“I never dreamed about success, I worked for it” says Sheetal Sharma Vyas, State Vice President for BJP Youth, Himachal Pradesh. A graduate from the prestigious St. Bedes College, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, her passion and zeal to work for the society, especially for poor children and women motivated Sheetal to join politics after post graduation where she got involved in student politics and also contested elections for the post of General Secretary from ABVPAkhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad. She comes from a background where she had never seen student politics or any such atmosphere yet she moved with confidence and worked for her organisation diligently and today, she serves the society in her role as State Vice President for BJP Youth, Himachal Pradesh and a popular BJPBhartiya Janta Party activist. Sheetal is also a criminal lawyer practicing in the Hon’ble High Court of Himachal Pradesh. In her own words – “Success has always been pleasant and sweet. For the bitter and hampering ways it has, I have been proceeding with gumption and unbridled enthusiasm to change the world around me, make difference with my hard work and ideas, seek solutions that have never been sought for the betterment of society and fight evils against women and children.”
Early life, marriage and family
Being a child of a single mother due to early death of her father, Sheetal did not get guidance regarding planning future from her father but was left with only the advise of her mother who motivated her to take admission in H.P.Himachal Pradesh University in Law Department. But she wasn’t destined to become a lawyer yet. She instead did her post graduation in Political Science and got involved into student politics. In the meantime, Sheetal got
engaged to one of the known faces of H.P. University, the President of ABVP Dr. Nitin Vyas. “He was the one who supported me in every possible way and helped me to stand high in a very different atmosphere of politics” says Sheetal.
In 2007, a new phase of her life started as Sheetal was married happily in a joint family. “I found a different culture, but a very comfortable environment where I never felt like at unease. My mother-in-law, being a teacher herself, always motivated me to continue with my studies and I managed to complete my studies after marriage” Sheetal said, recounting her early days of married life. Meanwhile, Sheetal entered into motherhood and was blessed with a baby boy, Aashmann. She was at home for four years taking care of her son. “After my son grew up a bit, I was actively participating in political activities, social activities, child welfare activities and had to travel at times for political meetings where it became tough for me to cope up with my work and family. But a cooperating family made it easier” Sheetal said.
“Working mothers walk around with massive guilt that we are not spending enough time with our kids coupled with guilt that our work may be suffering from not having our undivided attention 24 hours a day. There is tons of pressure on me to be the right kind of mother who keeps all the details straight and our families organised. That’s my big challenge. I never miss any activity of my child and is always trying my best that he does not suffer because of my routine.”
Politics and desire to change the world
Sheetal is passionate about working for the society, especially poor children and women. She wants to be the voice of poor, needy and helpless. She says “To help the helpless you need power, knowledge along-with enthusiasm. This is what motivated me to join politics and profession as an advocate.” She has been working in various social activities raising voice against infringement of women rights and offences against women.
In an interview with The Essence team, Sheetal said “women play variety of significant roles in our society from their birth till the end of life. Even after playing all the roles
and doing all the jobs timely in efficient manner in the modern society, she is weak because men are still strongest gender of the society. Even after lots of awareness programmes, rules and regulations in the society by the government, her life is more complicated than a man. She has to take care of herself and family members as a daughter, grand-daughter, sister, daughter-in-law, wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother etc. By following such a big responsibility in the family, they are fully able to come out and do job for bright future of own self, family and the country. I have tried to motivate women around me and make them aware of their rights. I am also running a clothes bank for kids where I collect old clothes in good condition and give them to those who are needy. My friends and many other people have been supporting me in this.”
Zeal to work for the society and my organisation is the driving force behind me.
Sheetal noted that there is nothing in the world more unpredictable than politics. “Making a mid way from bad situations, I managed to make a place in the organisation and despite of all odds I managed to work in an altruistic way. I’ve worked on various posts in BJP Youth wing and at present I am the State Vice President for BJP Youth, Himachal Pradesh”, Sheetal said while emphasising that “being a women and that too in Indian society has remained a big challenge even today. And it becomes more challenging when you opt for the profession which is male dominated. I have opted for both politics and legal professions which are, to an extent, male dominated. Everyday I go through a different experience which is sometimes bitter and at times sweet. Having no background from legal profession or politics I have been struggling to make my own identity in both the fields.”
Sheetal attributes hard work and her self confidence as her biggest assets and fears failing to be a good parent the most. She loves to cook in her free time and thinks its really important to have a supportive husband, else chances of achieving success in life are diminished. She says “couples need to plan long term for their families and that gives them clear goals and direction. But that only works if the couple is working together as a team.” She goes on give this message to all women – “Fight for yourself, Fight for your rights, be successful but not at the cost of your dignity and self respect. If we want rights one must learn to respect rights of others.”