Women's week: Mothers with a winning streak
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Women's week: Mothers with a winning streak

The Noida Circle of Moms, with 50,000 members and Sector 23 resident Shruti Mittal at its helm, is one of the biggest communities of women in India.

Women's week: Mothers with a winning streak

Shruti Mittal, a resident of Sector 23 Noida, was married with a kid at 23. But there was a nagging feeling at the back of her mind. She had an MBA degree and wanted to do something more. However, she also had a child to take care of.

She realised most mothers took a break from work till their children were old enough to take care of themselves. However, by then, it was too late to pick up where she left off in her professional life. Mittal decided she would not be one of them.

At 38, with her children settled and her family stable, she was ready to pursue a career — one that motivated her and inspired others.

In 2013, Noida Moms started as a Facebook page connecting mothers from Noida and Gurgaon with an offer to lend them whatever professional or personal support they needed to achieve a sense of fulfilment.  

Today, renamed Noida Circle of Moms, it has more than 50,000 members from across Noida, Delhi, Gurgaon and Mumbai — one of the largest communities of women in India.

"I discovered that most working and stay-at-home mothers feel incomplete in their own ways. Working moms feel guilty that they do not spend enough time with families, while stay-at-home mothers yearn for a career. This is where Noida Circle of Moms steps as a platform for mothers to be financially independent and explore hidden talent. It helps women find fulfilment, not only as mothers and professionals but also as individuals," says Mittal.

From Sector 23, the initiative spread to sectors 31, 34, 61, 72 and 76. Mittal was joined by Shavi Gupta (36), Neelam Malhotra (67), Anamika Gautam (44), Aparna Mittal (35) and Manisha Gupta (51). The group today, with 10,000 mothers from Noida alone, has a core team of six and is open to women of all ages and professions.

“We started off with a no-membership policy, but as the group grew, we had to start taking a membership fee to manage expenses,” Mittal says. For homemakers and career mothers, it is Rs 1,000 and for entrepreneurs it is Rs 3,000.

Noida Circle of Moms offers part-time employment options to mothers on a career break looking to get back into the industry. It also provides a support system for women who want to start their own ventures. The group holds weekly and monthly programmes to explore areas such as parenting, books, housekeeping, education, wellness, fitness and personal grooming.

“Our core agenda is to empower mothers, which has grown to encapsulate women’s empowerment. We engage women, spread awareness among them about various issues and provide a platform for their overall well-being,” Mittal says.

But how do they manage to strike the work-home balance? “At the end of the day we are all mothers. For those with children who are still young, we limit working hours to the time their children are at school,” Mittal says, smiling.

“Being a mother is so much more than just caring for children and family,” she adds. “It is about looking after yourself and setting an example for them. If you are proud of yourself, the world will be proud of you. That’s the message we seek to send out.”