Some people go a little extra mile to fulfill their dreams. Shaheena Attarwala’s story is one such tale that is nothing but inspiring!
From not being able to afford a computer to getting a job at the world’s leading tech company, Microsoft, Shaheena spoke about her journey in a Twitter thread that’s going viral.
Meet Shaheena Attarwala is now a Product Design Manager at Microsoft, where she heads research & design and for Emerging Economies. The Netflix series Bad Boy Billionaires: India has taken back Shaheena to her old life in Mumbai slums.
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.— Shaheena Attarwala شاہینہ (@RuthlessUx) January 26, 2022
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
Narrating her story through a Twitter thread, Shaheena explains how she moved out of the slums in 2015.
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, hard work & picking battles that matter.
She lived in the Darga Galli slum close to Bandra railway station. Her father was a hawker of essential oils who moved from Uttar Pradesh to Mumbai.
Talking about what fueled her to work hard and not accept the life she has, Shaheena said:
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.
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— Shaheena Attarwala شاہینہ (@RuthlessUx) January 26, 2022
She thought computers gave people opportunities, so she convinced her father to enroll her in a local computer class. Shaheena skipped lunch to scrape together the cash she needed to buy a computer.
Speaking to NDTV about her career she said, “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.”
Today, after years of hard work, Shaheena and her family have moved to an apartment surrounded by greenery and sunlight.
She has a message for young girls who are in the same position she once was:
Do whatever it takes to acquire education, skills, and careers, this is what’s going to be a huge game-changer for young girls.
People are lauding Shaheena’s story and wishing her the best in life ahead.
Hats off to you. May you continue to inspire.— Louvina Andrade (@LouvinaA) January 26, 2022
Inspiring. All the best for great journey ahead. 🙏— Dax Patel 🇮🇳 (@thedaxpatel) January 26, 2022
More power to you Shaheena! 💪🏼 👍🏼— Akash Bhadange 👋🏼 (@designerdada) January 26, 2022
Very wholesome Shaheena. So happy to read this. 😄— Rajat Dutta (@RajatDutta13) January 26, 2022
You’ve had quite the journey!— Gaurav Sabnis 🇮🇳🇺🇸 (@gauravsabnis) January 26, 2022
Thank you for this thread Shaheena. I don’t know you but this comes out from my heart – I am proud of you.— Ashwin M (@AshwinKMoorthy) January 26, 2022
More power to you Shaheena Attarwala!