Deepak Sharma - Corporate Professional, NGO Trustee, and Author Interview

by - August 31, 2023

Born on 8th September 1960 in Modinagar, Deepak Sharma has seen many phases from corporate life to fulfilling dreams of giving back to society. 

He quit his corporate career in 2013 after working 31 years in corporate to contribute and support as a volunteer at Udayan Care an NGO since 2009. It is a 28-year-old NGO with a focus on girls’ higher education and women's empowerment. Currently, Deepak Sharma is a Trustee in Udayan Care holding several operational responsibilities.


He has summed up his volunteering journey in his book “Wings To Fly

(Conversation spotlight: Deepak Sharma and Monika Singh)

1. Why did you decide to quit your corporate job & join as a volunteer in an NGO? 

Deepak Sharma: It was my dream to give back to society when I was 36. There was an event which in fact led me to quit corporate when I was 53 in 2013 to work for girls’ education.
For more details please read my book “Wings To Fly” available on Amazon and Flipkart.

2. Your book "Wings To Fly" has an awesome title. I've heard a few Book lovers in my community praising it & feeling excited about it. How did you create such an awesome title, and what inspired you to write this book? 

Deepak Sharma: I finished writing this book in January 2022. It took me almost 18 months to complete it. However, the title was more by accident than by design. In those days I was reading Dr. Kalam’s Wings of Fire. While discussing several titles for my book one of my friends gave the brilliant idea of titling it Wings To Fly. It sounded apt, as I and my wife have been working with out-of-home children especially girls since 2009 and raising them as our own children with the best of educational and vocational support.

Wings To Fly by Deepak Sharma

3. The vision of the NGO focuses on girls’ higher education and women's empowerment. How do you handle running it when people outside there try to suppress independent girls and women in the name of feminism, woke, and many more? 

Deepak Sharma: Our girls' higher education program is centered around bright and aspirational girls from economically weaker sections of society. During the 5-6 years of the journey, these girls stay in our program, we have structured modules, workshops, training, etc. for these girls. Apart from this, each girl has a mentor who is always available for guidance and moral support.
We regularly interact with the parents of these girls. Also, we do a lot of work on the mental health of these girls knowing fully well their background and the struggles they undergo.
We also invite senior women executives from across all sectors from time to time to interact with the young Shalinis (empowered women) as we address them.

4. When you discovered your writing passion or did the thought hit your mind that you have to write a book? 

Deepak Sharma: In fact couple of my close friends pushed me to write the book capturing my volunteering journey with Udayan Care as they had seen me giving up my social life for the cause of girls’ education.

5. What challenges did you face while writing "Wings To Fly," and how did you overcome them?

Deepak Sharma: I would say there were hardly any challenges while writing the book. In fact, I had the habit of writing a diary since I got associated with Udayan Care in 2009. Those past notes really buoyed me in recalling so many of the success stories and memorable events over some time. The same has been captured in my book.

Deepak Sharma
6. Many Women claiming themselves successful are also not very supportive of the growth of Girls. So how do you prepare the NGO Girls to face all the wrath, and what tips do you share with them to deal with such suppressors? 

Deepak Sharma: We conduct workshops on topics like mental health, time management, communication skills, employability, leadership skills, career awareness and guidance, Assertive and emotional intelligence, Workplace bias-women’s rights, Problem-solving, conflict management, presentation skills, and many more.
These workshops and corporate visit exposures throughout the 5-6 year period adequately groom them to take up all challenges thrown at them from time to time.

7. How did your Author, Corporate, NGO Volunteer, and Trustee experience influence your perspective on the condition of Modern-day girls and real life? 

Deepak Sharma: I joined Udayan Care in 2009 as a part-time volunteer after working for 30 years in corporate and slowly took up different roles over some time. Finally decided to write the book in 2022. Definitely the same has influenced my perspective on the progress the girls have made over the years. To know more please get a copy of my book Wings To Fly.

8. Can you throw some light on the main characters of the book "Wings to Fly" 

Deepak Sharma: In fact, several characters are central to the book. However, foremost is my late father whose legacy and values inspired me to work for society with the sole intent of giving my time, love, knowledge, and personal wealth back to society. My book Wings To Fly too is dedicated to him. Apart from him, my mother, my wife, and several of my daughters are part of the book. Each one is equally important.

9. "Wings To Fly" deals with important themes. What are you expecting from it when it is about resonating with the lives of people and leaving a long-lasting impact on the hearts and lives of people? 

Deepak Sharma: I have divided the book into three sections, earn and return. The message I want to give to society is that each one is capable of contributing to society in some way. They should all do that especially when they turn 55/60 years of age. As an old maxim in Bhagavad-gita states- We all came empty-handed and will go empty-handed. We in our family are practicing it in letter and spirit.

10. Are there any particular girls or women who have influenced your life journey from corporate to NGO Trustee? 

Deepak Sharma: I was highly influenced by Mother Teresa’s work of service to society. She is my biggest inspiration in terms of service to mankind. I have captured that in my book as well. After I joined Udayan Care, its founder and Managing Trustee Dr. Kiran Modi whom I address as didi became my inspiration.

11. What advice would you give to the future of India about women's empowerment? 

Deepak Sharma: What I would like to state is nothing new. In my view, if India has to become a developed nation, higher education for girls will be the single biggest factor towards reaching that goal. I believe in an old African proverb: If you educate a girl you educate a whole family (nation).
We need more and more women on the Board of Corporate and other important roles and positions.

12. From where people can buy your books?

Deepak Sharma: They are available online. Here are some links.

For Indians: Amazon Flipkart

For international: Amazon

Love it? Stay connected and subscribe for more terrific, honest Interview conversations with people who are doing extraordinary in their lives. © Monika Singh and Deepak Sharma

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