MEET RESHMA THAKKAR
RESHMA'S INSPIRATION BEHIND MADE WITH A PURPOSE
Reshma Thakkar was raised in Southwest Michigan, but keeps the rich spirit of her Indian homeland close to her heart. Its people, pop culture, cuisine, dedication to family and deep-seated traditions have helped to shape her personality and color the way she lives, despite being half a world away. Her love for India also made her realize how many of its people suffered the negative impacts of poverty and outdated cultural practices such as the caste system. From an early age, she determined that service to others would become an important part of who she was and how she chose to live her life.
To make a difference in the lives of others, Reshma began sponsoring two young girls in the Indian town of Vrindivan. However, when she learned that a relative of one of them was being forced into marriage at age 14, she decided that something had to be done to end the cycle of poverty which forced families to make such decisions. At the time, Reshma’s parents were preparing for a move, and her mother mentioned being unsure of what to do with all of her old saris. Reshma recalled that the school attended by the girls she sponsored housed a center where women could learn sewing skills which would allow them to earn money to help support their families. On her next visit, Reshma decided to take along the garments to be used as material for bags, pouches, and other l items to be sold in the US. The proceeds would be used to provide the women who created them with an above-average wage, and to purchase equipment and supplies for the program. And so…with a dream and a bundle of saris, Made with Purpose was born. By helping women to become self-reliant, Reshma believes it is possible to end the cycle of poverty that keeps girls out of school, places them at the mercy of the dowry and caste systems, and forces them into childhood marriage.
India’s women are her greatest asset. For this reason, Reshma's mission to empower women and educate girls is an incredibly important one. By creating an environment where both mothers and daughters feel safe and secure, Made With a Purpose takes the first steps in helping families envision a brighter future. With ongoing support it is possible to educate girls, empower women, and eliminate child marriage…once and for all.
Reshma obtained a degree in Health Administration from Indiana University. Her natural ability and motivation to succeed has evolved into a high-powered career as an IT consultant in the healthcare field. As her job requires extensive travel, experiencing new and unfamiliar places has developed into one of her great loves. To-date, she has visited over 40 foreign countries, and pursues new adventures as often as possible.
Success came with a hefty price, however. In 2010, the years of long hours, work-related stress, and the pressure to stay at the top of her game eventually pushed Reshma into a medical and emotional crisis from which there seemed to be no escape. Finally, she decided her life depended on her willingness to make a change. Physical and emotional well-being became her number one priority and she discovered a new passion for yoga and its many benefits. Reshma found such a sense of renewal in yoga that she decided to become a yoga teacher so that she could help others do the same. To combine yoga with her other great loves-travel and service, she has also founded “Poses with a Purpose,” an organization which utilizes all three to help others discover deeper meaning in their lives by enriching the lives of others.