San Leandro, Calif. — Last year, Indian American media professional and former CNN anchor Patti Tripathi released the first-ever Saris to Suits calendar, which featured prominent South Asian women role models. Now, the Saris to Suits calendar is back for 2015, with a whole new group of inspirational women.
Among them are former Miss America Nina Davuluri; former senior vice president of Cvent Manjula Aggarwal, an award-winning entrepreneur and animal rights activist; former Miss New Jersey Emily Shah; Moni Basu, a CNN writer who was left as a newborn at an orphanage in Kolkata; Amrita Saigal, who won the Harvard Business School's 2014 social enterprise award for developing sanitary pads with banana leaves; Kulsoom Abdullah, a Pakistani American computer engineer who is an Olympian weightlifter; and Hina W. Chaudhry, M.D., a Pakistani American award-winning cardiologist and scientist.
Tripathi is heartened by the ways women are slowly but surely gaining empowerment in India. “I was very pleased that Prime Minister Modi, in his first Independence Day speech, implored upon society and parents to keep India's sons in check for the shame they have brought to my birth country, and especially many heinous crimes that are being committed in my birth state of Uttar Pradesh,” she said.
Since last year, Tripathi has incorporated Saris to Suits as a nonprofit; the organization has also attained tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status. “We have established a board, but we are looking for other members who may take Saris to Suits to another level,” she told India-West in an e-mail. “We plan to take a delegation to India in April to do volunteer work with different NGOs working with women and children. I am invited to speak there at the same time.”
Funds raised from the sale of the calendar will benefit two Boys and Girls Clubs initiatives — SMART Girls and SMART Moves — as well as Apna Ghar, a domestic violence program in Chicago.
The 16-month, 36-page glossy calendar also includes bios, favorite empowerment quotes and important dates of women in history. A digital version is available for immediate download; while a printed physical version went on sale Oct. 17. Visit saristosuits.org for more information about all the women featured, or to purchase a calendar.