Pune, Dec 15, 2020: When Sunita Kulkarni was crowned 2nd Runner Up Mrs West India 2020 and also won the Mrs Shining Star sub-title – both in the Gold Category, by DIVA Pageants, her joy knew no bounds. And rightly so as the stunning beauty had overcome a long-drawn battle with Rheumatoid Arthritis, an auto immune disease for 14 years, which even rendered her bed-ridden for 3 years at the most crucial years of her life, when she was pursuing her CA. And a decade after having cured herself completely, through a proper study in Health & Nutrition, she plunged to participate in the prestigious pageant Mrs West India 2020 – Empress of West India 2020 – Season 3, which was held at held at the Alila Diwa Goa, on 28th Nov 2020, and vowed the jury, thus rightly being crowned Mrs Shining Star.
Born and brought up in Ranchi, Jharkhand, Sunita spent her childhood with very minimal resources. Her parents could only afford basic food, shelter, and clothes, but invested in imparting to her good education with whatever savings they had.
But life wasn’t easy for her. “At a very young age of 15 years, I was detected with an Auto Immune disease called Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was a very brilliant student and excelled in all extra-curricular activities like singing, painting, dancing, speech, etc. in school as well. I topped in my school in 10th, overlooking my illness ”, reminisces Sunita.
After 12th board exams, she pursued Chartered Accountancy and ranked
7th at the All India CA Foundation. That’s not all – she also received the All India Best Lady Candidate Award in the year 2001.
However, in the year 2002, she became severely ill during her CA Intermediate studies. But despite all odds, she appeared for her exams and got All India 48th Rank in CA Intermediate. The disease then took its toll and she was bedridden from 2002 to 2005. Yet she sat for her CA final exams and passed at 1st attempt.
“Fortunes took a favorable turn from September 2005. I went to Bangalore for my first job in Infosys. There I met my husband, Atul Kulkarni, also a CA, working in the same company as me. Atul knew from day one that I am an RA patient, and can’t walk properly, but he became a very good friend of mine and in just three months of our courtship he proposed to me”, smiles Sunita. They got married in December 2006 and subsequently moved to Pune.
She quit her job, after the birth of her son Arjun in October 2008. As she couldn’t think of leaving him at daycare at such a young age, and instead started her CA practice. During that time she got introduced to the concept of Nutrition and Diet. “I pursued and successfully completed a course of Nutrition advisor from NHI California. This learning helped me recover from my 14 years old disease of Rheumatoid Arthritis in just 2 years. And since the last 12 years I am helping thousands of families to stay healthy all over the world”, she smiles. Today Sunita is an entrepreneur working in Health n Wellness and is also a Mentor and a Life Coach. In fact, she was recently awarded the Women’s Excellence Achiever’s Award in the field of Nutrition and Health.
She credits her success to the unfailing support of her husband and undoubtedly her loving inlaws, and of course her parents too. “But my journey would not have been possible, had I not met Anjana mam and Karl sir, founders of DIVA Pageants, who literally groomed me to perfection”, she expresses in awe.
What’s more – in 2016, she reignited her passion for singing and even joined a band, and made a few music videos also. And the lady with the golden heart also participates in a lot of charitable activities for various NGOs, Robin Hood Army being a priority.
“I believe that it doesn’t matter how beautiful or intelligent you are. What matters is how good a human being you are. And this is what I teach Arjun – it’s ok if you don’t become a very successful doctor, engineer, CA, actor, singer or scientist, but you have to become a good human being, that’s the most important thing in life”, she sums up.