A Humanitarian Approach - Roshini Nath

A loving mother of two and the proud wife of Vikram Nath, Director of Logix Group, Roshini Nath is a young entrepreneur and philanthropist who found her true calling in the world of charity. Through the NGO Khushii, she has been able to make a substantial difference in society. A glass-half-full person, Roshini is always ready for a challenge. Here’s what she had to say about the NGO, the concept of charity and her future goals.

Where does your interest in charity stem from?
When I was younger, my mother would always ask my siblings and I, “What good deed have you done with your pocket money?”, whether be it buying milk for the stray kittens in the colony or buying treats for the less-privileged children in the area. Little things like these are what really drove my interest in entrepreneurship and philanthropy right from the start. The first step towards my goal was when I started working with social organisations, which matured me to a great extent, educating me about a side of the world that doesn’t get the attention it truly needs. Fulfilling my part in becoming a social member of the community and helping others helped me become more aware of my own ambitions.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My biggest mentors have always been my parents. The love and support they gave me is unparalleled– I couldn’t be where I am today without everything they have done and continue to do for me. My father is a devoted businessman and is the one who helped me imbibe practicality and logic into my life, along with his entrepreneurship zeal. My husband, Vikram, is a man who is dedicated to his work. He’s always had my back, supporting me at every step I’ve taken, motivating and inspiring me, too. The people who taught me the most, however, are the brilliant team at Khushii. Every founding member and professional here has continued to inspire me by their dedication and attachment to the work we do. This is especially true of Harveen Kapoor, who’s been like a godmother to me, always guiding me as she would her own daughter.

When did you first get involved in Khushii?
I was lucky enough to join Khushii at the young age of 21, as I was inclined towards becoming an active philanthropist. I joined the NGO soon after its inception, in 2003, to support them in their charitable endeavours. This is when I met one of the founder members, Harveen Kapoor. Her teachings continue to encourage me in everything I do.

What is your role in the NGO and what does the work entail?
From being a volunteer, I went on to become the youngest Governing Body Member of Khushii. I continue to play a vital role in Khushii’s main objective, which is providing remedial education to the underprivileged, as well as ensuring they are not malnourished. Today, I am leading one of Khushii’s very important verticals, ‘Khushii for Health’, where my target is to work in the urban slum area of Mukundpur and to carry out my pilot project towards women’s health and hygiene under Khushii’s Shiksha aur Vikas programmes. There are multiple health challenges in India – the likes of pollution, poor sanitation, and the lack of awareness of women’s hygiene surround us. My current primary focus is on addressing the personal hygiene of women, especially in the area of menstrual care. I am leading this programme across six states in India, wherever Khushii has schools and intervention in the adjoining communities.

What are the future plans of the organisation?
At Khushii, we have formulated three-year plans which focus on the following mandates of social welfare: ‘Khushii for Education’, ‘Khushii for Health’, ‘Khushii for Community Development’, and ‘Khushii Se Sport’. Through these we hope to make enough of a difference to at least kick-start the progression required.

You are soon to be launching a new venture. Can you tell us about that?
I plan to be the importer and distributor of beverages from the UK. Due to an NDA, I can’t share further information at the moment – but it will be a very exciting and new entrant into the Indian market. I am really looking forward to it!

Do you think women’s NGO’s have had the desired impact?
NGOs working with women are doing unbelievable work and making incredible progress. But it is important not to forget that for every 100 women that they help, there are many, many more who still
need it.

Women’s empowerment, women’s safety, women’s rights, and gender equality are all intricately interwoven. I look forward to a time when equal opportunities exist for all, where women and children are safe from violence and sexual abuse, and where women can feel independent.

A lot of people have been working towards women empowerment in recent times. Do you think the situation has improved?
Though there are a number of individuals and NGOs working towards women empowerment – there is a certain degree of awareness and education, across both genders, that’s required to allow women empowerment to really shine through. The socio-economic norms for certain strata of our society are quite different or have certain set beliefs which have in certain ways been ingrained in many people. We are merely touching the surface, but it is something we must keep working towards.    – as told to Rubaina