Spouses of Indian expats in Singapore committed to community service

Rupesh Dutta

Singapore, Nov 8 (PTI) The wives of Indian expatriates in Singapore are working on a number of social and community activities as part of their efforts to integrate with the society here.

The spouses of Indian-origin executives, managing global wealth and corporations out of Singapore, use their spare time from raising families to give back to the society by doing social work under the Indian Women's Association (IWA), established in 1997. 'We are giving back to the society through our programmes that involves raising funds by holding twice a year Bazaars, funding of students at local universities and institutions, supporting non-governmental organisations caring for guest workers from India as well as participate in movements and initiatives under the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth,' Anuradha Shroff, IWA President, said.

Most of the IWA’s 325 members are now housewives, who gave up their professional jobs in India and embarked on journeys of their husbands who are leading parts of mutli-national corporations in Singapore and the South East Asian region, said Shroff, a former financial controller of Sybase India but now a full time volunteer at IWA’s social work programmes.

'It is important for us to keep busy outside our homes while raising families, and the best is to devote our time to pay back to the society in our new home Singapore,' she said.

Elaborating further, she said the initiative is also in line with the integration process initiated by the government for a cohesive society in the multi-racial Singapore.

Shroff this week hosted the inaugural IWApreneurs 2019, a new platform for housewives turned entrepreneurs to showcase their services and build brands.

She said almost all of the IWA members at the event are professionals such as accountants, fashion designers and experts in food, who have incorporated companies in line with the local laws, to be of service to the society.

Gowri Aiyar, who has been for 34 years in Singapore, co-hosts IWA’s summer bazaar in April and festival bazaar in September just before Navratri-Diwali.

The profits are shared with awards for two students a year at local universities, funding support for NGOs caring for Indian-origin workers in the construction sector as well as support old age homes and charities caring for underprivileged children.

'We, through IWA, have found a niche channel to serve the community at large, including Chinese, Malays, Indians and others. It is the best way to be part of the multi-racial Singapore where understanding each other's culture is very important in today's tensed world,' said Aiyar, a former Singapore school teacher who now runs an educational consultancy.

Elaborating on IWApreneurs 2019, Vidya Dasgupta, Privileges and Entrepreneur Chair of IWA, said it was well received by all and gave an opportunity to the group's members to showcase expertise, talent and capabilities to service the community.

Shroff elaborated all these initiatives are only possible due to the hard work of the Executive Council, Committee, Bazaar Co Chair and a vibrant set of volunteers in the Team with an attitude and commitment of giving back. PTI GS RUP RUP