"If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a family (nation)."
The above statement is a fundamental truth of life often believed as a lie by the one's who underestimate the power of female empowerment. When a girl is educated she goes on to educate her entire family, bring about discipline and values and make her children confident individuals. Unfortunately not many are privileged to get their rights. But some find their way out anyways.
A great example would be of Mrs. Zubeida Yacoob Khandwani who graduated from G.J Advani Law College with an LLB degree before going on to complete her M.A in Islamic Studies and B.Ed. She is currently pursuing her PHD in Sufism.
In a time when it wasn't common for girls to study, she dedicatedly completed her schooling following her interest in studies, Fondly remembering how her parents (S Darvesh) wanted their daughters to be educated and how they supported Girl child education around 60 years back when it was a taboo. She wanted to be a Doctor, but her Mother's untimely death changed the situation.
Great luck or destiny got her married into a household with similar perception. Her In - Laws and husband were quite supportive of her pursuing higher education. The sense of gratitude was quite noticeable in her voice when she was talking about her in - laws helping her with the children or the household work.
She's quite passionate about her Religion and looks out for ways to spread the knowledge in the best manner possible. She started writing as a Honourary writer in a magazine "Divine Path" 25 years ago. She mostly writes on "Ikhlaq", has quiz and crossword puzzles on Islamic Knowledge. She still writes for several magazines of Memon Community and even conducts classes in Mahim for Quran translation and Stitching. She writes on topics in general and then refer it from the Islamic Perception.
She recounts, that it wasn't easy going on with professional life while managing the personal one. Life may be easy with supporting Family members but studying after marriage comes with its responsibilities. Prioritizing family and work needs extreme hardwork and a strong will.
All her Children and Grandchildren are well educated and settled in their lifes. Following her footsteps her Daughter in law Mrs. Nabila Suhail Khandwani too persued her higher education after marriage while her son Mr. Suhail Y Khandwani received his Doctorate.
She believes that "Having a Positive mindset is the key to Achievement". Referring to this she said that her Parents and In laws had a positive mindset for education and were quite progressive in their thoughts for their generation.
Currently She is the Trustee of Zuleikhabai Darvesh & Suhail Khandwani Educational Trust and CBSC Al-Barkaat Malik Muhammed Islam English School which has over 3000 students.
She is also a member of different associations like the Makhdumiya High School, The Halai
Memon Khandwani Jamat, Ladies Wing, Mumbai, the Indo-Arab Society, World Memon
Organisation and Bombay Arts & Sports.
She feels that maintaining a balance between religious life and worldly life is very important as they are equally essential.
"About a Lady who's had many Important positions in life and still has, yet is so Humble and kind in her approach and continues to be an Inspirational example for young girls in the Memon Community. An exceptional Lady with sheer Elegance and kindness who not only learnt many things in life herself but also imbibed knowledge to enormous people and is continuing to do so till date."