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  • Writer's pictureReshma Jain

An epitome of empowerment: Namitha Vankawala

Presenting to you a woman of grit whose beauty is as captivating as her indomitable spirit. Hailing from Surat, Namitha Vankawala, renowned for her enchanting presence on the silver screen, seemed to have it all. Yet, beneath the glitz and glamour of the film industry, Namitha harbored a deep-rooted desire for change—a yearning to make a tangible difference in the world around her.

It was during one of the afternoons in 2016, when she received a call from former Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa's office asking her to attend the oath taking ceremony, that Namitha experienced a revelation. She realized that her platform as an actress granted her a voice—a voice that could resonate far beyond the confines of a movie set. With a newfound sense of purpose igniting her soul, Namitha made the audacious decision to step into the realm of politics.

Her journey into politics was met with skepticism and intrigue in equal measure. Undeterred, Namitha embarked on a relentless quest to educate herself about the intricacies of governance, tirelessly studying policies and engaging with experts from various fields. However, her dreams died with the death of 'Amma' in 2016.

Before we see what happened in the next few years, let me take you to a flashback.

With no family background in politics or acting, Namitha began her career as a contestant in beauty pageants and, at the age of 16, she was crowned Miss Surat in 1998. She went on to compete in the Miss India pageant in 2001, and was the third runner-up while Celina Jaitley took home the title of Miss India. She moved to Mumbai as a result of the attention she received from the competition, and she went on to do other TV ads after that. She decided to accept an offer to try out for a Telugu movie afterwards. She subsequently made her acting debut in Sreenu Vaitla's romantic coming-of-age film Sontham (2002) after getting chosen. After acting in numerous films in the South Indian industry, Namitha appeared on the Tamil reality television show, Bigg Boss hosted by Kamal Hasan in 2017.

On being asked how did she make it to this level, Namitha, said, "My parents always encouraged me to be financially independent. Even during my summer vacations, my parents used to tell me to pick up some work like a nursery teacher or a fitness teacher. They believed that the value of money is realized when we earn ourselves. Life's hustle had begun when I started working as a receptionist at a fitness center in the morning, a fitness instructor in the afternoon and a swimming coach in the evening." There has been no looking back since then. The list of movies in which she played lead roles is a very long one.

Namitha joined AIADMK on 24 April 2016 in the presence of party general secretary and Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa in Trichy. Recalling one of the incidents, Namitha shared, "When I wanted to pay my final rites at Amma's funeral, my car was not allowed in the VVIP entrance. But, I had decided to not go home until I see her for one last time. So, I went through the front gate crossing thousands of people. The situation was bad as I was mobbed. But it did not deter my wish to pay my last respects."

In 2019, Namitha along with actor Radha Ravi joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in the presence of party's national president J. P. Nadda in Chennai. In July 2020, after 8 months of joining the BJP, Namitha was appointed as one of the state executive member of the BJP in Tamil Nadu. She said, "My purpose is to bring a greater impact in the life of people. I wish to champion causes close to my heart including advocating for women's rights, education reform, etc."

Namitha believes in the power of manifestation and expressed that she is proud to be born in an era where sky is the limit for women. "It is high time that every woman realizes her dreams and aspirations. Every family should realize a woman's potential and provide her with support," she shared.

Though her journey from the silver screen to the political arena was fraught with challenges, Namitha's unwavering determination and commitment to service paved the way for a brighter future, both for herself and for the countless lives she touched along the way. And as she looked out upon the horizon, Namitha knew that her greatest role was yet to be written—a legacy of leadership, compassion, and a lasting change.

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1 Comment
May 25

This is really great. Reshma and Namitha both should become our future leaders

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