Shaina NC in March 2011
|Spokesperson of Bharatiya Janata Party|
|Born||Shaina Nana Chudasama
1 December 1972 [a]
|Political party||Bharatiya Janata Party|
|Parents||Nana Chudasama, Munira Chudasama|
|Alma mater||St. Xavier's College, Mumbai
FIT, New York
|Profession||Fashion designer, politician, social worker|
|Religion||Jainism before Islam and Hinduism|
Shaina Nana Chudasama (born 1 December 1972),[a] better known by her abbreviated name Shaina NC, is an Indian fashion designer, politician, and social worker. A daughter of the former Sheriff of Mumbai, Shaina is known in the Indian fashion industry as the 'Queen of Drapes' for draping a saree (sari) in fifty-four different ways. She holds a record in the Guinness Book of World Records for fastest saree drape. She entered politics in 2004 and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). She holds the positions of national spokesperson for the BJP, member of the national executive council of BJP, and treasurer of the BJP's Maharashtra unit. Shaina is also involved in social work through her charity fashion shows and two NGOs, 'I Love Mumbai' and 'Giants International'. As a female politician, she is often projected as the young, urbane, and women-friendly face of the BJP in television debates.
Shaina was born to Nana Chudasama and Munira Chudasama in Malabar Hill, Mumbai on 1 December 1972.[a] She has one brother, Akshay and one sister, Brinda. She completed I.C.S.E from Queen Mary School, Mumbai in 1989, and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai in 1993. She wanted to be a lawyer when she was in college, but she was more attracted to fashion designing. After graduation, she took an associate degree in fashion designing from the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York.
Shaina's father, Nana Chudasama, is a former Sheriff of Mumbai. She was brought up in a cosmopolitan, multi-religious family in Mumbai. Her father is a Hindu Rajput from Saurashtra, her mother is Dawoodi Bohra Muslim; her sister is married to a Muslim while she is married to a Marwari Jain. Being part of a multi-religious family, her family celebrates all religious festivals like Diwali, Eid, and Christmas. Shaina is married to Manish Munot. She first met him in school when she was thirteen and married him at the age of twenty-three after six years of dating. Shaina says she is able to manage her profession, politics, and social work because of unstinting support from his husband. "I was born into my parents' house but it's my husband who let me bloom and groom. He is not your typical male chauvinist Indian man," says Shaina about husband Manish Munot. She lives in Mumbai with her family and two children, Shanaya and Ayaan. Shaina is often seen with Bollywood actors for professional reasons. Her friends include actors Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan.
Shaina is pursuing a career in fashion design as well as in politics. She says that fashion design is her profession while politics is her passion.
Shaina's mother, Munira Chudasama, has been in the fashion design industry for many decades. Shaina began designing fashion at the age of eighteen when her mother was unwell; the collection of outfits she designed was a success. Shaina runs the Golden Thimble Boutique, which was set up by her mother, in the upmarket Kala Ghoda area of Mumbai. It is one of the oldest boutiques in Mumbai city. She does not like to design for Bollywood films but rather for individuals. Her clients include celebrities such as: Aishwarya Rai, Juhi Chawla, and Mahima Chaudhry. Her main fashion designing interest is in sarees. She specialises in traditional sarees which include: Chanderis, Paithanis, Chiffons, Silks, and Cottons. Shaina is quoted as saying: "It [saree] is ours, it belongs to us. It is the most flattering garment where a thin person can look voluptuous and a bulky person can camouflage all the unseemly bulges. The younger generation need to be introduced to the garment." She holds a record in the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest draping of a saree. Shaina is often referred to as Queen of Drapes because of her fifty-four different ways of draping a saree. Indian women traditionally wear a saree over a petticoat, but in one of her styles, Shaina wears a saree over trousers. She says there are no set rules regarding how to wear saree. Women can wear saree over jeans, chudidar or tapered skirt in combination with choli. One of her other ways is to wear two sarees at a time.
For younger, modern Indian women, who may find it cumbersome to wear a six-yard saree, she has designed ready-to-wear sarees. Shaina does not use swarovski(crystals) on her sarees but does employ embroidery, sequins, and kundans to match them with blouses of different styles ranging from halterneck to spaghetti strap, choli, and long choli. Her family has employed craftsmen for many decades who now work on sarees she has designed.
Shaina was a student of Political Science. She says that she has been interested in politics since she was a child. On 14 September 2004, Shaina joined Bharatiya Janata Party in the presence of BJP leader Gopinath Munde. She was made president of the newly created Health and Cultural Cell of the BJP. Her father, Nana Chudasama, was a well known critic of BJP and its leader Narendra Modi for its handling of the post-Godhra riots. When asked why she chose BJP, Shaina told The Economic Times, "Why not the BJP? It is the most progressive party and also secular in accepting me – daughter of a Muslim mother, Hindu father and married to a Marwari Jain." Shaina contested Maharashtra State Assembly election, 2004 against Baba Siddique of the Indian National Congress for the seat of Bandra assembly constituency, but lost. She was appointed BJP's spokesperson for the city of Mumbai in February 2007. In 2008, she became BJP's spokesperson for the Maharashtra state. In the Maharashtra State Assembly election, 2009, Shaina hoped to get a ticket from Malabar Hill constituency, but the BJP leadership preferred three-time sitting MLA Mangal Lodha. In March 2010, she became a member of the National Executive Council of the BJP. In April 2013, she became national spokesperson of the BJP and was included in the panel of spokespersons to participate in television debates on behalf of the party. In May 2013, Shaina was appointed treasurer of the BJP's Maharashtra unit. In Feb 2014, she was in contention for the Rajya Sabha MP seat, but considering the upcoming General Election, and Dalit votes, the NDA leadership chose Ramdas Athawale of Republican Party of India. Shaina was asked to run against Priya Dutt of the Indian National Congress from Mumbai North Central constituency for Lok Sabha election, 2014 but she refused feeling that the fight would be "too tough" for her in a minority dominated constituency. In June 2015, she was re-appointed treasurer of BJP Maharashtra for a second term.
Since 2002, Shaina and the Cancer Patients' Aid Association (CPAA) have arranged fashion shows each year to raise funds for the treatment of cancer patients, and cancer awareness programmes. Many Bollywood celebrities, from established actresses like Waheeda Rehman to younger actors like Ranbir Kapoor, have participated in her fashion shows for this cause. Part of the proceeds from the sale of outfits designed by Shaina goes to CPAA. She has also organised many charity shows to raise funds for the welfare of physically disabled children. She is the trustee of the NGO I Love Mumbai which was founded by her father Nana Chudasama in 1989. The NGO's mission is 'Clean Mumbai, Green Mumbai' and it works towards beautification and cleanliness of the city of Mumbai. The NGO distributes 50,000 free saplings every year to plant in the city. In Dec 2008, Shaina's NGO 'I Love Mumbai' provided financial assistance to Suneeta Yadav and her young daughter Sheetal Yadav, who survived a hand grenade attack in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Suneeta's husband died in this attack and later she was robbed of government compensation by her brother-in-law. Three months later, in Feb 2009, Shaina's NGO collected ₹7 million and donated it to the heroes and victims of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. In Nov 2010, her I Love Mumbai NGO joined Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in a ₹5.2 million project to clean up a 3 -km-long stretch of Arabian sea shoreline between Cuffe Parade and Haji Ali in South Mumbai. She is the Executive World Chairperson of the NGO Giants International which honours personalities from different walks of life for their outstanding contribution and service to society. The NGO also organises healthcare, family planning, and AIDs awareness programmes. Shaina has received awards for her contribution to society from many organisations like the Jaycees International, Indo-American Society, Lions Clubs International, and Rotary International. As of June 2014, Shaina is supporting the cause of Campa Cola Society residents who are facing eviction and the demolition of their illegal flats.
As a woman in politics
Shaina is a staunch supporter of the Women's Reservation Bill which proposes 33% reserved seats for women in the Lower House of the Parliament of India and all state legislative assemblies. While women including Sonia Gandhi and Pratibha Patil have held important posts in politics, Shaina says this is not enough and is sheer tokenism. She feels that when more women are in power in government, they will prove their ability and potential. Shaina advocates education for all women and the right to live a dignified life in society as basic rights. Women face gender-based harassment in India and she says that it is not due to overlegislation but under administration. If laws are implemented in their spirit, and culprits are punished swiftly, she feels that crime against women in India will decrease.
Some sections of society view the BJP as conservative in its approach to women's and minority rights, but Shaina believes that the BJP is a progressive party. She is not afraid to admonish her own party when she believes that it has deviated from its progressive approach. In February 2010, BJP's ally Shiv Sena threatened to ban the release of Shah Rukh Khan's film My Name Is Khan. When BJP leadership was hesitant to take a firm stand on this issue, she organised a premiere of the film in New Delhi in support of her friend Shah Rukh Khan and also to make a point to the BJP leadership that she will not compromise the progressive principles of the party. "For me, being an MP and MLA is not the be-all and end-all. If I reach a dead-end in the BJP, I will call it a day," she said. In April 2013, with the aim of projecting a young, urbane, and women-friendly image of the BJP, party president Rajnath Singh included Shaina in the panel of seven women spokespersons to participate in television debates. With the aim of focusing on the well-being of women workers in the Bollywood film industry, Shaina became president of the newly formed BJP Kamgaar Morcha's BJP Chitrapat Union in July 2014.
- In a YouTube video, Shaina's birth date is declared to be on 1 December in the presence of Shaina and other BJP leaders. As per affidavit filed by Shaina to Election Commission of India on 22 September 2004, her age was 31. Her age can be 31 on 22 Sep 2004 only if she is born on 1 December 1972.
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