Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams,” and this quote rings true for one Mumbai girl, who rose from the city’s slums to working at one of the leading tech companies in the world! Shaheena Attarwala, a Design Leader at Microsoft, recently tweeted about her experiences growing up in a slum, how they shaped her, and how she turned her life around for the better; her Twitter thread went viral online with over 4,000 likes and hundreds of comments.
Attarwala took to the micro blogging site on spotting her old home on Bad Boy Billionaires: India, a Netflix series. One of the homes shown in the birds-eye view of the slum was where she grew up, and moved out from in 2015 to build a better life for herself. Attarwala’s father, a hawker of essential oils, had moved to Mumbai from Uttar Pradesh, and the family lived near Bandra railway station in the Darga Galli slum. In an interview, Attarwala said that life in the slum was hard and exposed her to the severest living conditions, along with gender bias and sexual harassment. At the same time, it also fuelled her curiosity to learn and motivated her to design a different life for herself.
By the age of 15, Attarwala had observed many women around her being helpless and dependent on others, subjected to abuse, and not having the freedom or means to make their own choices. The spirited girl did not want to accept the same fate and was determined to carve out a different life for herself.
Attarwala gravitated towards computers right from the day she laid her eyes on one in school. She believed that sitting in front of one meant having opportunities! Unfortunately, due to her poor grades, she was assigned to needlework classes instead of computer science. But this didn’t deter her, and she continued to dream of having a career in technology. She asked her father to borrow money so she could pay the fees for a local computer class. She also scraped together money to get her own computer by skipping lunches and walking back home. Later, she chose a career in design over programming because design makes her believe possibilities exist and technology can bring about change.
After years of hard work, sacrifices, and fighting challenges, Attarwala and her family moved into a nice apartment that receives ample sunlight and ventilation. “From my father being a hawker and sleeping on roads to having a life we could barely dream of. Luck, hard work and picking battles that matter,” she had tweeted. Attarwala’s journey from the slums to success is just the kind of story that can inspire us all to dream big and do our best!Read more: Meet This 24YO Entrepreneur Who Volunteers As A Traffic Warden In IndoreSubscribe to our YouTube channel Next Story : Meet This 24YO Entrepreneur Who Volunteers As A Traffic Warden In Indore