In Jo's Blog

The hints went up on Facebook a few nights ago and the reverberations have been constant ever since.

“Manju’s Farewell” read the headline and the questions started pouring in:

Manju di? Where are you going?


What? WHAT????

Woman looking sympathetic and understandingManju Singhania IS the Latika Roy Foundation. She was one of the very first people we hired and she has shaped and defined who we are and how we work almost since that first day. So how can she possibly be leaving? What is she thinking? Why is this happening?

First of all, let me just say that change is a part of life. Change happens. I still remember the shock I felt when Gloria Burrett told me that she was resigning from what was then the Spastics Society of North India. Like Manju, Gloria had been part of SSNI almost since its inception; to many people the idea of the organization without her was simply unthinkable.

But Gloria knew differently. She knew that she had her own identity, separate and independent, and that she needed to step out of the SSNI embrace to reconnect with that part of herself. It was hard for her to make the decision and it was hard for the rest of us to live with it.

Indian woman and American woman in blues and greens, arms around each otherBut SSNI survived and Gloria went on to do great things. Manju will too. And the Latika Roy Foundation will, In’sh’Allah, continue to thrive.

At least, this is how I comfort myself.

But the fact is, like everyone else, I am feeling sad and anxious and a little bit scared.

Because Manju and I have been a team for twenty-one years. I have depended upon her insight and wisdom for as long as I can remember. No one knows our staff the way she does. No one understands our kids and their families like Manju.

Because she listens with her heart and she hears with her soul.  She tunes in unerringly to what people are not saying but which they wish, with all their being, that someone would understand. It’s a gift; and not many have it.

Manju does, and what’s more – infinitely more – she shares it unstintingly with anyone who comes her way. She has done so for all the 21 years I have known her.

Aren’t we lucky?

Indian woman, relaxing at homeThis is what I keep telling myself, and all of my colleagues. Manju has given us 21 years of her devotion, her skill, her talents, her LIFE.


Now, perhaps, she would like to relax a little. She has a family too, after all. We aren’t the only ones in her life. She wants to be with her husband, her son, her father. She has her own dreams.

And somehow, I know, we will always be a part of them. She will live on in all that we become; we will continue to inspire and strengthen her as she moves on. This is how it works. The great circle of life.

Thank you, Manju. For all that has been; for all that is, for all that will be. Thank you.



  • Ganesh

    Manju – indeed hears from heart and listens from soul; good at deciphering the unsaid; example of loving, sharing and giving; lvly writeup on the long association

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