London: There is always some positive initiative behind every success and the first event of 2014 has a purpose to discover the secrets of those successful persons who are the guests tonight’s evening. We need to know how could we use lessons from them to seize big opportunities and fulfil great ambitions for ourselves. These sentiments were expressed by Reena Ranger, chairman and co-founder of “Women Empowered” in an event held in London. She said we privilege to have Gurinder Chadha OBE, Ahlya Fateh and Rishi Rich share their journeys and experiences with those present tonight.
Speaking to almost 140 guests, Gurinder Chadha said that the phrase that was her idea of thinking big came from the dialogue of one of her most successful films, Bend it Like Beckham, and the character Jess Bhamra; “anyone can cook aloo gobi, but who can bend it like Beckham?”. She spoke about how whilst growing up she was told what to do and how to behave much like Jess Bhamra had in the film. She went on to say that Jess was always going to have it all, the only question was how she was going to get there. To answer that question you had to think big and look within yourself, remember your younger self and overcome challenges in whichever way you could. It would not always be simple but the answers lay within you. If you want to achieve something and your reasons are correct, you would get there.
She went on to say that she wanted to challenge the perceptions of British Asians in the 70’s & 80’s and it was the inequality and prejudice that she had seen that propelled her journey. She still has to fight battles and the power to do so comes from wanting to overcome barriers and obstacles. She said that at times she had asked herself why she was the one who always had to push the envelope but now answers that question with the fact that she is Sikh and has stood on the shoulders of the Sikh male and female warriors who fought for justice, their beliefs and equality. So when you want to think big then draw strength from your childhood and your history.
Ahlya Fateh began with the importance of education especially in developing countries and the positive impact it has on the mortality and life lead of a girl along with the positive impact that has on the county as a whole. She went on to say that we all owe it to ourselves too and the chances that we have been given to be grateful for our own empowerment and use it to help other women who may not have felt what we have felt and enjoyed the opportunities that we have had.
Rishi Rich spoke candidly about his childhood and paid tribute to his mother who raised him single handedly, had made choices that she thought would benefit her son’s future and always was supportive of his ambitions.
Mona Remtulla Co-founder said, ”tonight has been a great success and we have received positive feedback and are pleased to see a more diverse range of people attending our events and are happy to have welcomed more men here than ever before. This ensures that we have a great balance and have a fruitful dialogue as a collective. Each speaker has been fantastic and I think we can all leave here today taking at least one thing home from each of them that will help us to think big in the future.