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Bringing together the Indian Community - Usha Rao

Updated: Feb 27, 2020

Usha Rao talks about how she overcome the struggles of living in a new country and started an initiative to bring the Indian community together.

Armed with 8 years of experience in the field of Human Resources & Administration, with dreams of aspiration and confidence, I stepped in Sweden in September 2010. Years have gone by and I am still striving hard to find a place for myself in the Swedish system!

Photo of a woman sitting in a cafe looking into the camera and smiling.
Usha Rao

When I realized I could not get a job, I decided to do something about it and started to learn Swedish at SFI and gradually completed my SAS, Företagsekonomi and Administration and was still unable to find a proper job. I went through a bout of emotional breakdowns followed by depression, and to add to my pain, I lost my beloved precious mum in 2012.

Over the course of the years, I finally got a job at IKEA AB, but I had to discontinue working as motherhood called me. The birth of my bundle of joy was an eye-opener. We had to go through the painful uncertainty of my son’s survival. We were devastated and shattered, especially me. The loss of my mum, no job in hand and my child’s health opened my eyes to the fact that many of us were in the same situation. We all wanted to make it big, but what we lacked were the opportunities. We had the talent and the skills but there were no takers.

I knew then I had a different calling.

When I heard about Mångkulturellt Center Helsingborg (MKC), and approached Modou Joof, the founder of MKC. I shared my dream of wanting to revive and do something for the Indian community also mentioned about my initiative of creating a Facebook called “Indians in Helsingborg “where we have 1000+ members. Impressed by that, he gave me the freedom to initiate activities at the centre. And from there onwards, there has been no turning back.

Today, the revival of the Indian community with its various activities is encouraging everyone to be a part of the events that are being organized, making Helsingborg livelier. My main agenda is to get the Indian talented ladies out of depression, make them feel proud of themselves and know that they are equal contributors alongside their husbands, equip them with a sense of wellbeing and know that they are valued as individuals.

For me at the back of my mind is to help people fight depression and assist them in whatever I can – one of the reason is that my son’s birth taught me to be more humane and empathetic to people irrespective of their nationalities, help fight a battle that most of turn a blind eye to “ loneliness “ and “depression” that they experience.

Hence along with MKC, I have initiated many activities such as morning walks, bollywood nites, Indian Cuisine for which we have received support from many associations. This helped a lot of

ladies to showcase their talents and regain their confidence hidden in the depths of their struggles.

I can say my journey will continue to help out people to combat and adjust to their new lives in a new country, Sweden. I greatly appreciate MKC for giving me an opportunity to help others and do a fantastic job. Hope this helps people to do what they love and pursue their dreams and find their calling.


Do you like Usha have a story to share about your life in this new city? Or do you have tips about Helsingborg that can help newcomers? Send an email to with your ideas!



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