Her office is a sight to watch for, with the entire floor being a miracle structure. Built on huge cement columns over the existing KLE Society old office and held on giant iron trusses, the new office of KLE Society on college road may well be an architectural marvel that has a lot of her creative contributions. Seated in her glass cabin, encased within pristine white walls with red paint on the iron trusses, colorful rustic paintings by Nippani artist Ganesh Jadhav adorning the walls, a large photograph of hers with her dad, both smiling warmly, she is a bundle of contradictions indeed.
A self-confessed “taskmaster” famous among those who know her well as a great administrator, she does not shy to flaunt her love for strays, food, travel, jewelry, or even that occasional giggle amidst all the intelligent talk. That’s Dr. Preeti Kore Doddwad, Life Member of KLE Society, Co-ordinator for KLE English Schools, Secretary- PYAAS Foundation, Director of Rani Channamma Mahila Bank, Executive member of KLE Swa Shakti Empowerment Cell for women and HoD of Dept. of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics at KLE’s V.K. Institute of Dental Sciences. That is a mighty handful of work indeed.
Preeti knows the legacy she has inherited and puts in a lot of hard work in all her roles to justify that. 90% of all my work is through KLE only, she says, but still keeping it low key was a deliberate decision. Good work does not need much publicity, she adds.
On a poignant note, she says that she is fortunate to have an encouraging father who is her pillar of strength. “ In the initial years at KLE, I used to oppose everything that he said. But slowly over the years, I realized that we instinctively think on the same lines and then I could better explain things to him to convince him” she explains the evolution of her professional relation with her father.
“If I’m asked to do something, I will learn everything about it”, is her straightforward way of work. The reason why India and many places worldwide do not have more women at leadership roles is that firstly, not many families encourage the women to pursue careers at leadership roles, and the other reason is that women themselves do not realize their own potential. “Most of the time, when the women have to choose between family responsibilities and career growth, they choose the former” she adds.
Preeti is an academician, an administrator and a Social Activist all rolled in one. There is no role that she is partial to because one is dependent on the other. The recent lockdown has been a time to find myself again, she says, for she found the much needed time to feed the strays with home-cooked food every day, to preen her garden, to watch the movies all while she managed to work from home. Her love for plants and trees, for food and travel, is legendary. Though she is seen flaunting exquisite jewelry, everything in her wardrobe including the jewelry, the clothes and the fabrics is chosen and bought by her sister ( a trained and accomplished Jewelry designer, Deepti Aradhya) and mother, she says adding that she has an enviable collection of exquisite sarees as well, though she is mostly seen in the ‘national workwear- Kurtis’.
She has visited all continents and several countries, except the North and South Pole, she quips. Some travel is for work while most are for the experiences that they offer. The education system in Europe is much evolved with teachers deciding the curriculum. Where do we have teachers like this, have our teachers been trained to function like this, she asks.
The new education policy is definitely a new way ahead according to her, but it still needs clarity, she says. One thing that sets Preeti wondering is that while schools have been striving to provide learning opportunities with facilities and trainers in sports, music, dance, and the works, with the expensive infrastructure, the parents here are reluctant to allow the kids to pursue a full-time career in these fields. This is a real paradox that mars many a talented kid from being what he/ she loves to do, and ends up with them pursuing the traditional, ‘safe’ careers.
I am spiritual, but not ritualistic, she says, going on to add that though she believes that the higher power of divinity is beyond the idol that one worships when one struggles to connect with divinity, it’s the idol that provides the pivot. Preeti may have been fortunate to have a great legacy to build her career on, but she has definitely put in her hard work and vision in whatever role she has been entrusted with. And somewhere in between, she has created a life where colors jostle with nature and is dotted with plants and pets. That is one interesting combination indeed and embodying every bit of herself.