Exploring Divya Sathyaraj’s Inspirational Journey and Bridal Advice

Divya Sathyaraj, a nutritionist and daughter of the famous actor Sathyaraj, has a heart for the community. As the founder of Mahilmathi Iyyakam, an NGO, she brings health to the forefront. Join us in discovering the essence of Divya’s journey, from her roots to the impactful initiatives that define her mission.
Growing up in a family with prominent figures like your father and brother, how did your upbringing influence your decision to become a nutritionist?
As the youngest in the family, I was a very picky eater during my early years. My father, amidst his busy schedule as an actor, always made it a point to be there for me, ensuring I was well-fed. I vividly recall my parents emphasizing the importance of growing tall by drinking milk or how carrots were essential for good eyesight. These were not nutritional instructions but stories woven around the dining table that made healthy eating more engaging. Unlike many households, my parents never believed in force-feeding. All this sparked my interest in the therapeutic aspects of food, gradually leading me to delve deeper into the field.
Could you share more about Mahilmathi Iyyakam’s inspiration and its impact on the communities it serves?
The motivation behind Mahilmathi Iyyakam emerged from a conviction to bridge the nutritional divide and ensure that health becomes a universal privilege.
My exploration began with workshops in rural areas. An incident outside a supermarket further fueled my determination when someone lavishly shopped for food for their pet while ignoring a group of underprivileged children nearby. The difference in how well-fed a wealthy person’s pet is compared to a less fortunate child saddened me. The excessive food wastage at weddings also contributed to my decision. I questioned why we spend a lot on weddings only to waste so much food.
Thus, Mahilmathi emerged as an NGO committed to providing nutritious food and essential supplies free of cost to those in the lower-income bracket. The name ‘Mahilmathi’ draws inspiration from my mother’s name, Mahi, and is also associated with Appa’s movie “Bahubali.” We have also collaborated with two NGOs, Serendip.bethechangefoundation in Sri Lanka and ya.all.northeast in Manipur, to address malnutrition among the less fortunate.
How has adopting a vegan lifestyle impacted your health?
Choosing to be vegan was a personal decision, and I am happy. Knowing that a vegan diet isn’t suitable for everyone is essential. Age, health conditions, and lifestyle play a vital role. For instance, pregnant women, children, and those with Thyroid, PCOS, or Menopause shouldn’t start a vegan diet. Checking recent blood test reports helps create a diet that suits health goals. I believe in a personalized approach.
How do you envision combining your nutrition background and philanthropic efforts into your new political journey?
I have been doing fieldwork and preparing for my political journey for a few years. Many people often ask questions like – whether I aspire to be a Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha MP or a minister ? Whether my father, Sathyaraj will campaign for me ? I would like to say that I am not here to win the elections or to chase power and position. I’m here to work for the people. The driving force behind my political move is to improve the health and happiness of my state. Health matters because it affects everything, from daily tasks to earning a living. I got an offer to contest the Lok Sabha elections this year from a leading party, but I declined it because I don’t resonate with them. I don’t plan to start my political party. I will join an existing one soon which will mostly be announced after the elections.
Contrary to what some might think, my path has been anything but easy. It’s been a journey of hard work and resilience. I keep it simple—I want to work for my people, selflessly contributing to the happiness of my state.
Many young women are often concerned about their appearance, especially brides-to-be. What is your advice?
The first tip would be to consider Biotin, which can be taken in tablet form or obtained from eggs and broccoli. Consult a doctor for a prescribed biotin supplement to enhance the health of their hair and nails. Another would be collagen supplements, which can positively boost their skin’s health. One must start these supplements six weeks before the event, as most interventions require this duration to show results.
Ensuring a balanced intake of essential vitamins, such as A, B, C, and E, is crucial. These vitamins can be sourced from multivitamins or foods like carrots, beetroot, and almonds. Consuming amla juice daily or particularly a bowl of pomegranate every three days, can offer internal sun protection for their skin. For skin care, seeking advice from a qualified dermatologist is essential before experimenting with home remedies to ensure skin health and prevent adverse reactions.
However, amid numerous opinions, especially on weddings, it’s crucial not to let external judgments affect one’s self-esteem. Every bride-to-be or groom-to-be should feel confident in their natural skin and be happy. Follow Divya Sathyaraj on instagram: divya_sathyaraj for more updates.
—Grishma Raj

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