The rise in the number of women entrepreneurs in India is a proof of an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ in the making: Mohini Sharma
Mohini Sharma is an educationist and winner of the beauty pageant, Mrs. India 2016. She had also represented India at the 2016 Mrs. World pageant in Korea. Post her win as Mrs. India 2016, she started working on turning her dream into reality for which her first step was to become the license holder of Mrs. India World and give the pageantry industry a new direction. Mohini is set on a mission to identify the unseen potential possessed by women. She is dedicating her life to prepping Indian women for their journey of life and presenting their best version through her project of ‘Mrs. India Inc.’
Mrs. India Inc. is associated with the oldest and most prestigious pageant for married women ‘Mrs. World’. Mohini’s perception about the world is to remove the stereotypes and create new patterns to defy conventions and take big steps which can bring about a change.
‘Mrs. India Inc.’ grabbed attention when it got onboard the Bollywood diva Soha Ali Khan as the ‘Presider & Judge’ of the contest. Apart from her, renowned actor, Vivek Oberoi was also the pageant’s ‘Charity Ambassador & Judge’. Mrs. World 2020 Caroline Jurie and fashion prodigy Masumi Mewawalla were among the judges’ panel.
Her business and socialist approach towards not just her organisation but also for the women of the country makes her a down-to-earth and approachable leader. With a great vision and credible assets, Mohini is ready to bring about a great change in the industry. While the fashion industry is undergoing a dynamic change and unprecedented trends, she is ready to put in her pitch to add quality to the quantity.
Apeksha Sandesh had an exclusive interaction with the Founder & CEO of Mrs. India Inc., Mohini Sharma wherein she talks about her vision is to empower women by providing them with a platform, gender equality, and a lot more. Check out the excerpts!
Tell us something about your life before winning the Mrs. India beauty pageant in 2016.
I have always been a woman who has loved her career and family equally. Being an educationist, I had a simple life, quite like a lot of Indian women. I would fulfill my working hours and come home to my family and spend quality time with them. Amidst all this, I was also focused on making my mark as an individual. Winning the title of Mrs. India 2016 helped me achieve that growth for myself. It set the stage for me to go to newer heights in my career.
Beauty pageants are not just about physical beauty but a lot beyond it. What is your opinion on the same?
An Indian woman dons many hats in her daily life. Walking the tight rope between managing her household, raising children, fulfilling social obligations, and her career, she successfully makes her mark as an individual in her own right. She keeps her smile through it all and shines like a diamond. A beauty pageant is an opportunity to showcase the many aspects of a woman’s personality. At Mrs. India Inc., we focus on ensuring that the participants become the best version of themselves.
How has been the journey so far for you as an educationist and social worker?
Aside from my role as the head of Mrs. India Inc, as an educationist and social entrepreneur, I work closely with many NGOs and trusts to set up schools for the underprivileged in lesser-known and underdeveloped regions of India. I value education and strive to work deeper in that space. I am committed to nurturing the spirit of women. My sense of fulfillment lies in being able to drive success stories at the pageant and working at the ground root level to further the ‘real queens of India’. I strongly believe that a winner is not only the one who wears a crown, but also the one who celebrates the qualities that make them a winner in life.
Tell us about your project Mrs. India Inc.
After winning the Mrs. India pageant in 2016, I went to participate in Mrs. World. However, when I did not win the crown, it led me analyse the reason behind my not winning it. The answers that present themselves, gave me a whole new understanding of the preparatory process needed to ace a pageant of this level. With a mission to harness those learnings and help other Indian married women fulfill their dreams, I decided to become the license holder of Mrs. India World and give the pageantry industry a new meaning.
With this initiative, we at Mrs. India Inc. aim to prepare Indian women for a journey of their lifetime by presenting their best version through Mrs. India Inc. and go on to represent India, globally. My vision is to empower women by providing them with a platform to present their beauty, wisdom, and intelligence. I strive to change the perception of the world towards married women and break the stereotypes surrounding them. I seek to create new patterns to defy conventions and take big steps which can bring about a change, through Mrs. India Inc. This is not a mere pageant; it is a complete transformation process.
Beauty, today, is considered a business. What your opinion on the same?
Every business needs to be backed with a purpose. The business facilitates growth. It stems from the sentiment of supplying to the demands of the masses. Women today are conscious of their appearance which has led to the mushrooming of fitness centers, cosmetic brands, personal hygiene products et al. At the same time, there has also been a need to have platforms that can celebrate women for the personality and talent that they possess. I believe it is a good time for women to present the best version of themselves.
What are some overlooked issues of the overall system in India concerning women on which you wish to focus and work?
I want to work towards the eradication of poverty, unemployment, and illiteracy. I also look forward to establishing equal rights for all and help the victims of domestic violence.
You have been part of the education system for a long considerate time. Education plays a huge role in the growth of the country, considering culture, youth, etc. In your opinion, what kind of education system does India needs currently?
Everyone is not privileged to afford education. India needs to develop a system that makes education and learning available to all. A lot of reformation and progress is happening in this direction. I am positive that collective efforts in the right direction will surely bring about a change.
What barriers have you faced, as a woman, in becoming successful in your field? How did you overcome them?
I have had my fair share of struggles before winning the pageant and after winning it too! But one needs to believe in one’s dreams. My first struggle was tapping into my inner confidence and believing in myself. The second step was to make my family believe in my dreams. I was fortunate to have a supportive family that not only understood me but became my strength when I would falter.
What is the biggest struggle of a woman today in India?
It is not just one, but women go through a list of struggles that includes gender discrimination, harassment, sexual abuse, lack of education, dowry-related harassment, gender pay gap, to name a few.
The movement for equality of women’s rights has been a long battle. How far has this equality game reached or is successful? Can you suggest ways in which this can be achieved?
Gender equality has been a long ongoing battle. We are living in an era where women have a better position in society, but still, there is a lot that needs to be done to achieve this completely. There are many pockets of India where women don’t have access to education and basic human rights. The scales are constantly tipping on different sides.
How do you think the government help in eradicating issues faced by women? Any suggestions to the government?
The government has been working to eradicate the issues that have been faced by women for years. The rise in the number of women entrepreneurs in India is a proof of an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ in the making. It has not been an overnight change but is a result of been consistent efforts. Women have certainly come a long way.
Are there any assumptions about women that you would like to change? Why?
People think that there are some things that only men can do. I think in today’s time we all are empowered to do any task and it is not gender-specific. It is the purpose of my life to work towards women empowerment and bust the myth that post-marriage, women face an identity crisis.
It is said that women these days are taking control of their own life and future. How far is it true?
I think this is a fact. It is quite apparent. Women today are highly individualistic and make their own decisions. They are capable of calculating the pros and cons of their actions for themselves.
What main change would you like to see for young girls in the next generation?
I would like to see young girls being more confident and enthusiastic about the work they love. They should be more career-oriented and never lose themselves, in a bid to further others.
International Women’s Day celebrates the scientific, political, economic and social achievements of women. In your experience as a successful woman, what is its significance?
I strive to build a society where every day is women’s day. There is no field where women haven’t made a mark. Their entire life is a series of celebrations.
Apeksha Sandesh congratulates Mohini Sharma for her contribution and commitment towards empowering women of India and moulding success stories for women through the Mrs. India platform. We wish her all the best for her future endeavours!