My Story: He Told Me Architecture Was Of No Use To Me; Today I Have Seven Years Of Experience In The Field

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The Logical Indian Crew

My Story: 'He Told Me Architecture Was Of No Use To Me; Today I Have Seven Years Of Experience In The Field'

Neha Chopra is a self-made architect who took all challenges in her stride and never gave up on her dream. She added another feather to her cap after designing the President's house.

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I come from a small town in Uttar Pradesh and so up to a certain point never faced any major challenges in life. My first exposure to the vast, wild world was when I moved to Jaipur for further studies after scoring well in National Aptitude Test for Architecture. For most people, a new city is an exciting adventure and a novel experience. No doubt, I was excited about it, but I was scared too. Apart from that, my college location was more known for its increasing cases of crimes against women. My mother stood solid as a rock for me and convinced my family to let me pursue my dreams. With passion in my heart and courage in the soul, I set out on a journey that marked the beginning of a new life for me. I had a job in Delhi, and my classes were scheduled for the weekends, for which I had to travel back and forth to Delhi from Jaipur every weekend.

Barely Survived On Juices And Raita

My days began early at 5.30 am. I dedicatedly went for morning walks every day and never missed a day at work or even a single lecture in college. Back at the hostel, I had to do my cooking, cleaning, washing every day, then report to work on time and make sure to follow through with my studies, too. Most days, I survived barely on juices and raita for both were the easiest and quickest to prepare as the race was mainly against time. Thus, I spent five difficult, tiring but endearing years travelling to Jaipur for college and Delhi for work and Agra to see parents when I got the time. However, architecture did not happen to me by itself.

Once, I was at a friend's place trying to figure out what to do next with life. There was a prospectus lying on the table, and when I asked his father what was it about, he brushed me off, saying that it was an architecture prospectus and had nothing to do with me. He said, "It's not something girls do. He said that it would help if you did B.Ed as it is in demand. It is a respectable job, and it will get me good money". He reasoned, saying that in a few years, I would be married off and getting a teaching job later would secure my children's future also.

I Walk With More Than Seven Years Of Professional Experience

Today, I have more than seven years of professional experience and five million square feet worth of design integrations tucked beneath my belt. The President's House (Rashtrapati Bhawan, Delhi) is the latest feather in our cap apart from high-end brands Like KidZania India (Co-Owned by Shahrukh Khan), LSC Infrastructure LTD, Radico Khaitan Pvt Ltd, A-Class Marble, The Hindustan Advertising, GlamOGlitz, Indian Army Canteen and many more. Ever since I stepped into this field, I knew I had to use my skills to make a difference for the people and our country. Even today, I carry dreams of designing monuments that will stand tall and proud and talk of India's cultures and all its long-forgotten merits.

Women are a power of substance; this is what I believe. Seventy-six per cent of our company's creative professionals are women. It's been a roller-coaster ride between women who drive, women can't do architecture, women can't list goes on.. & a woman has done it. "Women are making waves in the male-dominated profession of architecture" isn't a sexist comment anymore but a reality.

If you too have an inspiring story to tell the world, send us your story at mystory@thelogicalindian.com


Contributors Suggest Correction
Writer : Ratika Rana
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Editor : Madhusree Goswami
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Creatives : Ratika Rana

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