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Once you are pushed into the water, you learn to swim, says TOI journalist Tejashree Bhopatkar Sawant

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Mother’s Day – a special day to recognize mothers’ roles in our lives. As a part of QNA’s initiative to celebrate motherhood, Tejashree Bhopatkar, a senior correspondent at The Times of India, spoke to us exclusively about the significance of maintaining work-life balance. The working mum also shared some timeless lessons taught by her mother with our team.

Tejashree is a mum of a 2.5-year-old girl, and got blessed with a baby boy a few months ago.

Excerpts from the interview:

What’s the best thing your mom has taught you about your profession?

Tejashree Bhopatkar Sawant: Firstly, my mum never knew that I would land up taking such a challenging and demanding profession. But as time passed, she saw me taking journalism seriously. Only after she was sure that her daughter indeed wanted to be in this profession, the only thing she said was that your profession is extremely sensitive and readers will rely and believe whatever you’ll write, so make sure you write what is true because once the damage is done, there are hardly any chances to repair them.

Striking an equilibrium between work and motherhood or maternity is not an easy task, especially in the field of journalism. So how do you manage your personal and professional life?

Tejashree Bhopatkar Sawant: As we say, once you are pushed into the water you learn to swim. Managing my profession along with family and motherhood is no longer different. You start managing things; the urge to give equal importance to both the things make you manage them well. Though it’s tiring, yet the amount of satisfaction of doing a good job at the office in the day and your baby sleeping happily beside you at night is commendable.

Any best piece of career advice you ever got from your mom?

Tejashree Bhopatkar Sawant: Be independent and never ever depend on anyone for anything is the best advice I have ever received from my sweet mom.

Today, a constant dilemma of ‘career vs family’ is being faced by a large proportion of working mothers..your views

Tejashree Bhopatkar Sawant: The dilemma will always be there and we need to stay along with it coz of the culture and old mentality…the only suggestion I would give them is… ‘ignore and do your work…’ as ‘Kuch toh log kahenge logo ka kaam hai kehena’. Follow your passion, your family will come along with it…

Women journalists face several challenges, including unfair representation, negative societal attitudes, and the gender pay gap. Do you think media organizations should ensure gender equality?

Tejashree Bhopatkar Sawant: It may persist but I haven’t faced any such issue so far. If we talk about the pay gap, it all depends upon your performance. If you are eligible enough, you will get what you want or what you demand…

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