Each year, Saheli chooses an outstanding individual who volunteers in the service of women and children at a special party honoring volunteers. This annual ritual brings great energy and enthusiasm to the many women and men who work tirelessly to serve their community. This year, Ms. Usha Verma, Chair of the India Society of Worcester and its Crisis Committee, is the Volunteer of the Year. Usha, is the Saheli domestic violence advocate in the 495 beltway towns and works with women and children on issues of abuse, neglect, lack of finances, food, and shelter. She mentors women, guides them, and offers transportation, counseling, and referrals on a daily basis.
In her own words,
I was born in Hoshiarpur, Punjab, and was the oldest in the family. I did my Masters in Instrumental Music from Punjab University at a time when the music and arts were not an acceptable career. However, I landed a job and taught in a Degree college in Ludhiana for 6.5 years. My husband Hersh and I left India in 1976 for Libya, North Africa and moved to USA in 1982. We have three children. My husband, Hersh, came on student visa. so I was a-stay-at-home mom for 5 years. During those 5 years we had our share of challenges dealing with US Immigration Services. I worked with mentally delayed population for 9 years and then with elders at Elder Services of Worcester for 17 years. Currently, I am living in the town of Auburn and have been working as outreach coordinator/social worker at Auburn Senior Center. I was the chairperson of the Crisis Committee of India Society of Worcester for more than 15 years and an active member for over 30 years. My mother, Shyam Kanta and father Mohinder Nath Sood, from a very young age, taught us the value of how we do more good for ourselves when we are there for others in need. My mother passed away early this year and I plan to continue her commitment to social service through my children and grandchildren for years to come.
Congratulation Usha, we are so happy to have you on the Saheli Team.
See our photos of the party