Lending a helping hand
A woman working for a woman has definitely brought a positive impact and Soroptimist International, a service club for women has been doing exactly that and working for development and well being of women
A woman working for a woman has definitely brought a positive impact and Soroptimist International, a service club for women has been doing exactly that and working for development and well being of women.
Deepika Chalasani is the president of Soroptimist International Hyderabad. Having an experience in the IT industry and transforming into being a nutrition expert and the co-founder of ‘Fit4Life India’, and an active member of the society, she has certainly come a long way.
“We focus on giving back to the society so Soroptimist means best of women and the club serves with a philosophy ‘giving back to women’. It was founded in 1921 and present in 130 countries and there are 80,000 women working at large in this sector. Soroptimist International India comes under Great Britain.
It is the only service club that has a United Nation consultative status. All the areas that come under women are covered by us, even the queen of Britain looks at what we do. We are more into using our resources with our time we work on building advocacy, awareness, education among fellow women.”
The club started small by conducting meetings in a fellow club member’s house and starting off with small works until the Soroptimists got an opportunity to run the club in Hyderabad. “We started off in the month of November 2018 in Hyderabad.”
“Starting with partnering with an NGO called Yuvatha that had an interesting project called Mission B, which was about collecting newspapers and recycling them into books, we also worked with L V Prasad Eye Institute. In a short span, we conducted summer camps, 5k marathon with visually impaired children, etc., We look for reputed organizations that are genuine to give our services. We collected sarees, made bags out of them and sold them. IPS officer Shika Goyal, who was at the inauguration, saw our capabilities and asked us to work with the ‘She Teams’.”
With ‘She Teams’, doing works that help women made an effective impact in public and Soroptimist International wanted to support their other works as well. “It took 45 days to start the project SH(OUT)- Sexual Harassment Out. We wanted people to know about sexual harassment and how they should not misuse. People are unaware of the laws and so we came up with this to empower every woman at workplace including the domestic work. The idea is also to tell men about what exactly is sexual harassment. The film chambers and cyber security cell also reached out to us when they learnt about our programmes.”
All the 40 members from different walks of life stand up whenever there is a need. These women get training that help in building up social activities. The club is also gearing up for new projects on mental health, which are relevant for Indian women. When a woman is not healthy, the whole family gets disturbed and so the club would be focusing on this project for the next two years.
Speaking about her own interests the president of Soroptimist International Hyderabad, who has masters in three degrees shares, “I am 45-years-old and I have masters in economics, human resources and psychotherapy and counseling. I have worked in the corporate industry in the HR field for 12 years I worked with companies like ADP, IPD and Wipro. In 2012, I decided to quit corporate world due to my health issues. My father is a clinical nutritionist and he has been my inspiration for me to start off on my health route and ‘Fit4Life’.”