Gurgaonite Shalini Vig Wadhwa has a lot to offer her city. A social entrepreneur, an artist, a fashionista, a model — and a doting mum — busy doesn’t even begin to describe her schedule.
A resident of Hamilton Court, Phase 4, her work is a unique meld of social work and a luxury lifestyle. Which is where her charitable organisation, Festival of Hope Foundation, steps in. The initiative celebrates the spirit of cancer survivors and holds awareness programmes through the platform of fashion and design. “We want to instil confidence in people that there is life after cancer, and we can help create it,” she says.
In fact, she plans to hold a cancer awareness programme right in her Hamilton Court condo.
But before that, she has her Festival of Hope event to take care of. It will be aimed at spreading awareness about early detection and treatment of cancer and will be held at DLF Emporio on April 3. The funds collected will be used to treat a 9-year-old girl, Rimjhim, at AIIMS.
The event is themed on Meera Muzaffar Ali’s journey from Umrao Jaan to Jaanisaar, and is expected to see almost 60 celebrities, including its brand ambassador Mrs Earth Priyanka Khurana, walk the ramp to support cancer awareness.
Shalini Vig Wadhwa at a Festival of Hope event
“There’s a lot happening in my life right now,” Wadhwa gushes. “Other than Festival of Hope, I have an art fest lined up for October and a festive couture exhibition in Gurgaon this November. Besides, I'm planning a multi-designer store in Gurgaon and working on launching two new brands in India.”
A former employee of DLF and MTS India, she went on to follow her heart and now Festival of Hope is a globally recognised brand. A winner of the Priyadarshini and Bharat Nirman awards, Wadhwa aims to “reach out to more hearts, live a little more, keep experimenting, keep initiating and something will touch people’s lives”.
“For me, art and fashion come together for a social cause. Though I love Gurgaon, I feel its CSR initiatives leave a lot to be desired. Art and culture events should be encouraged in institutions across the city,” she says.
Wadhwa with her father
Having lived in Gurgaon for more than a decade, Wadhwa has seen it emerge from the shadows to become a city with towering high-rises and cutting-edge facilities. “The vibrancy of Gurgaon's social scene — be it theatre, fashion or music — is infectious,” she says. “But its development should include more charitable causes. I would like to involve MNCs, civil hospitals and neighbourhood schools to spread the message through art and culture. In fact, I would like to get more involved with government hospitals to take cancer awareness a step forward."
If this is taken care of, “nothing can stop Gurgaon from zooming ahead in the modernisation race", she adds.