The true meaning of women empowerment will be achieved when gender inequality will be eliminated. We need to give equal opportunities to women for equal pay, equal respect as equal to men. We look forward to such a positive global family.
Empowerment for women can be described as making women empowered so that they can make their own decisions about their lives and well-being in family and society. It empowers women to allow them to obtain their true rights in society.
My story is that of a father professor who shaped my personality and influenced me into becoming an entrepreneur. I am Professionally an Electronics Engineer with a post graduate diploma in Industrial Management. My path to the education sector was driven by my father who was a professor at a premier technical institute, the BITS Pilani in India. I was born and brought up on the BITS Pilanihttps://www.bits-pilani.ac.in/ campus India, watching my father lay a lot of emphasis on learning through practical learning. He imbibed the importance of theory coupled with practical learning which will have a meaningful impact on both the community and the nation.
Leadership and entrepreneurial spirit was always close to my heart. I started my career as an Engineer in the electronics industry, but in couple of years after working in industry I entered academic world through teaching. But the spirit of entrepreneur never died. Although I was teaching, my zest of becoming a businesswoman was growing in my mind. Along with my teaching career, I started my own ancillary unit supporting the main electronic industry where I had worked for a few years. That was a great experience of having my small unit mainly focused on employing women. There were five women working in my unit. Due to some technical and family reasons I discontinued the unit. But yes, I always had a vision of having my own business. I happily continued my main profession of teaching. In my 35 years of teaching career with several universities, holding several roles as a teacher, librarian,counselor, student services, etc, at every stage of my career I was driven by the idea of IF I HAD MY COLLEGE. I also have 52 research papers published globally on engineering education, management education, industry institute interaction, quality of education
I was one of the 10 women chosen by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Government of India, way back in 1999 for training to become an entrepreneur. This training, I can say, has sparked the entrepreneurial spirit in me again with solid confidence and vision., which was later realized in Canada. In 2008, I wrote to the Ministry expressing my interest in setting up a school. The Ministry responded to my request stating the approach to be adopted. Although I had the required experience in education management, I did not have Canadian experience. Since then, I worked in the education industry for about 13 years before I realized my dream of starting Peel College.
I had worked with street children on UNICEF projects. One of these projects aimed to get street children and child labourers off the streets and into school by explaining the importance of education to the children and their parents. Another project was directed towards young girls being forced into prostitution due to poverty and destitution. The project educated the girls as well as the parents by making them aware about not only the risks of exposing girls at a young age to physical and sexual abuse but also the moral decrepitude behind such actions. The aim was to explain to parents and girls the importance of empowering the girls, and the importance and benefits of education to society in general and their families.
Quality Education is the key to women’s empowerment. Slowly with the increase in literacy level and awareness, society has started giving importance to education.
Peel College of Professional Studies has been operating for seven years, owned by two women. When we decided to start the business, challenges were on our doorstep. With great strength, patience, and balance of mind we proceeded. I feel proud today that today with all odds. We are successful in imparting education and training to the community and supporting them in jobs by having a comfortable life in this beautiful land -Canada.
My vision, aspirations don't stop here, I see the big picture of Peel College in terms of expansion, having more campuses and serving more and more years to the community.
As a leader and as an entrepreneur, I can say what is required is a vision, zest, and the ability to accept challenges. Canada is a beautiful country with lots of opportunities for new immigrants. In addition to immigrants’ valuable credentials, the Canadian experience or exposure to the Canadian way of doing things is highly emphasized. This is where I would say Peel College of Professional Studies makes a tremendous impact on the lives of new immigrants.
About Chitralekha Potnis
President at Peel College of Professional Studies, Ontario, Canada
Chitralekha has a. B Tech from Nagpur University, India in Electronics Engineering. She has Post Graduate Diplomas in Digital Electronics & Microprocessors and Industrial Management.
She has almost thirty-five years of professional experience in the industry, academics, education management, and management.
She has published 52 technical papers nationally and internationally and has been on various advisory committees of International Conferences on Engineering Education.
She has worked with street children on UNICEF projects. One of these projects aimed to get street children and child labourers off the streets and into school by explaining the importance of education to the children and their parents. Another project was directed towards young girls being forced into prostitution due to poverty and destitution. The project educated the girls as well as the parents by making them aware of not only the risks of exposing girls at a young age to physical and sexual abuse but also the moral decrepitude behind such actions.
The aim was to explain to parents and girls the importance of empowering the girls, and the importance and benefits of education to society in general and their families.
She was one out of the few persons specially trained by the Department of Science and Technology (Government of India) to be women entrepreneurs.
She has worked as an Executive Committee member of Marathi Bhashik Mandal, Toronto, which is a social organization of people speaking one of the Indian languages who live in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
She has been recognized by Dipika Damerla MPP (Member of Provincial Parliament on behalf of Government Ontario) for her hard work and dedication in the field of Education in September 2018.
She was awarded a Woman Hero award in the field of Education at the 6th Annual “Celebrating Womanhood 2018 Gala” by the Indo-Canadian Arts & Culture Initiative (ICACI).
She was named one of the 50 influential women in the GTA by Nikisar Inc. and Women of the Earth Empowerment (WEE) in 2018.
She has been recognized by Harinder Malhi MPP, Member of Provincial Parliament (Brampton Springdale) and Minister of the Status of Women, as Women Hero for her contribution in the field of Education in March 2018.
She is also on the Board of Directors of Indo-Canadian Arts & Culture Initiative (ICACI).
She has been recognized by Sonia Sidhu MP, Member of Parliament (Brampton South), House of Commons, Canada in April 2019 for her contribution and service to the community.
She has conferred the Education Excellence Award at the World Marketing Summit & Kotler Awards Canada in November 2019.
She has been recognized by Kamal Khera MP, Member of Parliament (Brampton West), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development Government of Canada in August 2020 for her cultural contribution to the Community during Covid-19.
She has been recognized by Natalia Kusendova MPP, Member of Provincial Parliament (Mississauga Ontario Canada), in September 2020 for her contributions to the growth and development of Mississauga.
She has been recognized and appreciated by the World Book of Records, United Kingdom (Star2020) for spreading a spirit of positivity and hope during these testing times of the Corona pandemic.
She has been recognized and presented Sanmaanpatra by Padmagandha Pratishtan Nagpur, India, for encouraging youth by sharing life experiences in October 2020.
She is also Vice President of WICCI- Central Canada India Business Council (Women’s Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry).
She was awarded Global Pride “Women Entrepreneur & Excellence Award 2020" on 31 December 2020 by Witty Gossip (news/media company).
She is declared as an International Brand Ambassador by Vidarbha’s Pride Book of Records (a region of Maharashtra) which is a Digital Book of Human Achievements and awarded Social Reformer Award 2021.
She is also on the Advisory Board of Indo Canada Education Council
She is honored with the Leading Lady appreciation and recognition from the Leading Lady Foundation LLF India.
She was awarded the International Women’s Inspirational Award 2021, on the occasion of Mother’s Day for excellent work in the field of Education by Women World Records.
She is also on the Advisory Board of Green Heaven Institute of Management and Research approved by AICTE New Delhi and affiliated with Nagpur University.
She has been recognized and appreciated by the World Book of Records London United Kingdom (Certificate of Commitment 2021) for pledging to serve society with honesty and sincerity for reducing human suffering during COVID -19.
She was awarded International Women’s Achiever Award 2021, on the occasion of International Women’s Day for Excellent work in the field of Education by Women World Records.
She was honored and received appreciation from Sustainable Development Goals - Global Celebration by Vishwa Humanity United International Royal Council August 15,2021 along with the Galaxy of Excellencies, Distinguished Guests & Speakers from various countries who made the SDG Global Festival a Grand Success.
She was awarded International Educator of the year 2021from Namaste India on Teachers Day Set 5, 2021
She was awarded Swami Vivekananda Changemaker Award 2021 at the Education Commendation Ceremony for a contribution towards Nation Development by MENTORx.
She has been appointed as International Academic Council Board Member – Canada of International Institute of Influencers. https://iiilearnings.com/index.php/iafb international- academic-fraternity-board
She has been honored by the “Global Educators & Researchers Empowerment Award 2021" as a phenomenal woman at the Virtual Award Ceremony powered by Global Peace and Sustainable Development Summit 2021, Global Pride Excellence Awards December 2021.
She was honored and received appreciation from Kingdom of Atlantis -Ministry of Sustainable Development Goals – Feb 2022.
She was honored and received appreciation as -The Unstoppable Star Honour from Chilparco International -March 7,2022.
She was awarded International Women Icon Award 2022, on International Women’s Day for Excellent work in the field of Education by Women World Records.
She was awarded Bharat Mata Abhinandan Samman 2022 for exemplary social service by Bharat Mata Abhinandan Sangathan .
She was awarded Global Women Icon Award -2022 by The Life Foundation -International Women’s Day for remarkable service and contribution in Education.
She was awarded Excellence in Education- during International Women’s Day celebration by Dancing Damsels and City of Toronto Canada-March 2022.
She was awarded certificate of appreciation - Excellence in Education-by Doly Begum (MPP)-Member od Provincial Parliament -Scarborough West Toronto during International Women’s Day celebration -March 2022.
She was awarded certificate of appreciation - -by Salam Zahid (MP) Member of Parliament Scarborough Centre - for community contribution through Education during International Women’s Day celebration -March 2022.
She awarded Jijau Maasaheb International Proud Womania Award 2022 presented by Namaste India Group in association with Rashtriya Kshetriya Jan Sansad- RKJS-INDIA March 2022.
She has been recognized by Amarjeet Sandhu MPP, Member of Provincial Parliament (Brampton West), Government of Ontario Canada March 2022 for her cultural contribution to the Community-Annual Global Women Gala 2022 organized by Indo-Canada Arts and Cultural Initiative.
She has been recognized by Bonnie Crombie Mayor of City of Mississauga Ontario Canada March 2022 for her cultural contribution to the Community- Annual Global Women Gala by Indo Canadian Association.
She was awarded International Women Achievers award -Academia - during IWAA ceremony on June 25,2022 Toronto.
She has given many interviews on TV specifically on Women's Empowerment, Women's Education, and the significance of Education in general for the upliftment of society.
She is currently the President and Co-Owner of Peel College of Professional Studies, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, a college that is owned and operated by women.
Peel College was founded with the principles of providing quality education that can help learners to grow professionally in their chosen career path. The college is a licensed Private Career College (PCC) running courses approved by the Ministry of Advanced Skills and Education Development (MAESD) and is listed on the Service Canada website.