A Century City woman is a finalist in the Mrs India South Africa pageant happening later this year.
Dr Saumya Gautam was born in Mumbai, India, to a gynaecologist mother and a cardiologist father.
“I grew up in a medical family and that was my biggest influence,” says Dr Gautam.
“Since I was a child, I always saw my parents as role models, and it became my dream to help and serve others.”
Becoming a doctor like her parents, she decided, was one way to make a difference in the world.
Five years ago she met Siddharth Gautam, a Capetonian on holiday in India. After two years of long-distance courtship, they got engaged, and a year later, they were married. The couple settled in Cape Town.
Dr Gautam, a medical doctor, is doing her internship at Tygerberg Hospital, and she hopes to follow in her mother’s footsteps and specialise as a gynaecologist.
Dr Gautam says she is taking part in the Mrs India South Africa pageant primarily to advocate for women’s empowerment.
“At the hospital, I see a lot of women who suffer in different ways.
“Their issues are often family-related, pressures from society, economic inequality, they get abused. They go through a lot and I was looking for a platform so that I may help and give a voice to the voiceless. I want to show them what they are worth and what they are capable of.”
Siddharth filled out the application on his wife’s behalf, and Dr Gautam was chosen as one of 25 finalists out of 800 entrants – the first Capetonian in the pageant’s 11-year history.
It was New Year’s Eve, and she was on a boat at the V&A Waterfront when she got the news.
“The first thing that came into my mind was thank you God for giving me such a big platform to go and achieve my dreams. And again, ultimately, the dream is to empower others.”
Her in-laws here in Cape Town and her parents, who still live in India, will all be accompanying her to Durban for the event on Saturday August 25.