South Asian trailblazers featured on 2020 ‘Saris to Suits’ calendar

Arun Kumar

Inspiring role models used as a tool to empower South Asian women.

From activists to officials to artistes to sports persons, the 2020 edition of the uniquely themed ‘Saris to Suits’ calendar features 14 inspirational South Asian women ranging in age from 18 to 97.

The new calendar reflects the same spirit that inspired Patti Tripathi, an Indian American former CNN news anchor, to initiate the ‘Saris to Suits’ calendar featuring prominent South Asian women role models in 2012.

Designed as a tool to empower South Asian women, the 36-page glossy calendar includes bios and empowerment quotes, according to GOPIO news bulletin.

It also gives holidays and festivals of major religions and South Asian communities, and important dates of women in history, including world leaders.

Appearing in the 2020 calendar are Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Dr Nina Radcliff, a board-certified anesthesiologist in New Jersey from the princely family of Udaipur in Rajasthan, India.

Also featured from the medical fraternity are Dr Naina Sachdev, medical director of Beverly Hills, California-based NainaMD Anti-Aging and Regenerative Clinic and Dr Sujatha Reddy, a board certified Obstetrician-Gynecologist and an Emmy Award-winning medical journalist.

Besides Patti Tripathi, the media world is represented by Veena Rao, founder and editor-in-chief of NRI Pulse, and her mother Frances M. West, who founded Ogmobosho School for the Blind in Nigeria.

Tripathi, who lost her mother to a rare lung disease at the age of 56, recalls the “fiercely protective and hugely supportive mom of three lived to see her only daughter accomplish her dream of becoming a trailblazing network news anchor.”

From the arena of arts comes Priya Yadav, an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer and a sophomore at Emory University, who was adopted from a Pune orphanage when she was two.

Another Bharatanatyam dancer appearing on the calendar is Raji Venkat, also an accomplished coloratura operatic singer and teacher.

Also featured is Atlanta, Georgia-based singer-songwriter and performer Movina Nagarajan, who released her debut single, “Call Me Baddie,” in 2018.

So is Elementary education teacher Marsha Nicholas-Nigri, who also runs Café Amici, an Italian restaurant in Sarasota, Florida, with her husband.

Then there are Payal Patel, an international award-winning multilingual communications professional based in Chicago, Illinois, and a strong advocate for girls’ education and lawyer-activist Abha Singh.

From the sports world come tennis players Sania Mirza, winner of six Grand Slam titles and Natasha Subhash, ranked India No. one in girls 12, 14, 16 and under categories

This edition of  Saris to Suits’, according to Tripathi, focuses on building awareness and supporting key organizations in a concerted effort to break down the barriers that constrain the advancement of women and girls.

Calendar boxes have been donated to several US organizations, including Raksha, Apna Ghar, Sakhi for South Asian Women and Ascend Atlanta for Asian business networking.

Funds from the sale of these calendars would go among others to the Chicago chapter of Room to Read and an organization in Trinidad.

For more information, or to purchase the calendar, visit


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