I Am One Hell Of A Woman, And I Am Not Going To Give Up!!!
Hardships and novel ideas should never bring you down; and that indeed is an exceptional way to live. This and a lot more come forward from Poonam Shirsat’s success story. Coming from the city of beaches, Goa, Poonam Shirsat has made her way to glory with several trial and errors. She is now the Director of Amon Ra Training Solutions and is the Director of JCI World Congress- 2018. She was also the Zone President for JCI in 2017. Her bubbliness, her slight chirps of laughter and her bundles of energy charm the environment she is in. But it takes a lot to be where she is today, and how she is today. Let’s get to the bottom of her story and reveal how she has evolved.
You are famous for being the all-smiles kind of person spreading cheer wherever you are. Tell us about yourself on a personal level.
I am born and brought up in Goa to humble parents Anand & Shama Ekawde. Poonam as my name suggests means the Full moon. We all love to see the full moon when it is nice and round; it shines even when it is dark; that is no different to ‘Me’ as a person. So while I joke with my friends that I need to maintain my round shape, I would want to shine when I can and even when it is dark. It’s the dark times that helped me find my true self. I am friendly; I love making new friends, training, learning and travelling different places.
What is the hardest thing that you have had to do in life so far? How did you overcome that?
The hardest thing I have ever had to do is to learn to live without my Father and Husband whom I lost in a span of little more than a year. Accepting and settling to the fact that I have suddenly grown up was not easy. There were days and nights I questioned, ‘Why me?’ There were also times when I felt that this is the end and my only reason to survive was a promise given to my dad that I will take care of my mom.I debated between my moments of wanting to give up and with the wish to fulfil my husband’s dreams; atleast those which I knew of. I got a grip and pulled myself up; I stood in front of the mirror and told myself that I have no right to dream of any more if I don’t have the courage to fulfil those which we had seen together. And that was the day I decided to fight back with life. I did everything possible, worked day and night, gave my best in everything I did and kept ticking the dreams he had seen. Now I say, ‘Bring it on Life…Try and test me as much as you want… I am one hell of a woman, and I am not going to give up!!!
Your career has been one ladder to climb; tell us what you began with and what you do today?
My husband and I started our Academy in Nagpur under the banner Amon Ra’s Academy of Broadcasting where we trained youngsters for Media and groomed them into beautiful personalities. We kept doing our best with complete conviction and with sincerity & dedication towards each and every student, without giving up! The results were seen when our students started getting placed at various Radio Stations in and around Nagpur. Today we have our students placed in all the channels in Nagpur and in some nearby cities. We then started our second branch in Goa to train students from schools, colleges & corporates for Soft Skills. We marched forward with a dream to reach out to maximum students to help them fulfil their dreams.
What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses?
My strengths are my willingness to fight back and my attitude to never give up. I believe in myself. I am able to do multitask and am excellent in people management. One of my biggest strength is my ability to smile even during my most painful and challenging moments.
I am emotional and it sometimes affects my reactions. I also fear that I may hurt someone. These are my weaknesses.
You travel a lot these days since you are the President of JCI; considering we come from a country with a lot of taboos, how does it make you feel to be delivering all that work as a woman?
Yes, I was made the President of JCI India in 2017, Zone XI which consists of Goa & some parts of Maharashtra. I am on a very important assignment this year as I have been appointed as a Director for the 2018 JCI World Congress which is happening in India for the second time and in Goa for the first time. I am ecstatic to share that I am the 1st Lady Congress Director from India. This Congress will be attended by more than 100 Countries and by 3500 to 4000 National & International delegates. I have to travel internationally to promote my state, Goa, and the World Congress to all the International delegates.
Well, we do have a lot of taboos in our Country and we are the ones who will have to change it for ourselves. I would like to thank my family here, who never stopped me from following and fulfilling my dreams, for allowing me to travel, for allowing me to be myself with no restrictions that I cannot do things just because of the fact that I am a female, because I travel alone or because I take my own decisions. My friends also treat me as a fellow friend irrespective of my gender. Times are changing!
Do you find time yourself? When you do, what do you like to pass your time?
Oh yes I do find time for myself though not everyday and not as much as I desire due to my hectic schedule since 2017. But yes I try to go for a walk once in a while to be with myself. I have my ‘me’ time when I drive or when I go for a run before I start my day. I talk to myself to lighten my heart, I set challenges for myself, I read and try to catch up with atleast one friend with whom I haven’t spoken to for long.
Most aspiring people have one goal to reach; where do you see yourself in the years to come?
My goal in life is to be able to deliver my best at everything I do. I want to give the best to each and every student that comes to our Academy. I want to be able to be the most dependable person around and touch every life positively.
Inspire our readers; what would you like to say to them this Woman’s Day?
“Trust that you are special”. Nobody in this world can make you or break you except YOU, Yourself. There is no energy in this world that can stop us from achieving what we want to achieve except our own negative energy. There is no power in anyone to destroy you, to insult you or to belittle you without your permission. You are You; You are Special. You are Unique…You are a Woman. I truly believe in my life’s Mantra- If it has to be its upto me!
Speaking to PoonamShirsat, I learned that episodes in life are just hurdles to cross. Once you do, the grass is indeed greener on the other side! Let us draw inspiration from her story. Let us all be ‘ME’ you want you to be!