GIV­ING WINGS TO DREAMS...

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AN­JALI SARDA

– Mantri, af­ter com­plet­ing M.Sc in Or­ganic Chem­istry from Pune Uni­ver­sity, joined the ISRO’s Bio­hy­dro­car­bon Project wherein she pur­sued the project to con­vert non-ed­i­ble oil into the hy­dro­car­bons us­ing het­ero­ge­neous cat­a­lyst, un­der the guid­ance of Pad­mashree Dr. Vas­ant Gowarikar . Post her stint with ISRO, she joined the Hal­libur­ton Inc. and worked as chemist, sub­mit­ting 10 US patents out of which two were granted and eight were pub­lished online by United States Patent and Trade­mark Of­fice. She has also pub­lished 10 re­search pa­pers in na­tional and in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ences. Cur­rently, she’s associated with Lu­gar En­ergy Cen­ter for Re­new­able En­ergy (LCRE) lo­cated at In­di­ana Uni­ver­sity Pur­due Uni­ver­sity–In­di­anapo­lis (IUPUI), In­di­anapo­lis, In­di­ana USA, as an en­tre­pre­neur. She rec­ol­lects, “In 2005, I joined the Lila Poon­awalla Foun­da­tion and got a schol­ar­ship for my M.Sc. I was se­lected for the first batch of Peace Am­bas­sador at Asha Cen­ter, Lon­don in 2008, or­gan­ised by Lila Poon­awalla Foun­da­tion for lead­er­ship skills and per­son­al­ity devel­op­ment. This pro­gram built up self-con­fi­dence in me. This foun­da­tion, through its train­ing pro­gram, trans­formed my life. It helped me to have a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude in ev­ery sit­u­a­tion of life, to have faith in my abil­i­ties and to chase my dreams.” Fur­ther, she con­tin­ues,” Miss Lila is i ndeed a mother fig­ure, a role model and a mo­ti­va­tion for me and my fam­ily. She gave me t he golden op­por­tu­nity t o meet Mr. A.P.J. Ab­dul Kalam, my idol. I am the first girl from my fam­ily who has com­pleted post­grad­u­a­tion and have gone abroad. My fam­ily saw a trans­for­ma­tion in my life as I be­came more goalo­ri­ented af­ter as­so­ci­at­ing with the foun­da­tion. Af­ter com­plet­ing Peace Am­bas­sador Course, they are even ready to send me to Europe for paper pre­sen­ta­tions.” The love and re­spect which she has for Miss Lila were ev­i­dent from her words of grat­i­tude. “Lila mom has en­cour­aged me at ev­ery point in my life, and has a lion’s share in my suc­cess. She guided me through my mis­takes, and has al­ways been a pa­tient ear. She has in­stilled in me self-con­fi­dence, de­ter­mi­na­tion and per­se­ver­ance. Thus, not only to live, but she has taught me to cel­e­brate life to its fullest.” “I’d like to con­clude by say­ing that Lila Poon­awalla foun­da­tion has guided me to not only have big dreams, but to ful­fill them with hard-work and a firm faith on my­self; Sky is the only limit, in­deed.”

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