STATE OF THE HEART

L'Officiel India|January 2020

STATE OF THE HEART
New York City based philanthropist Meera Gandhi has devoted much of her energy towards the global development of philanthropy. Her deeds are a direct reflection of the impact she wants to leave on the world.
CHITMAN KANWAR AHUJA

Meera is the founder of the Giving Back Foundation, a charitable organization she started with the intent of using her family’s wealth to give back to those who need it the most. Meera firmly believes, “To love others we must love ourselves,” and takes action towards self-care in her everyday life and choices, from what she eats, to whom she surrounds herself with. Her foundation is also an act of self-love, and a way of doing something for the world. “As the joy of giving is incomparable. It’s an on-going process,” she says. Edited excerpts...

What was your childhood like? Did you have such big goals right from the start?

I grew up in Mumbai with my loving family. My father is Indian and mother is Irish. I have a sister and a brother. I was not and am not particularly ambitious. But, whatever I do in every moment, I try to do it to the very best of my ability.

I met Mother Teresa at an early age of 16, while I was volunteering at Asha Daan in Mumbai, every Saturday for the last two years of high school. It gave me perspective on how much joy one can gain from helping others. The experience taught me that I would always want to give back in some shape or form, in my own future. Mother Teresa was always joyful and that image has stayed with me in my mind. Today, that idea has become my mission and has grown into what we call as The Giving Back Foundation.

How do you balance it all—your children, charity work, and also having your own television show?

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January 2020