam Kanojia, one of four sisters and two brothers, came from a financially-comfortable background. Her father was in the laundry business, mother a homemaker and there was little by way of economic compulsion for her. Yet, she felt, there was “something lacking”. All her life, even as a child, she always “wanted to do something meaningful in life.”

TOGETHER: Poonam Kanojia with husband, mother-in-law and two children

So, after marriage to businessman Dilip Kanojia and moving to Colaba, it was her husband’s encouragement and unflinching support with which she went on to complete her graduation. “I am fortunate to have a supportive family. After I got married, it’s my mother-in-law who taught me how to cook and eat fish. Today, she loves the fish I cook,” she says.

Like all women who multi-task and fulfill several responsibilities, Poonam too got busy in fulfilling household tasks such as taking care of her two children, their education, cooking for the family, looking after a nonagenarian mother-in-law and managing the family’s laundry business. 

But, the ‘need to do something meaningful in life,’ stayed. So, in 2008, she gingerly embarked upon a career that provided her the perfect platform to do so. She joined the local youth wing of a political party where she could do “social work.”

MOVING AHEAD: Poonam Kanojia with former minister Milind Deora

Today, she manages her home, family business and her budding political career. She teaches her daughter to become independent and strong just like her mother taught her.

Now, the South Mumbai District Mahila Congress Committee President Poonam advises women “to take control of their lives and not be affected by the judgmental eyes of others. Women should work towards being financially independent.”

Balancing home and work is a daunting task a lot of women perform with ease. Women finding the time and energy to pool into social work too, like Poonam, take things to a different level altogether.