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Last week we spoke about the importance of the role that women are playing in the community and beyond. Well, this week we feature one such person.
Safiya Virji, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend to many and a multi-faceted professional. It doesn’t come much better than this.
Married to a Videographer and a mother to three beautiful children aged 9, 7 and 2, Safiya seems to live life to the fullest.
She describes their eldest son as a typical 9-year-old and full of energy. She feels that he is the one that needs a lot of attention to ensure that he is able to release energy whilst going through the process of adjusting to the current situation. She reckons he has been amazing and adaptive to the current scenario. Her 7-year-old daughter is the one they feel has been a rock and is extremely supportive and patient whilst showing her maturity. Her personality has come to the fore and really appreciates her for this. Their 2-year-old son, whilst being young, is quite the character as they feel he completes the family. His simplicity and innocence are what they look forward to after a grueling day at work.
Interestingly she holds not one, not two but three roles. She is a General Practitioner (Doctor), an Educationalist whereby she is the Program Director for Trainee GP’s and sits on the NHS Management Team for Luton and Dunstable.
You probably ask where does she find the time to do all of this and more importantly how does she juggle all this. Well, it does not end there as she continues to give to the community in her own way by providing invaluable support to the Hujjat Burial Community in terms of advice as well as guidance on safety.
There is one more role that she fulfils that is the most pleasing to her. She volunteers and works with World Without Barriers whereby she travels to those parts of the world whereby she can make a difference to lives who under normal circumstances can hardly afford a square meal, let alone see a doctor. This, she says, she does to rejuvenate her and imbibe her with the strength to continue doing what she does.
How does someone like this keep going? Well, she gives a lot of credit to her husband who is extremely supportive. She rapidly points out that she tries her best to reciprocate by being there for him to support his career as well as it is, after all, a partnership. She also gives tremendous credit to her parents for raising her with values that were to an extent untypical of the times. She hopes that with what little success she has managed to achieve, she has made them proud of her achievements whilst living within the bounds of their values system.
When asked about the positive side of the current scenario, her answer was profound. The current pandemic has given the world time – time to reflect, time to reach out to those who have not been in touch for a while and an appreciation for what we have. Whilst it has been hard on her to see people around her unwell and some that succumb to the disease, for her one of the most challenging aspects has been her inability to meet her parents, she was quite categoric in that she makes this sacrifice willingly as she knows it is the right thing to do.
On inquiring about what she does to switch off, she interestingly said, I sit on my phone and make sure I am keeping in touch with as many people as possible by just remembering them, their birthdays and just being there for them. Phew! A lot of us look for a day with more than 24 hours. She seems to have found a way to maximize the day and stretch it even further.
She parted with these words – “as the UK and the world eases their restrictions, be mindful that every choice one makes has an impact. Live life on purpose. “
I gape at people who look up to the Marvel Superheroes on screen when they walk amongst us. How many more Safiya’s are out there?
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This award is given by the highest research body (NIMR) in Tanzania under the auspices of Ministry of Health Community Welfare, Gender, Elderly and Children