The city of Chicago recently announced that October 2 would be known as Mahatma Gandhi Day. Gandhi is celebrated around the world but in particular, he is recognized for the good deeds he did during his life in India. Among the people who had the honor of announcing the dedication was Smita Shah, an Indian-American entrepreneur who resides in and does business in the city. She stated that not only was her community honored for such an important figure from their culture to be recognized in the United States, but it was also an honor for her to be personally involved with the event. What makes this day in 2019 so special was that it was the 150th anniversary of the birth of Gandhi.
The day was recognized during a luncheon honoring the Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi. What makes Chicago such a fitting city to celebrate the life and legacy of the civil rights leader is the fact that it is a sister city to Delhi, India. Smita Shah is well-known throughout Chicago beyond the Indian-American community as a civic leader and strong businesswoman. She has earned multiple degrees as well as finishing a Management Studies Post Graduate Certificate from the University of Oxford that she completed in 2007. Smita Shah is a recipient of a Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University in Civil Engineering as well as a Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that he earned in 1994 and 1996 respectively. Learn more: https://www.chicagobusiness.com/node/721011
The Mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, and Senator Dick Durbin joined Smita Shah to honor Gandhi at this year’s event. Smita Shah currently serves as the Chair of the Chicago Sister Cities International Delhi Committee and notes the impact that the activist has had on the city of Chicago and beyond even years after his death. Many different communities are part of the city of Chicago and she wants each one of them to be honored without any of them being excluded. She is also the Chief Executive Officer and President of the engineering and construction firm SPAAN Tech.
The sister cities program is meant to be able to recognize the impact that the Indian-American community has had on Chicago and how much could be done if all of the communities of the area worked together to make a positive change in the world. India and Chicago have had a strong relationship for years and this program recognizes this as well. Smita Shah is actively involved in the community of Chicago in many different ways and is known for contributing through various acts of philanthropy. As a woman in business, she enjoys being able to support other women who would like to become entrepreneurs or part of the executive team at a company. Her city is known for celebrating the culture of the communities that are part of it as well as for being welcoming to others and what they have to contribute to the city and the world.