ALAPPUZHA: Sherin Shibin, a 33-year-old mother of two hailing from Cherthala, is all set to walk the ramp along with 20 other contestants in Toronto, Canada in August. This is the first time a Malayali is competing in the prestigious event organised by Canada Galaxy Pageants. Sherin will be competing for the title of Mrs Canada.
It was Sherin’s passion to lend a helping hand to mothers — who battle postpartum depression and face systemic barriers on their return to work post pregnancy — that got her to enter the fray for the pageant. She was on the lookout for a platform to present her ideas, which Galaxy Pageants provided.
“I was born and brought up in Saudi Arabia. Along with my parents Abdul Basheer and mother Susanna, I returned to Cherthala aged 15 after having completed my schooling in Saudi. My mother, a retired nurse, is my strength and my father is a businessman-cum-politician, whose involvement in social service activities has helped me get a better grasp of things. My husband Muhammed Shibin is also quite supportive of my decisions,” Sherin said.
“I’m deeply pained by the gender inequalities that women face globally and I’ve been wanting to address such issues. I utilised social media platforms like Instagram for this purpose, but they have their limitations,” she pointed out.
“It was then that I came across the Canada Galaxy Pageant, which I thought was a good platform to bring attention to these issues. Lack of a clear policy on maternity leave, flexibility at work timings, feeding rooms, childcare centre, etc., are among the many problems faced my carrying mothers,” Sherin said.
“In fact,many mothers are forced to discontinue their career after delivery due to lack of support from the employer and family. These kinds of issues can be addressed by participating in the pageant, because the organisers give greater emphasis to service than the beauty aspect,” Sherin told TNIE over phone from Toronto.
“We taught our children about universal brotherhood. Such kind of positive thinking forced us to give our children all the freedom,” said Abdul Basheer and Susanna, who had been in Saudi Arabia for over 25 years. Basheer is the general secretary of Congress’ Cherthala north block committee. A biotech engineer, Sherin now works in the research section of Toronto University.
She represents the North York city. Muhammed Shibin, hailing from Thiruvambadi in Alappuzha, is employed as the IT manager in Sanofi Pharmaceuticals. Toronto-based Sherin and Shibin, along with their daughters Alayna and Suhaana, are permanent residents of Canada.