Why Anand Mahindra’s First Cousin Quit Her Billionaire Legacy
“I truly realized that everything materialistic gave me only fleeting happiness. I lost the most precious person in my life. No amount of money can bring her back,” says Samara Mahindra, founder of the cancer fighting CARER Program
Samara Mahindra comes from a business dynasty of parents and siblings who started and run their own successful enterprises. It was the chosen career path for her as well. She dabbled in the corporate world for a couple of years and eventually decided to start her own sportswear label in India because of her inherent interest in health and wellness. While at the brink of setting up the company, she knew something was amiss. She was using the new venture as a stepping stone to get into the realm of health and fitness and not interested in only just building a successful label. Instead of business she decided to take the plunge directly into the space of wellness upon her graduation from the American Academy of Personal Training in New York.
From Samara’s curriculum in movement therapy for special populations, cancer became of special interest to her, as she had just lost her mother to a never-ending excruciating battle with the disease.
She started her career as a cancer exercise specialist and breast cancer recovery trainer. While hosting a dance therapy session to rehabilitate cancer patients and survivors at a non-profit organization in New York, Samara’s says her eyes opened to the power of movement and mind-body therapies that were clearly making patients and survivors feel better and even get better. A bittersweet emotion, knowing fully well that her mother had no exposure to anything like it in India.
“I first visited the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute, New York City, and then all the remaining top cancer institutes in America and realised each one of them had fully established integrative oncology units that treats a patient holistically and not only medically. Allopathic conventional treatment, nutrition, movement, mind-body, cancer support and care was a part of the patient’s treatment protocol. Why doesn’t India and countries alike have anything similar? Why were we not exposed to any of this?” Samara said these were questions that plagued her mind, knowing that her mother’s life was eventually taken by the lack of holistic attention to her physical, mental and nutrition state of being when she was riddled by cancer.
The situation for cancer patients is status quo in India and her drive to change it grew tremendously. She knew it would be an uphill task, but if it could make one dent then it would change the course of cancer care.
Her stint at Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai reaffirmed this and from there Samara broke out on her own to set up the CARER program to provide holistic therapy and conventional treatment. It’s not a non-profit social wellness company but more so a social enterprise that looks at providing services for patients and survivors by treating and healing them as a “whole” person. “The goal of holistic therapy is to build immunity and provide the right measures to decreasing chances of relapse,” Samara said. All services are provided at home and are for those undergoing treatment and post cancer treatment. Services include personalised diet and nutrition; yoga therapy for cancer; meditation; CARER coaching and support for patients and family members.
“The CARER Program is the first and only company in India to do this and is working with some of the top oncologists and hospitals. The specialists are renowned in their respective fields of work; CARER is deeply committed to offering quality healthcare to cancer patients and survivors in the comfort of their home. We can keep coming up with new treatments to this rampant disease or we can eliminate the root cause once and for all,” said an emphatic Samara.
“At the end of the day, I truly realized that everything materialistic gave me only fleeting happiness. I lost the most precious person in my life. No amount of money can bring her back. It’s living with a true purpose and building a foundation that can and will shift the way we look at the world that matters. And when you do, there will be no heights of fame, money or power that can make you feel richer.”
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