Live With Intention

My humanity is bound up in yours,
for we can only be human together.
Desmond Tutu

There is no greater reflection of empowerment than service in your local and global community. Seema’s priorities are evidence of her deep beliefs in service. Her schedule is tireless. Her intentions are actualized in the far-reaching and impactful ways she cares for people. Not only has she championed consumer education on energy and water conservation and performed community outreach of same, but she also devoted her attention to leading and organizing groups for political outreach, health and safety for Asian American citizens, protection of women and volunteerism on a large scale.

Seema founded the Rotary Club of Plainsboro and extended the long admired tradition of rotary services including providing food through soup kitchens and toys for tots. She led the club to new heights of fundraising for needed surgeries in several areas including—The Helen Keller Institute for the Deaf and Blind and the Jaipur Foundation for Limb Replacement.

When the Tsunami hit in 2005 creating a global introduction to the devastation that occurred in this type of disaster, Seema led the initiative to raise funds, visit the Tsunami devastated areas, and rebuild schools in India that were destroyed. She was steadfast in this purpose on personal and business travels to the country. She dedicated 3 days touring the affected areas only to see the mountains of devastation. Tapping her Chamber of Commerce relationships and a partnership with the United Way of Central Jersey, a multi-year initiative was launched, and continues, to reconstruct schools in India that were destroyed. Headlines of this area’s suffering have disappeared but the vigilance of rebuilding these lives with people like Seema and her network have never stopped. Seema does not forget nor does she allow others to forget.

Approached by a public servant with compassion for the plight of many Asian and Arab women who suffered domestic violence, Seema initially established the Asian Women’s Safety Net (AWSN) in 2006 as a project under the New Jersey Coalition of Battered Women. Seema’s role in the formation of the Asian Women’s Safety Net was pivotal in galvanizing an organization whose purpose is to break taboos and tackle the “guilty secret” of domestic violence for Asian and Arab women. No longer will the AWSN allow fear and communication barriers to block access to the state resources and services.

Today, the Asian Women’s Safety Net (AWSN) has become its own independent non-profit organization. The AWSN continues its purpose with passion under Seema’s leadership. It bridges the gap of communication with Asian Indian women who are battered and for some living with what is described as the “silent killer” of the spirit, mind, and sometimes, the physical being. A group of dedicated volunteers are trained to interface with Asian Indian battered women and reduce the fear of coming forward to use the state system of services. The volunteer training includes best practices on using their cultural language and familiarity to give Asian women a comfort level to save and protect their lives. The common ground for direct communication is a core component of the AWSN with valuable alliances in the justice system, prosecutor’s office, existing mainstream women’s groups and State offices.

Seema’s belief in the importance of the role as volunteer is embodied in her continuous service on the Advisory Board of the NJ Governor’s Office of Volunteerism. Established under the leadership of Governor Corzine, citizens are actively given a support resource in this executive initiative established by the governor.