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I show up daily, to be me
Story of role-model Suparna Kapoor
Suparna said, 'We were 10 women in a batch of 350 at IIT.
We did not have names for it yet - but I struggled to be an equal. It shaped me.
As a child I had lived in a sheltered world. Books were my best friends. But now I wanted to reach out and find my own place in the world.
I passed out in '92. Most classmates headed to IT jobs.
I wanted to stay true to my Electronics. So, I joined a public sector undertaking in Telecom.
Since then, I have showed up every day, for 30 years now.
Contrary to public perception, government is not just lethargy and red tape.
We push daily , despite constraints, to turn the wheels of progress for the country.
My first posting brought me to a small town in eastern UP. I was to manage the morning shift, showing up at 6 AM, to work.
About 10 of the workers, including a supervisor, would daily come late. They were perhaps dismissive of a young woman managing them.
‘I will stand up for the right thing!', I said to me. I began to mark them absent.
It snowballed into an IR incident, but I got my punctuality.
We made friends later. Over Chai, the supervisor confided, 'It was good you were a woman. Else, we would have beaten you up!'
It was good to see, they practised their own version of gender equality :)
I loved my work. I kept going. Twists and turns - 'yes'. Stop - 'Never!'
Thanks to it, I know today, success is a lot about showing up.
Showing up to work, to contribute. To offer and receive. Showing up to who I want ME to be.
I showed up at all imaginable places. We toured remote army outposts, up north, to install equipment.
Jawans would look at me with surprise. It was so easy for everyone to assume, I could only be someone's wife.
The curious question for them was, 'What is she doing here?Will she work late in the night to resolve the problem?
I had started by wanting to make a space for myself. Then moved to making a difference.
Did I help the nation with my work?
In reality, I was only being me. Day after day. With a deep desire to learn and evolve.
I wanted to do more with who I was. I did not want to confine myself to tech and projects only.
It was 2010.
I attended a 3 day mentoring program by Mr Prakash. I saw his influence on us.
Then I knew. THIS is my road to greater impact on others. It was a “gut feel” which made me opt for a role in L & D.
Yet, I was an introvert. Stages scared me. I still chose to honour my intuition.
It took me a year to move in, learn new ropes and settle into an OB Facilitator role.
Scary! but totally worth it . I found my passion, Luck By Chance!!!
I love working with young people. They don't need preaching. They need a listening ear and no judgments. I have learnt to do that too.
All I try is to be a catalyst.
Today I accept myself , with all my rough edges and know that there’s still work to do.
And as I move into a full HR role, I am exploring once again.
How can I be more of me? And, I will show up everyday and make it so.