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I moved to Cambridge from Oxford almost a year ago and came across CSMC when I was exploring the city. I used to attend a methodist church while I was studying in Oxford and felt that methodism made me feel closest to God. A sense of community and belonging is what I wanted from a new city and CSMC was the perfect place.

Is there a women who has inspired you?

The woman I have always admired the most is Sudha Murthy. She is an Indian author, philanthropist, and social worker. And is the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation, a non-profit organisation that focuses on education, rural development, healthcare, arts, and culture. Ever since I was a child I used to read her novels and short stories and had always felt comfort in her words. Her strong moral compass and adherence to ethical principles always inspired me.

Her journey from a small town in Karnataka, India to becoming a successful author and a leading figure in the corporate and social sector inspired me to pursue my dreams. Her success working in traditionally male-dominated fields, such as technology and philanthropy, always awed me and following that I worked hard and moved to the UK to achieve my goals. She also actively promotes gender equality and empowerment through her work and advocacy.

What are you proud of in your life?

I always knew what I wanted to be and what my professional dream was but had no idea how I could get there. Unfortunately the road to get there is not easy at all. It becomes especially harder when you are surrounded by over – and effortless – achievers.

COVID hit while I was doing my masters; being all alone in a country you are new to was hard and then I was hit by the job of finding my own placement (as a part of my masters). It was a very difficult time for me, mentally, and my family in India was worried for me. It would be all fine if I just left and went back home but I wanted to continue my stay in the UK and finding a placement was the only way. 

I should say that it was a blessing in disguise but a family from my church in Oxford helped me as I stayed with them and eventually found my placement. I found out that only 22 students in a cohort of 200 managed to find their placement and continue their masters. I was later on called back to my University (after graduation) to talk about my experience and present my placement year work to the new cohort.

At the time when I was struggling the most, the family I stayed with, always reminded me that I should never lose faith and that God is opening the right doors for me. I always remind myself that when I go through anything difficult in life.

What do see as the biggest change for women over the years?

I highly believe in cerebral equality which refers to the idea that all individuals, regardless of their cognitive abilities or disabilities, should have equal access to opportunities and resources, and be treated with equal respect and dignity. As a feminist, I would want the world to focus on cerebral equality, in terms of opportunities.

I came from an Orthodox Protestant church back in India and we only saw men on the altar preaching the word of God. It has always been a taboo and religiously not right for others to enter that space. I have always felt that sometimes, we as humans, extend God’s commands to keep

from making mistakes, but when we make those rules for others, we basically sponsor a meaningless legalism. Rules do not make people holy, choices do.

We often talk about the ‘future of the Church’ in council meetings, and from my perspective the future is bright and prosperous, only when we regularly see not just men but all genders, hear their voices and embrace the Word of the God. This is in order to show that there is space for everyone in our church. A church that was given by God, not just to men, but to us all.

What advice would you give to women today?

I want them all to know that they are capable of achieving anything they set their mind to. In a world that may sometimes feel challenging or unfair, remember that your strength, resilience, and unique perspective are your greatest assets. Always remember the reason why you started your journey, and your goal will become clearer. Believe in yourself and your dreams, even when others may doubt you. Your voice matters, your ideas are valuable, and your potential is limitless!