Pratiksha Tondwalkar began with a basic position at age 20 in a branch of the State Bank of India at Mumbai in 1985 following the loss of her husband. Now, she has emerged has one of the top executives of the Indian bank at a managerial level.
She kicked off her career at the position of a sweeper, without even completing her academic journey. As she was focused on thriving for more for her child and herself, she continued her education, and worked on for the past thirty seven years. Now she holds the position of an assistant general manager at SBI. This comes across as a rather crucial story from a feminist perspective, where a single woman rises in what has been an industry dominated by men in the country.
Born in Pune, Maharashtra in 1964, Tondwalkar was married off by her parents to Sadashiv Kadu in the year 1980, when she was just sixteen. This was prior to her even finishing her secondary education in school. Her husband was from Mumbai, working as book binder in the same bank. They had their child, a son, was born a year following their marriage.
As they decided to pay a visit to their village following the son’s birth, Kadu passed away on the trip in an unfortunate accident. To earn for the survival of her son and herself, Tondwalkar started the job of a sweeper, which the bank helped her get hold of. As a part time position, she had worked for a couple of hours each morning, getting just Rs. 60-65 every month. She used the remaining to do other jobs in the city, and looking after the child.
Working on, she gained inspiration to complete her education. Many of her seniors and mentors assisted her through the process as she enquired around for help to fulfil her dreams. With help of numerous people in unimaginable ways, she emerged victorious by scoring about 60% in her tenth grade exams.
Soon, she gained the inspiration to complete her class 12 examinations to go and fulfil banking examinations to score a job. Taking the help of night college in the city, Tondwalkar graduated in 1995, finally gaining the position of a clerk in the lender. She gained immense support from her family, which included her second husband and two children, helping her reach this point in her professional life.