This Mother’s Day, we launched a powerful video and a 6-part photo series. Highlighting the six supermoms from Jaipur, including our founder Rimjhim Hada, the campaign brought to light the inspiring stories of varied kinds of mothers, going through different phases of motherhood. The campaign featured distinguished mothers including Deepak Kalra (Director of Umang School), Lavanya Bahuguna (Former Chief Editor ScooNews), Upasana Bajaj (Founder of The Market Place Jaipur), Rachna Kaushik (Founder of Jaipur Moms Group), and Pinky Tamra (Director MGLR Pvt. Ltd.)
Acknowledging the sacrifices they make and the struggles they endure, we go beyond to dive a little deeper into their lives. The narrative of the entire campaign is based on voicing the unique stories of these six empowered mothers and how motherhood led them to find their true selves.
Read on the inspiring stories of all these supermoms:
#1 Deepak Kalra
8 months after the birth of her firstborn, Vikram, Deepak and her husband were given the news that their son suffered from cerebral palsy and severe epilepsy.
A life-altering realization for a new mother, it set Deepak on a path to become a guiding light not just for her son but for thousands of other children with developmental delays and disabilities.
This is her story.
“40 years ago, when we discovered that Vikram will have to live with his condition for all his life, my first instinct was to train myself for him. I quit my job at Bombay University and started my training. I joined the Spastic Society of India (now ADAPT) and worked there for the next 11 years, spending the majority of my time working with persons with disabilities in the slum areas.
It was in 1995 that my husband was posted in Jaipur and we decided to come along with him to the city this time. We both saw this as an opportunity to stay close and feel like a normal family with Vikram and my then 2½-year-old daughter, Shefali. However, what we didn’t foresee was the lack of any educational institution for our son. In fact, what was more disheartening to see was the unawareness amongst people about the needs of the children with disabilities. I knocked on so many doors, trying to find a way to continue his education and development but all I got were addresses of physiotherapy/speech therapy centers and hospitals.
I wasn’t ready to give up. Yes, I was tempted to leave the city and go back to Bombay, the only city in India at the time to have a proper school for such children. However, in my brief time in Jaipur, I had come across and mentored so many parents of specially-abled children that they started to look up to me to find hope.
Maybe this hope was what led me to find a way and I started on a journey to establish a comprehensive educational and development center for children with brain disabilities. With the help of my family, friends, and so many other mothers I knew we finally took our first batch in 1995.
With each passing day, the number of students kept on increasing but there were so many professional and personal challenges that I had to overcome. Formally, Umang was set up in 2006 and it brought about a revolution that snowballed into a movement in the succeeding years. More than 30 centers were set up across cities in Rajasthan and Umang supported many amongst them through varied affiliations and aid. While the schools provided an ecosystem for the children to develop and grow, there was a lot of work that needed to be done to educate society. Realizing the desperate need to spread awareness, we organized various awareness drives and undertook multiple initiatives. I also got involved with various policy-making committees and closely worked with state agencies to introduce fundamental reforms and changes for the upliftment of people, especially, children with disabilities.
40 years and going, it hasn’t been an easy ride but I think having a solid support system and prioritizing my focus areas has kept me going. And then there are those endearing smiles of all my children at the school, giving me so much love and just hugging me whenever they see me that makes every day so fulfilling.”
#2 Rimjhim Hada
At 31, our founder Rimjhim's journey of becoming a successful entrepreneur is an inspiring one. Mother to two little girls, 5-year-old Vaideshwari and 3-year-old Bhagyashree, Rimjhim along with her husband and co-founder, Anurag Singh Khangarot is managing it all — from leading the ethnic fashion game in the country to finding time for her daughters.
This is her story.
“I was in Mumbai and Vaideshwari was only 5-6 months old when I thought of doing something in ethnic fashion. In the initial days like any other entrepreneurs, Anurag and I did everything. Right from sourcing to photoshoot, we were managing everything but my mom was there with us to take care of Vaideshwari and home while we were away.
During my second pregnancy, Aachho was gaining a lot of traction and we had to be completely focused on scaling our operations and processes. Sampling, photoshoot, setting up the unit in Jaipur, and managing the orders— everything was happening at the same time. I remember I had worked until one day before we had Bhagyashree in May 2019 and I was back in the office in just 5 days after the delivery because our new collection was to be launched.
Then the pandemic hit in 2020. While it greatly affected our work and mobility, it also gave us precious time to be around our girls. Now that everyone’s back to work from the office, we are trying our best to strive for a balance between work and personal life. However, I feel extremely grateful to both my families for being my strength and my biggest support system in raising Vaidheswari and Bhagyashree.
I also think that it is important for mothers to realize that they need to develop a support network and not feel that they can do everything by themselves. What has helped me get greater clarity is to prioritize between things as per the situation and then focus on the need of the hour.
Aachho is technically and shall always remain our first child but we are trying to optimize and automate the processes so that we can take out more time for our little girls.”
#3 Upasana Bajaj
Finding your passion and committing yourself to fulfill it isn’t a cakewalk, especially for a mother. For Upasana Bajaj Kumar, a full-time mom to a 4-year-old boy, Arya, and Founder-Curator of TheMarketPlace (formerly The Farmer’s Market Jaipur), having a career always meant learning new skills and adding to her professional roles.
This is her story.
“Having worked across sales and marketing roles and being a wedding planner with the Shangri-La Group of Hotels, when I got married in 2017 and shifted to Jaipur, I was still contemplating my career options. I wanted to do something that signed with my personal lifestyle and ethos. However, in 2018, Arjun and I were blessed with a baby boy.
I was always looking for organic food in Jaipur and after becoming a mother, my quest to find high-quality organic products only grew further. I would regularly attend Farmer’s Market organized by Deepti Agrawal and was always fascinated by the concept. It was this one time on a Wednesday when I had a heart-to-heart conversation with her that became a calling for me. The next thing I knew, I was to organize a Farmer’s Market all by myself in 4 days, and that too with an eight-month-old with me.
During the pandemic, we started delivering at home, and understanding the growing acceptance of homegrown and artisanal products, we rebranded Farmer’s Market to The Market Place to further expand the product lines. Now, we are organizing The Market Place every Sunday at Clarks Amer and I oversee every little detail of the market.
I personally have seen both of my parents work and even after my wedding, I see my mother-in-law work alongside managing the family. I feel it is very important to have set such examples and have enough representation to help children understand that being a mother shouldn’t limit a woman in any which way. This is why I make sure to share my daily routine and schedule with Arya so that he respects both of his parents' time equally.
Apart from this, I do yoga every day to distress myself and go out with my girlfriends to constantly remind myself of me-time I deserve. Because only when I am truly happy in my state, I can raise a happy child.”
#4 Rachna Kaushik
Being a wife to a merchant navy officer and having two kids meant single-handedly raising children for at least six months in a year for Rachna Kaushik. Inspired by her close-knit community of sailors’ wives, Rachna built a local community of moms to help women find aid, assistance, and a chance at building new relationships with other like-minded mothers.
This is her story.
“When you become a mother, children become your priority. Being a full-time, hands-on mom myself, I know how tiring it can get. There are so many things to think about, so many decisions to take, and so many chores to be done every single day.
Since Orkut days, we had this close-knit community of sailors’ wives where we would discuss every aspect of our lives and seek answers to multiple queries regarding children, medical aid, day-to-day needs, etc. Being a pan-India community, many struggled to connect on a personal level, whether it was for a meetup or any locality-based inquiries.
This inspired me to build a community for Jaipur Moms via yearly subscription and a closed Facebook group. Being on Facebook gave more visibility and offline subscriptions ensured regular meetups.
As the number of members grew and more events were organized, I took the help of two other mothers to take care of the daily operations and updates. Today, there are more than 6400 moms in the group from around Jaipur and we have also created a Whatsapp group based on different localities so they can connect and help each other better. From inquiries regarding schools in the city, home/group tuitions, or some other assistance regarding children’s growth, etc., Jaipur Mom’s became a haven for mothers to find answers, value, and meaningful friendships.
On the personal front, this group led me to find a sense of purpose and belongingness. As kids age, they become busy with their lives and it's mostly the mothers who feel a loss of purpose. Jaipur Moms gave me a sense of direction and also helped me empower other mothers looking to utilize their time in creating greater value for themselves.”
#5 Lavanya Bahuguna
Lavanya left home at the age of 15 to pursue higher studies and since then, she’s been religiously listening to her heart when it comes to making substantial life decisions. This includes the subjects she chose to study, finding a job that helped her add value to society and polish herself as a feminist, meeting innumerable impactful people from different fields, bringing home a furry friend, Poppy, and marrying the love of her life against all odds. Now that she is also a mother to a baby boy, 34-year-old Lavanya is ever more determined to explore more in life together with the support of all that’s mentioned above. Here’s her story:
“Being the firstborn and living with working parents from the government sector, my parenting mainly involved studying harder, staying active in co-curricular activities, and looking after the house when they were away at their jobs. I was only eight when I learned how to lock and unlock the house, babysit my sister, and heat the food to feed her. My father never treated me differently because of my gender. He would encourage me to go to the market, so I could learn the basics of finances and deal confidently with strangers. At home, I saw an environment where my engineer father was more involved in the household chores than my mother, who pushed to pursue higher degrees that helped her reach the top of her career as an educator. He’s, in fact, the first example to me of what a feminist looks like. And so, when I moved to a totally new city for my college, I wasn’t intimidated by the world I was alien. I dealt with eve-teasers legally like a boss, I cleaned my rental place and never relied on any help or my roommates, and I traveled with friends without any shyness. This was 17 years ago when traveling wasn’t a fad and facilities were limited.
My life changed when I encountered Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism fourteen years ago. It taught me how we, the common mortals, are capable of developing a vast heart even against those who hurt us. I worked on my inner darknesses, challenged my limitations, and learned to believe in my true potential by chanting Daimoku. All this helped me attract noble friends in my life and a job of my dreams where my responsibility wasn’t just to head a women’s blog (Indianwomenblog.com), meet powerful figures, and write their stories, but also to conceptualize social campaigns that lifted women from the low-income section.
Whenever my friends ask for any suggestions, I always tell them to listen to their hearts. While you must learn to master your mind, I feel we can treat our hearts like a BFF. For me, some of the most important decisions came flowing organically from the inside. When many raised eyebrows at my impulsive behavior of bringing Poppy home as a single caretaker, I proved them wrong with a life-long mission that this one dog helped me realize - looking after the health and food of the local dogs during the lockdown. The kind of compassion that I now have for stay dogs is unmatched. Another thing that my heart pushed me to do was marry the best boy in the whole wide world, Aman. None in my family supported me because of the caste difference (ugh!), but something inside my heart told me - ‘Go, get this man’ haha. I stood my ground and saw how the Universe was bringing together all its forces to make my D-day a heartfelt event. In that moment I knew I had taken the right decision. My parents, whom we weren’t expecting to join, entered my wedding very dramatically and stayed to be a part of all the rituals until the very end. Grateful is a small word that I feel for them and everyone else who backed me throughout. Did you know Poppy was my maid of honor and the only ‘Dahej’ I took along to my new, forever home?
I’m 2021, I birthed a baby boy whose bringing up stories are not to be romanticized for, haha! He sleeps less, wakes up the entire night, doesn’t want to leave my side, and is a picky eater already - all this when my health has gone for a toss postnatal. When I was single-handedly looking after Poppy, I had worse days in terms of comforting her on multiple nights as she fought life-threatening diseases like Parvo and Uterine cancer. Victorious in all these situations, I feel I’m definitely prepared to handle our little boy.
My learning so far? To listen to my body when it screams for rest, to not run the rat race, and not give myself a hard time trying to balance work and baby. After working until one month after my delivery, I finally decided to take a breather and focus my energy on the little one and my inner healing. I respect my mother who ‘had it all,’ but I know my body isn’t ready for that adventure yet and I accept this change with a lot of love and patience.
Lastly, if you’re wondering what I do during my me-time, well, I struggle to maintain our garden in this heat, read the baby colorful storybooks, chant abundantly, host friends over dinner, and force my husband, a wildlife enthusiast, to take me on jungle safaris more often!”
#6 Pinkee Tamra
Raising two kids single-handedly, Pinkee had learned early on that if she had to conquer the male-dominated society, she had to be dabang. From being a party organizer to starting her own garment manufacturing business, she knows how to live her life to the fullest.
This is her story.
“When I walked out of my abusive marriage, my son was 7 and my daughter was just 5. I moved in with my parents and stayed with them for two years. Meanwhile, I started looking for jobs to support my kids’ school fees and day-to-day expenses. I undertook a makeup course and started my own salon. I also took up a part-time desk job, worked as a Yoga Instructor, and did many other things to generate additional income.
Both of my kids have seen me struggle to put a roof over us but I think they have been the true pillars of my life, standing by my side like a rock. Today, when I look back and think about all the difficult days we have endured and overcome, I feel proud of myself for not giving up and turning every obstacle into an opportunity. However, I have never shied away from talking about my dreams, passions, fears, and even vulnerabilities to my kids. I want them to know that their mother has multiple other roles and that she too has been once a child with million dreams in her eyes. So, I have involved my kids in every little discussion, small or big, and have shared my life with them like friends. In fact, they are truly my bffs as I would like to believe that I am theirs.
Seeing my children flourishing in their lives and being the best versions of themselves, I know I have raised warriors, living life on their own terms. As for me, I am not yet to conquer greater heights while living my life QUEEN SIZE.”
Our campaign, #AachhoCelebratesMom truly honors the different shades of a mother and how motherhood adds to their courage and strength. Being a women-centric brand, we wish to continue utilizing our platform to represent more empowering women and encourage the women of the world to find their passions and fulfill all their dreams.