Today we have someone who works as Senior Scientist at National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, New Delhi
1. Please introduce yourself.
Mother to two sweet, but naughty and demanding boys; Wife to a totally non-demanding and accommodative husband; Sister to three siblings whose love endures all circumstances; and most importantly, born to loving parents who struggled beyond their means to raise their kids and yet filled our lives with happy and blissful childhood memories.
2. Were you passionate about agriculture science?
Yes. If not before, the days I spent at Agricultural college campus in Kerala and the influence of my enterprising batch mates, helped me develop a passionate interest in this subject.
3. What is your area of research?
I am working on genetic conservation of cereal germplasm in the National Genebank of India, located at National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources at New Delhi.
4. Did you have to compromise on the quality/quantity of your work after having family?
I would disagree with the word compromise. In our lives, when we choose one thing over the other, it is done so as per our personal choice. A woman who is obsessed with her career will never think of a family. Once, you opt for a family life, it is your love for your family that drives your decisions. Do we say that a woman who comes late from office is compromising the life of her kids?!!! So, instead of compromise, let’s speak of ‘balancing’.
Yes, I never work beyond office hours and I never take home a single office paper. I have skipped two opportunities of promotion (where I could have obtained benefits of up to 5 years of seniority), just because by opting for it, I will have to avail transfer and kids would meet their father only during weekends. Yet, I am proud of the fact that I have got the highest score in every single annual assessment done at the institute level. So, ‘balancing’ does not take away our efficiency, in fact it enhances it, coz nobody understands the value of time, better than us.
5. There are many women who were in academic line and had to take a break for the family. Any information/suggestion that you can share for those who wish to get back to teaching or research?
Sure!!!! Don’t think twice, if you get an opportunity for working in the field you are passionate about. Let your kids watch your hard work and perseverance. Let them see you excel, not only as a mother, but in everything that you do. Life’s biggest lessons are never taught at school, rather are never taught at all….you have to live it out for them to see!!!!
6. Piece of advice for women in SWEP family.
Advice!!!! I am not good at it! In fact I hate it!!!! We need to advise ourselves, never others!!!!