"I've known that I wanted to make a difference my entire life, and I want to continue doing so until my last breath. "
-Rubina Ali Khan
Author: Stuti Ajmera
If I'm breathing and capable, why stop?
I was born an optimist in the city of Bengaluru. When generations collided, thoughts were battling a raging war, and people were still adapting to newer ideas, my optimism carried me through. Being born in a Muslim Family, being monitored by a conservative Muslim Society, or being a woman did not stop me from blossoming into the extroverted person I am today.
I was married off at the tender age of 16. As my husband was in the Merchant Navy, for almost 19 years of my 37 years of married life, I was an ex-pat wife who moved around with her spouse wherever he was assigned; my life disrupted and settled where and when my husband's work-life took me.
Being a single parent was not easy, especially while moving countries. Though I always had full support from my parents and my in-laws, there was no real grounding, no place to call home. My surroundings were unfamiliar, and I was my own company. This time of uncertainty led me to discover the vastness of the internet.
Back then, social platforms were still in their nascent stages, but I was drawn to them. The internet fascinated me, and I took it up as a challenge to explore and indulge myself in something new while my husband was away. Little did I know that that streak of exploration would lead to me starting my own journey that has become a big part of my life.
I have seen both my mother and my mother-in-law involved with social work for the orphans in Bengaluru. And I would always feel a disconnect from feeling the passion and commitment with which they were involved. For me, helping was, and still is, for everyone. Every person requires assistance. It's not just the elderly, the needy, or the poor; it's people like you and me as well. Everyone struggles with some area of life, whether emotional, mental, physical, or financial, to progress in both the living and spiritual realms, and that is what I aimed to help them through.
And, even though I am not built for physical activity, I realized the influence I could have in the virtual world, and I discovered my purpose and the consistent job I could do as an ex-pat wife where my husband relocated.
‘HiFi Network Hub’ was born as a result. The term 'HiFi' refers to high fidelity -- the highest level of support. People misbehaving was very common when we first started because platforms like Whatsapp had only recently launched. Hence, we aimed to provide complete assistance and safety and a platform for bonding and cooperation, discouraging ubiquitous messaging, obscene photographs, and cyber harassment. Nobody ventured to misbehave in our workplace, and if they did, we were pleased to let them go.
Even though HiFi has grown to over 8000+ members, I still believe I have a long way to go. Yes, I've had a lot of backlash for my work, but I'd like to use this moment to thank all those people. They've made me a better person, giving me the challenge to prove them wrong every step of the way and to strengthen the belief I had in myself. Pessimism has only made me more confident.
Based on how others see me, I've recognized myself. This network strives to empower people while also bringing them together in a spirit of trust, and I am confident that as long as the heart is pure, we will win. This network isn't just for me; it's a free, open platform for anyone who needs assistance or support in any way. Today, I am glad to say that this network has assisted innumerable people in mending their relationships, empowering women, and reaching out to thousands of people in need of a listening ear.
If there is one thing I have learned in my life, no matter how large one's network is, it is never truly enough. I always have my network with me, no point where I am. I've known that I wanted to make a difference my entire life, and I want to continue doing so until my last breath. Although it is a demanding profession, it has become second nature to me. My spouse has been very supportive during my time creating this platform, assisting me in reducing my stress levels and simply being there for me. There are days when I want to turn off and days when I feel low, but nothing can bring me down. I scarcely recall my difficult experiences since nothing is impossible for me.
Every obstacle is exhilarating, and while our development has not been a steady high, it has driven me to discover more incredible things for my network; nonetheless, as long as people feel relief and release, I am delighted, and nothing will ever change that.”