Drive to Passion

By Aarti sharma
June 8, 2017

Three years ago, I came to this mesmerizing little red dot, following my husband’s profession, with our two beautiful children and lots of woven dreams. The realisation that, being a Dependent Pass (DP) holder, my own passions would need to take a backseat hit me quite early. Many of us DP holders, men and women, highly educated with rich experience and talents, start out motivated to work but, soon enough, we realise that DP puts us at the end of the food chain. We try our luck, engaging consultants, applying for jobs with our carefully crafted resumes, but the result is often disappointment, discontent and, in some cases, Depression.

Drive to Passion is a project of Sanrakshan Pte Ltd, a social change organization dedicated to spreading awareness on child sexual abuse and empowerment of women. As Heads of Sanrakshan, Dr Vani Khare and Ms Joanne Area have been championing this cause relentlessly in various countries for many years.

Drive to Passion is a multi-dimensional programme with a dual-purpose approach to serving DP-holders. First, it empowers them to be better-equipped to tackle challenges in gaining employment or starting businesses. Second, it polishes their skills and introduces them to new interest areas through workshops and a range of celebrated mentors, coaches and speakers. Examples include Public Speaking, Professional Story Writing, Belly Dancing, Drama, Publication Writing, Runway and Catwalk Training and, above all, Networking.

The intensive, month-long programme takes off with a 2-day workshop in which speakers share on their area of expertise, and provide an overview of different opportunities they can offer of exposure to work over the month, with their guidance and grooming. Coaches Rafia and Aarti provide facilitation support and motivation when the going gets tough, and Mentor Jo Anne Aeria guides them in different community service work areas. Alicia Kaw, co-founder of KCL Corporate Services, who has been helping DP-holding women in Singapore obtain Letter of Consent (LOC) to start their own ventures, provides a sharing session as well. Alicia helped Anji Hallewell, Shilpa Anand Bakshi and Gunjan Singh obtain their LOCs within 2 weeks of joining the programme! Anji is elated and can’t wait to start her dream of being a Transformational Coach under brand name Hidden Lava. Shilpa is already planning new recipes to kickstart her baking business, and Gunjan is excited to get going her workshops for children on Creative Writing and Storytelling.

The Passionate Team:

Distinguished Mentors: Jo Anne Aeria, Nashwa, Vanitadevi Saravanamuttu, Indra Rani Lavan Ishwaran, Rahul Shah, Vani Khare.

Esteemed Guest Speakers: Vivek Iyyani, Bian Tan, Alicia Khaw.

Passionate Coaches: Michelle Ayn Tessensohn – Master Coach, Rafia Sultana, Aarti Sharma.

Valued Participants: Anji Hallewell, Dipali Exbote, Khushboo Lakhatariya, Lakshita Ramnani, Gunjan Singh, Rajni Ray, Ridhima Jain, Parul Gupta, Pooja Lachhwani, Heer Vimal Rajpal, Shalini Mohan, Shilpa Anand Bakshi.

14 DP-holding women in Singapore have chosen Drive to Passion as their way of rising up to experience a transformation as they redefine their talents and discover new strengths. Each participant shares that Drive to Passion is helping her venture out of her comfort zone to try new things she would never have imagined doing. These women are challenging their own talents in writing, speaking, acting and dancing, among others.

You can witness the glittering impact of Drive to Passion at the Gala Celebration and Fundraiser, where participants will perform the Panchtatva, a soulful and divine dance-and-drama conceptualized by mentor Nashwa. Demonstrating their Flame of Fire – a Runway walk directed by mentor Vanithadevi – they will showcase themselves as style icons. The event will conclude with the book launch of Nomad Wives, featuring regional recipes and life stories of participants, a feat achieved under the guidance of Rahul Shah, Indira Ishwaran and Vani Khare. The memories, learnings and friendships will linger on … a drive that started with a hope of realising some dreams has today become a catalyst in the metamorphosis of 14 women from dependent to dependable!

The central message of initiatives such as Drive to Passion is to never stop dreaming. If you have a life, you have a purpose. What you need to do is align with driven and talented people who uplift you and empower you towards achieving your purpose. Drive to Passion is one such platform of hope and success stories.


Celebrate the talents of Drive to Passion participants as they showcase the sheer brilliance of their success at the Gala Celebration and Fundraiser on 10 June at Gandhi Memorial Hall from 3.15pm onwards. Purchase tickets at


About Aarti sharma

Aarti Sharma loves to travel, explore new cultures and learn about what motivates people. Her optimism and positivity has her seeing even the slightest glimmer of hope in the most challenging of situations. She believes anything can be done when good intentions are combined with honest, genuine effort. She aims to be a positive influence in the lives of others through her work and through making connections between people. Aarti writes to raise awareness on issues that can inspire readers to act towards collective impact. A cleanliness freak, this positive lady claims she can eat samosas at any time of the day ... even midnight!