Where are you from?

Bombay (now known as Mumbai), India

What was it like growing up?

It was okay. If you were born over there, that was your life. There, the buildings had small rooms. Here, the rooms are bigger.

What brought you to Cleveland?

My husband came to the United States in 1961, and earned his Ph.D. in Atlanta, Georgia. I came over in 1963. I was 22 years old. After he got his degree, we went back to India. A few years later, Case Western Reserve University offered my husband a job in the microbiology department, so we moved to Cleveland.

What were your first thoughts about coming to America?

When I came to this country, I was scared. But, I didn’t come here by myself, like my husband did, so it wasn’t as bad.

What challenges did you face as an immigrant transitioning here?

Initially, we didn’t know if we could make it or not. But, we thought we would be all right, because of our education. If you have an education, you have the power to settle anywhere.

What is your occupation?

At first, I didn’t have a job, because I took care of our kids and the house. But, once the kids were grown, I got a college degree, and worked in the Cleveland Heights Library’s circulation department for 20 years. I retired in 2010.

How have other Clevelanders made you feel welcomed?

Some people are very nice and open-minded. Others are not as welcoming. My children found it particularly difficult growing up here in the 1970s.

What traditions or customs do you continue to practice?

I continue to observe my Hindu faith.

What do you love about Cleveland?

I feel it’s the best place to stay. So much is changing. So much is improving. Things declined in 2008, but now, the city is coming back. It’s also not very expensive to live here.

What is your favorite thing to do in Cleveland?

I enjoy hiking near the Shaker Lakes, as well as visiting Downtown Cleveland.

Why is it so important to welcome immigrants and refugees?

If somebody is bringing something beneficial to this country, why shouldn’t we welcome them? If they’re educated, and adding to the economy, they should be welcome here. It doesn’t matter which religion they are.

What suggestions do you have to make Cleveland a more welcoming Community?

People have to be open-minded. They have to understand the benefits that immigrants bring.