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Matchmaking work and motherhood

Friday, 9 May 2014 - 7:20am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna
On the occasion of Mother's Day, we catch up with Snehal Agrawal Sharma, who spares a thought for professionally qualified stay-at-home mothers

Spunky Snehal Agrawal Sharma, mother of three-year-old Saesha is a sundae with many toppings. This at-ease mom (M.A in French and a degree in law) is a Deputy Attache at the French Consulate, Mumbai for the last five years. She also runs a language institute, Agrawal’s Etudies, with her mother.

So, how does Snehal do everything so seamlessly? One killer reason that has worked in her favour is the convenience of her commute. She stays at Prabhadevi, drops her daughter off at her mother’s place in Mahim and then proceeds to Bandra-Kurla to her 9-to-5 workplace in a linear geography that is rare in the city of Mumbai. Sharma says, “I thank the universe for this convenient route.” The support of husband, Sandeep, in-laws and reliable domestic help of 20 years complete the circle of perfection.

Change in perspective
Having faced the life-shattering possibility of giving up a career she loves, Sharma is passionate about “My Work=My Time”. When Saesha was born two years ago, Sharma was faced with the dilemma of whether to continue or quit her job. A very difficult situation for her but thankfully, because of a great support system, Sharma was able to resume work. She says, “Leaving my three-month-old daughter to resume work was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever taken. I can totally understand why women quit work as their family expands.”

As Sharma entered the new world of motherhood, she gradually found herself, both virtually and physically, among groups of women who wanted to work but could not leave the confines of their home due to certain priorities. In spite of the women being well-educated and having excellent qualifications, they were often low on self-esteem. That is when I thought of starting a group on facebook that would cater to the requirements of such women.

ABCs of it
Three months ago, Sharma formed the ‘Flexi-Work Options for Women’ group on facebook. This forum provides qualified women, who lack a viable support system, with flexible jobs and business opportunities via affiliations with like- minded groups. For instance, she has tied up wih a professional storytelling workshop and a wildlife travel agency. Sharma says, “I try to be different from other such work-from-home groups by refraining from posting data entry, copy-pasting, MLM and click-and-earn jobs.”

Sharma feels, “Flexi-work option is the need of the hour. In India, it is still at a nascent stage. When you compare what is offered in developed countries, you notice a marked difference in the quality offered. Developed countries consciously tap the vast pool of women who quit regular 9-to-5 jobs for flexi options.” Sharma draws her inspiration from The Secret. In her words, “It is my bible for celebrating life. If you start feeling like you have sacrificed something, it makes you feel as if life owes you something and you start emanating negativity. Instead fulfil your desires, be happy and spread positive vibes around you. If you cannot go to work, make work come to you.” Hats off to Sharma’s initiative!

For more details, visit  https://wwwfacebook.com/wfhwomen and https://wwwfacebook.com/groups/wfhwomen




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