I have always had an interest in politics and had helped the local LibDems over the years.
In 2010, I was encouraged by my local MP Tom Brake (deputy leader of the house) to stand as a councillor in the London borough of Sutton. Initially, it was overwhelming and new, but my knowledge of the education sector made it easy for me to understand and navigate the complex local authority workings.
To date, I am pleased with what has been achieved in my ward of Wallington North, which includes improving our public places and alleviating traffic congestion where possible, which is a major problem in most suburban locations.
My council now has to make further efficiencies of £40 million by 2018, so future plans will need careful consideration before implementation. We will continue to maintain the flower baskets and parks so families can continue to enjoy open space in Wallington North.
Education is continuously being reformed, whilst schools have the freedom of what to teach, they do not always have enough money for resources. I do believe that pupil premium, if used to measure outcome, will raise attainment standards and will make a real difference to the lives of those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The challenge is how standards can continue to rise when all schools become academies, as local authorities will not be able to support them and schools will have to buy in the essential service, which will stretch the budgets further. I believe that every child should be a reader, as children are surrounded by technology that can be distracting, but used appropriately can help them to read at their own pace.
To achieve in a career as an Asian women, you have to be twice as good as your non-Asian counterparts and have to work much harder to create your own brand and, a good mentor can help at any stage to smooth the path and guide your future.
No matter how experienced you are, unfounded and false criticism is always painful, but you have to learn to draw a line under any situation and move forward as life is too short.
There are good and bad mangers in both genders, however, women who get to the top often exhibit male behaviours and pull the ladder up behind them, so, I think, they are very poor role models.
I like to enjoy what I do and therefore, I work long hours each day, but my time with my family is equally important, so I tend to have technology free weekends whenever possible by turning my phones on silence and checking e-mails less often.
I enjoy reading, swimming, visiting the theatre and spending time with friends over a nice meal.
As told to Anjana Parikh