Inspirational Woman: Panna Vekaria | Head of International Relations (Asia), Who Will Hear My Cry

Panna VekariaI currently work for the London Borough of Camden and I am a Resourcing Performance Officer. I have been in the public sector for 11 years after graduating in business and finance. I am 37 years old, a single mum to twins and I run a cake pop business called Poppinpops with my twin sister in my spare time.

I have recently joined forces with an amazing charity which is very dear to my heart, “Who Will Hear My Cry” It is a cause I am blessed to be associated with and I plan to use my voice as an inspirational public speaker and advocate for women to get the message of sexual safety out there.

Being Asian, though born and bred in England, I am very aware of some of the challenges Indian and other Asian girls and women face back home and even here in UK within our communities. By no means I’m your typical Indian girl, feisty, fun and full of passion for all things life has to offer. I have always been curious about life and a born adventurer, who always says what I feel. In my spare time I love to paint, travel and devour endless books.

I often take the path that others refuse to travel and I’m most certainly not one to settle for the conventional. I push boundaries so that my children will look for the adventure in everything. Some would say I wear my heart on my sleeve and love like a lion. Hence why I am so passionate about “Who Will Hear My Cry”. It is never easy to speak up and speak out whatever your ethnic background and I believe it is time that some of us need to stand up and be counted to help dilute what we have learned through our traditions and culture.

What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?

Success thus far. I would have to say my biggest challenges have been battling with stereotypical images of WHO I should be and WHO I really am.

What has been your greatest achievement personally?

My greatest achievements personally would be my two beautiful children Maali and Maddox who never fail to keep me on my toes and show me new ways of looking at the world. Overcoming a brain tumour, rape and finally going through a divorce.

If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?

My biggest dream is to own my very own vineyard in Tuscany, where I paint to my heart’s content and write to bring awareness about matters that really matter.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Locally I would have to say my mother, who has been my pillar of strength and my biggest cheerleader in everything that I do. She is solid to the core. Internationally Oprah Winfrey is a woman of great substance and someone I aspire to be like.

What does the future hold for you?

Well, to own my very own Vineyard and to be an author to raise awareness that every child and young person matters, and every woman’s voice must be heard. To continue to nurture every creative cell in my body to stand up and make a difference.

About Who Will Hear My Cry
WWHMC

Who Will Hear My Cry (WWHMC) is an organisation that works to raise awareness around child abuse and rape, primarily within ethnic minorities in the United Kingdom, Asia and Africa. WWHMC promotes the rights of children and young adults to preserve and protect sexual innocence and promote sexual safety. It does this by addressing social and cultural issues that may act as a contributor to the sexual vulnerability and exploitation of children, young adults and women.

http://www.wwhmc.org/

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