Natasha Poonawalla
Hello! India|April 2020
THE WORLD IS RIFE WITH DIFFERENT CRISES FROM CLIMATE CHANGE TO PANDEMICS LIKE THE COVID19 VIRUS. IN ALL THIS, THE POONAWALLAS WITH THE FAMILY-RUN VILLOO POONAWALLA FOUNDATION, ARE CONSTANTLY WORKING TOWARDS UPLIFTING PEOPLE AND SAVING LIVES WITH EVER NEW VACCINES. THEY ALSO ADDRESS THE EMPOWERING OF THE GIRL CHILD, SANITATION GOALS, POTABLE WATER ACCESS, AND MANY OTHER GOALS. HELLO! GETS AN UPDATE FROM AN INFLUENCER WITH A HEART OF GOLD
SANGEETA WADHWANI

Natasha, tell us, is the Poonawalla goal this year to find a vaccine for the deadly coronavirus?

“We are working relentlessly with our teams here at Serum and with international partners to expedite the timelines for the vaccine launch. Serum has already started its work towards finding a vaccine for the deadly COVID-19 virus. We have already made strides in the pre-clinical test phase and hopefully will progress towards the next phase at the earliest. We have partnerships with multiple organisations in the US; one example is Codagenix based out of New Jersey. We hope to enter into human trials for safety tests in six months.

“Ensuring welfare for the society by giving back to them at every aspect has been the long-standing raison d’être of our family. Our endeavors, from Serum’s proactive undertaking of discovering vaccines for life-threatening diseases to the philanthropic initiatives of our foundation – we have been diligently focused towards building a sustainable and secure environment for our generation and the next.”

We also see how generously you have provided immunity advice on your insta account… as a powerful influencer, how do you see your role?

“The world today is unfolding in an incalculable manner, which is fascinating but also there’s certainly a fear of the unknown. Everyday we are being introduced to new information, stories, innovations and at the same time too many opinions from not too many experts. Infodemic is the new epidemic, that makes people at power with a certain position be more accountable to bring out meaningful and impactful changes. I have believed in always walking the talk and driving change through my position and influence.

“I am a propagator of holding on to traditional healing methods through yoga, meditation and immunity building herbs and preventive health remedies. I believe in the time of such a pandemic, it’s best to keep stress levels in check to prevent an immunity drop due to high cortisol levels in your bloodstream. I’m always happy to share information I have found useful, be it a way of thinking about situations or herbal antidotes.

“Personally I embrace aesthetically appealing spaces in architecture and interiors and feel they impact productivity at work and home environments – I have hospitality interests inherited from my parents – I enjoy the influence of the fashion space which shows none of us are one dimensional. I was told 15 years ago, glamour can never be perceived as intelligent or philanthropic. Travel and luxury are wasteful. People are still to address personal self-imaging issues as ‘thin and fat’ instead of healthy or unhealthy – these concepts are archaic. A solid education encourages a love for learning which ensures constant growth due to adaptability and stepping out of your comfort zone.”

You had earlier shared “Well before the advent of the ‘Beti Padao, Beti Bacchao’ campaign, my entire family was promoting the highest education for their children – girls and boys.” Do share some anecdotes of girls/boys who have been empowered at the Poonawalla family’s not-for-profit schools?

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