“Being a good individual helps you become a successful professional too,” says Ms. Alka Saxena, noted woman journalist of India, as the Role Model & Chief Guest for third SMILE-Springboard Workshop. Smile Foundation, in partnership with British Council’s Springboard programme, conducted the third workshop under SMILE-Springboard Women’s Development Programme on March 11, 2006 in New Delhi. Ms. Saxena comes from a modest background and studied English only from standard 6th of the government school. She also started taking tuition after Class 12th and made her way through graduation. “Focus and determination are the ingredients for success,” remarks Ms. Saxena as the Role Model. The programme contains a series of four workshops spread over three months in New Delhi. There were 25 participating women professionals from various fields like NGO, Colleges, Schools, Journalism, Health (Doctors), Central Government Departments etc for the third workshop.
Ms. Saxena had an over-protective childhood, being the first girl child in three generations in her traditional family. “Gradually I asked for higher education and put my foot down on the issue of marriage. But I got tremendous support from my brother and later from my family,” she recalls. “During my professional assignments, including those in the midst of terrorism and tragedies, also I demanded why being a girl I could not do things which male could do.”
“I am very proud of being a mother and a wife.” Ms. Saxena urges the participants, “You can be down, but never in any point of life feel that you are out.”
Besides Ms. Alka Saxena taking over the Role Model Hour, Dr. Neerja Chand and Ms. Deepali Bahanot from Springboard were the trainers for the workshop.
The objectives and topics of the workshops are enhancing skills and information to take control of life is one of the major objectives of the workshop. The focus areas of workshop include Confidence Building, Conflict Resolution, Self-awareness, Motivation, Balancing Home and Work, Managing one’s Image, Cultivating Assertiveness and Setting Goals.