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Inspirational Woman: Anita Gurnani | Founder, Titliyan NGO

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Anita Gurnani

I am from New Delhi. And have been here for all my life except for two years in Pune in-between.

I completed my Eco honours from Miranda House and then did my computer Applications course from NIIT. I worked at the Canadian High Commission as a Trainer/Network Administrator till 2005, concurrently raising my children took most of my time. Once they left for their higher education, I started my NGO, Titliyan, where we have been able to create an after school program either for children studying in government schools, or those who for some reason, have not been able to attend school. This has given me immense happiness and satisfaction.

Anita GurnaniTell us about any current projects or initiatives you wish to promote

I wish to expand my endeavour of helping underprivileged children, by bringing a much larger number into mainstream education. Empower women to create Titliyan like programs in their own neighbourhood. Instead of challenging the government school system we are trying to build it by giving access to EWS children to do more of what they are good at.

My other passion is Contemporary Indian Art, and I wish to promote this extremely talented but underexposed community by bringing them onto world markets where they will receive the acclaim they deserve.

What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?

Challenges are what makes the life exciting and success sweet. The struggles of running the NGO come in a lot of shapes and sizes. One has to rethink the present model of education for children, school, teachers and parents. The thought process of society has to change. Changes need to be done within and outside of the system too. I have made an encouraging start, but as the poet said- I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.

The success is not just the number of students that I have, but the number of lives that I can change, the mind-sets of parents, especially fathers that I can update. I have made a start and would like to create a lot of these afterschool setups all over the city. But I do need government’s help to take this to a larger scale. They have the infrastructure and we have the passion to bring in the change.

What has been your greatest achievement personally?

I have raised two good human beings with a good set of values. I am now working with a lot of other children, hoping that I can make some change in the life of few to whom God has not been so kind. Also, I have evolved to be a calmer and a happier person.

If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?

Art fascinates me as I mentioned. I would have probably been working in that field. I still spend some time reading and writing about it on my twitter handle @ArtAware1

Anita Gurnani

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

My biggest inspiration has been my family. They taught me to love and be loved. My dad taught me self-respect, my mom taught me to love unconditionally, my siblings taught me to share, my children taught me to be patient and calm and my husband gave me the strength. Each one of them inspired me to be what I am today.

What does the future hold for you?

We want to work on getting more centres opened, getting more involved in the Art field and would love to travel and spend more time with my husband.

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