'A woman with a spine of steel'-That is how Chaya Srivatsa has been described by a journalist. Chaya grew up in a small town-Mysore but her experiences have been larger than life. It started with her being chosen at the age of five to be one of four private companions to Princess Gayatri Devi(Late),daughter of late Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar of erstwhile Mysore State. Privy to an exclusive education in the Mysore Palace, Chaya graduated in English Literature from the Mysore Maharani's college where she was active in NCC, Debating, Acting and Dancing. She moved to Mumbai as the wife of Cdr S G Srivatsa (Late), an Electrical engineer in the Indian Navy.
A mother of two sons, Chaya continued her education in Mumbai University for her Masters Degree in English Literature and subsequently acquired a Degree in Law at the age of 46. Chaya's career has been a roller coaster ride for her, beginning with her stint as Lecturer in English in Mumbai for a period of ten years, combining it with part time assignments as Copy writer in an ad Agency…Emcee…freelance journalist…Modeling…TV & radio …Corporate Training and Moderator of Focus groups . A prolific writer, Chaya has authored several motivational books which she publishes and markets under the banner of Shabdanjali Communication Services- a training consultancy outfit she set up 10 years ago.
Chaya moved to corporate arena as publicity and sales promotion manager in Westerwork engineers , Eureka Forbes and part- time advertising consultant in Taj Group of Hotels .Her husband's transfer took her to Bangalore where she launched Bangalore's first city magazine Blossom City. Handing over the baton to her journalist son, Chaya moved to HMT as Deputy General Manager and Chief of PR.This was the turning point in her life.
After four years of a professionally satisfying and fulfilling tenure in HMT, Chaya fell victim to corporate politics and was dismissed on false and frivolous charges by a vindictive and vicious management .Undeterred by the blow to her image and glorious career, Chaya set up an NGO- Guild of Women Achievers (GOWA) to be a Mentoring group for urban, educated women.
GOWA has grown to become a global network of women in diverse fields from 7 countries.Chaya is now a Corporate Life coach. She has moved into a spiritual lifestyle and brings to her training programmes a value added approach.
In her personal life, Chaya believes in walking her talk. She combined her hectic professional and social life with her role as home maker, wife and mother with dedication and commitment. After 40 glorious years of married life, Chaya lost her husband Srivatsa to Brain cancer in 2005.Chaya has two sons-
This is not an attempt at a biography of my father but more a narration of how he played his role as a parent. It is not a chronological narrative but sharing of incidents and anecdotes that shaped my personality.The first person to empower a girl is the father as he holds the reins of the family. He lays down the rules depending on his attitude to the girl child. While the mother caters to creature comforts, father shapes their life and in most cases, takes decisions ranging from what to eat…what to wear… what to study…where to work and who to marry. While father did involve himself with these, he made sure he gave me a chance to express my own wishes. He was a guide and mentor and not a dictator. For a girl growing up in the 50s,it was indeed a boon.
Chaya lives in the Arsha Vidya Kendra in Mysore.The institution houses 40 underprivileged rural girls (6-12 years) under its AIM for SEVA project. The organization is headed by Pujya Dayananda Swamiji of Arsha Vidya Peeta, a Vedanta teaching institution.
Chaya is available to conduct life management courses for corporate executives. Her programme Getting to know is a self search Experiential module that helps participants get practical guidelines to mindful living. Peppered with humour and case studies drawn from personal experiences, Chaya holds her audience spell bound with her wit and simple communication style. You can contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org