Swasti Mehta from Mumbai holds up a board which says in caps: “STOP USING RETARD AS A SLUR”. She asks a question in her Instagram post: “Am I and other people with Down’s Syndrome lesser beings than you?”
Twenty-seven year-old Swasti does not need validation from the world to say that she is talented and has potential. She proves it through her actions.
It is a tale of positivity, resilience, and facing odds. Swasti’s Down Syndrome has not stopped her from doing what she wants as she embarks on her path to achieve her goal.
Taking a step forward with courage
Swasti’s “Pudina Punch” may be refreshing to beat the summer heat, but even more invigorating and inspiring is the story behind this natural drink.
It all started during the first COVID-19 lockdown when Swasti tried experimenting in the kitchen. She made a drink out of mint and lemons for her parents and brother. They loved it, and it almost became a ritual. The neighbors got to taste it too, and the praise she received sparked the idea. Her parents suggested that she expand the project and make a business out of it.
Swasti launched her brand “Pudina Punch” in February 2021 and took the first step with her brother Aarsh who helped her to advertise her drink online. Her parents left no stone unturned to see that everything from getting the raw materials to packaging the product went smoothly. It was not easy, considering that Swasti made her drink from scratch, yet she did not give up.
A family is a patchwork of love
Swasti, with the active support of her brother, chronicles her entrepreneurial story through fun Instagram reels. She owes her success to her parents and her brother who have always had her back in her mission and provided her with unflinching support.
Her parents kept her spirits up when orders were low. With all the grit and determination, Swasti has stood undeterred. Her business is gradually flourishing, and from initially selling just 1 or 2 bottles a day, she now gets requests for more than 20 orders on a daily basis. It is through word of mouth and direct messages sent to her Instagram account ( @swastiknowsbest ) that Swasti gets her customers.
Happiness in a bottle
Swasti’s joy rises to the brim as she shares a video of her Pudina Punch being poured into a fancy glass with a song by Salem Ilese and Surfaces as a backdrop. She writes: “Happy customers sending aesthetic videos of Pudina Punch is the best feeling ever.”
A quote from Oprah Winfrey preaches a beautiful truth: “Turn your wounds into wisdom.” Swasti’s story is a case in point. Her confidence and belief in herself have strengthened her to overcome obstacles and emerge as a winner! “I can’t wait to soar higher,” she exclaims!
If this is not a brilliant example of female empowerment, I don’t know what else is. Swasti is an inspiration for all those who may feel like giving up when life appears to be rocky and bumpy. As the budding home entrepreneur stands focused and determined to take her project forward, let us all wish her all the good fortune in the journey ahead.
(This article was featured in Women’s Web )