In the second edition of ‘Five Minutes With’ we talk to Dr. Saradha Narayanan, Programme Coordinator 1, SI Convention Committee 2019.
Name: Dr. Saradha Narayanan
SI Club: SI Club of Damansara, Malaysia
Position in Committee: Programme Coordinator 1 SI Convention 2019
Q: When did you join the Soroptimist International?
“I joined SI Damansara in January 2008, so I have been a Soroptimist for the past 10 years. I am Past-President 2010-2012, and President of SIROM (SI Region of Malaysia ) 2017- 2019”.
Q: Can you tell us what it means to be a Soroptimist for you?
“The best thing about being a Soroptimist is that I truly believe that this organisation has given me a platform to make a difference where it matters in the lives of underprivileged women and girls. I have learnt that it is not always about giving money but sometimes it is just listening to their problems, understanding what their needs are and being a voice for the voiceless and down-trodden. My club has been very active in promoting Education as the single most important tool to lift someone out of the cycle of poverty. Nurturing and supporting young girls from primary school, through secondary school and watching them graduate with a diploma or university degree has been a very rewarding experience. As the President of SI Region of Malaysia I was also responsible for organising a public forum and movie screening on Human Trafficking in November 2017. This was a real eye-opener for me as SIROM was able to create awareness and advocate for the rights of young girls, migrant workers, refugees and other victims of trafficking”.
Q: Please can you share your professional background and a little about you?
“I am a Consultant Physician and Cardiologist and have spent more than 25 years working in both public and private hospitals. This professional training has allowed me to be calm and patient in times of stress or crisis and allowed me to handle many different problems equitably both on a professional and personal level.
I also enjoy reading and writing and am the author of a collection of short stories called “Snapshots”, a novel called “The Freedom of Choice” which was published in UK and a Cookbook. I have also written several articles for a medical tourism website in Kuala Lumpur. I enjoy travelling and visit the UK regularly to see my 2 children who live there. To relax, I usually read or watch a movie at home. Needless to say, some of my best friends are Soroptimists and we sometimes meet for coffee and a nice therapeutic ‘chat!'”
Q: What is the most exciting part about working on the Committee?
“As Programme Coordinator 1 on the Committee, I have been responsible for providing suggestions about the the topics to be covered under each Plenary Session as well as the proposed workshops. I have enjoyed reasearching and looking up various speaker portfolios to decide who would best suit an international convention with participants from all over the globe. I have also been very lucky to meet experts in various fields as well as other Soroptimists who have provided valuable advice on speakers and workshop presenters. Everyone in the committee has a role to play and teamwork has been really crucial at every step of the way. I think we have a really exciting Conference planned!”
Q: What are you looking forward to most about the Convention?
“The chance to network with and meet sister Soroptimists from all over the world. Also to meet and learn from eminent speakers from the UN and specialists in various fields who I think will motivate and inspire us all to really try and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The entertainment sub-committee has lined up some fun-filled activities for the Friendship and Gala night and I am really looking forward to enjoying this too”.
Early Bird Registration begins on 20 July 2018. For further information:
Interview with SI Convention Chair, Puan Sri Siew Yong Gnanalingam
Visit the SI Kuala Lumpur Convention Website HERE
Lead Image: L-R: Saradha Narayanan, Siew Yong Gnanalingam, Anusha Santhirasthipam, Pushpa Ratnam