The Women’s Empowerment Campaign (WE) hosted Congresswomen and Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard at a networking event on Saturday February 9th, 2019 in Naperville, IL. The Women’s Empowerment Campaign was designed to create the largest networking & empowerment platform for Indian women in Chicagoland. Some of the important goals identified by the group include supporting entrepreneurship in the Indian women community, showcasing & highlighting women business-owners and professionals, raising awareness of existing resources & services in the community, celebrating successful Indian women & supporting women leaders in the community. The initiative was founded in November 2017 and currently has 1500+ members. They have executed 3-4 successful events since inception including the first women’s business awards, women’s business expo, women’s job fair and a big gala to celebrate international women’s day in an Indian way.
The principals of the campaign include founders Rita Singh, Shital Daftari & Dr. Anuja Gupta who are prominent businesswomen & community members in Chicagoland. “We had reached a point in our lives where we felt blessed by the community support we had and wanted to do something to give back to the community” says Dr. Anuja Gupta who is a physician and real estate developer of Verandah Retirement Community. Shital Daftari who is an e-commerce business owner of Saris and Things had a different perspective, “We wanted to do showcase how powerful Indian women were. I also wanted to inspire women to take the first step to living a life of their dreams and reaching their highest potential”. Rita Singh who is an IT business owner and also has experience in show business says, “I had a very gratifying experience mentoring other people who wanted to start their own business and wanted to do it on a larger scale thru this platform. I wanted to make a meaningful difference in the Indian community”.
Hosting Tulsi Gabbard was a big accomplishment for the group. Tulsi who is a congresswoman from Hawaii announced her run for US President in January 2019. She is the first Hindu woman to run for president. Hosting leaders such as Tulsi fits in with the group’s goals of supporting women community leaders. This visit of Tulsi Gabbard was the first outside of Hawaii after her announcement. Tulsi served in the military and was deployed in two wars. She is currently a major in the marine corps. “The greatest attribute that anyone could have is love for their country because that is truly beyond themselves and not related to any other self-interest. When I promised to serve my country in the military I really meant it” said Tulsi Gabbard. One remarkable moment in her political career came when she asked to use the Gita instead of the usual Bible for her swearing-in ceremony to the US Congress. “As women’s empowerment advocates and as Hindu women we could not be prouder to support Tulsi” added WE Founder Dr. Anuja Gupta.