Tough times don’t last. Tough people do! This inspiring quote captures the life essence of our real hero – Shaheena Attarwala. From living in slums, to struggling to buy a computer, to working at one of the world’s leading tech companies, Shaheena’s story is the most inspiring thing you will read today.
Shaheena Attarwala, is a Product Design Manager at Microsoft. Recently, she took to Twitter to share how she grew up in the slums; and turned around her life. She now lives in a spacious apartment in Mumbai.
Recently, the Microsoft employee spotted her old home in a Netflix Series and took to the Twitter to talk about her past life.
Shaheena Attarwala wrote on Twitter, “The Netflix series ‘Bad Boy Billionaires: India” captures a birds-eye view of the slum in Bombay I grew up before moving out alone in 2015 to build my life. One of the homes you see in the photos is ours,”
The @netflix series “Bad Boy Billionaires – India” Captures a birds-eye view of the slum in Bombay I grew up before moving out alone in 2015 to build my life. One of the homes you see in the photos is ours. You also see better public toilets which were not like this before. pic.twitter.com/fODoTEolvS
In conversation with NDTV, Ms Attarwala shared that she lived in the Darga Galli slum close to Bandra railway station. Speaking about her father, Shaheena mentioned how he was a hawker of essential oils who moved from Uttar Pradesh to Mumbai.
“Life in the slum was hard and exposed me to severest living conditions, gender bias, and sexual harassment but it also fueled my curiosity to learn and to design a different life for myself….By the age of 15, I had observed many women around me were helpless, dependent, abused, and going through life without having the freedom to make their own choices or to be who they wanted to be. I did not want to accept the default fate that awaited me,” she told NDTV.
When she saw a computer for the first time, she automatically gravitated towards it.
“I believed that computers could be a great leveller, that anyone who was sitting in front of it would have opportunities,” she said. She forced her father to borrow money so she could enrol in a local computer class. She skipped lunches and started walking back home to collect money to buy her own computer.
“I quit programming and chose to pursue a career in design because the design made me believe that possibilities exist and things can change and technology is that tool to the change,” said Ms Attarwala.
In 2021 my family moved to an apartment where we can see the sky from home, good sunlight & ventilation. Surrounded by birds & Greenery. From my father being a hawker & sleeping on roads to having a life, we could barely dream of. Luck, Hardwork & picking battles that matter😌 pic.twitter.com/J2Ws2i4ffA
And, finally after working hard for years, she and her family moved to an apartment.
“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 wrote on Twitter.
Today, she wants every young girl to remember that – “Do whatever it takes to acquire education, skills, and careers, this is what’s going to be a huge game-changer for young girls.”
While thanking her father for his hardwork, Ms Attarwala mentioned, “He has no formal education, but his art of perfumes changed everything. After decades of living in the slums, his patience and sacrifice have helped us elevate to a better life. We focused on savings, living below our means and sacrificing where necessary.”
Life in the slum was hard, it exposed me to severest living conditions, gender bias, & sexual harassment but it also fueled my curiosity to learn & to design a different life for myself. pic.twitter.com/RjLf4TfJzl