The Integration Question with Princess Pamela Toyin: Life in Ireland has helped Pavani from India to better her career and family alike
2018-09-01 17:24:19 -


By Princess Pamela Toyin


One of the most wonderful experiences of Pavani Gudivaka’s life is being able to fulfil her childhood dreams.

As a child, Pavani had a strong desire to become independent in life in whatever circumstances she found herself, and to get to a position where she could support her my family and friends back home. “They were my strongest support system as I grew up, [and] by God’s grace, that wish has been fulfilled till now,” she says.

Coming from a middle-class family in India, Pavani had witnessed her parents going through tough times, and although they were often rescued by her grandparents and a strong support system of extended family, the experience drove Pavani’s desire to become financially independent.

From Chennai in south India, to the United States, and finally to Ireland, Pavani embraced every new stage of life as she followed her husband to wherever in the world his career took him.

“My husband accepted a job offer from IBM Ireland and later in 2010, myself and our two-year-old daughter joined him,” says Pavani, who was a homemaker before the move to Ireland prompted a fresh outlook on life.

She prides herself on her Master’s degree in computer applications from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in India, and currently she works as a senior QA analyst in software testing.

“I love my job very much, it offers me good work life balance,” says Pavani, who also co-ordinates monthly sessions for children on education in human values (EHV), a popular movement in India, as well as assisting in multi-cultural events in her daughter’s school, and the annual street festival organised in their housing estate.

Integration through interactions with her neighbours and work colleagues has been a rewarding process, Pavani says. “I have a very good relationship with immigrants, be it other Indians or those from other countries who I meet in our community and workplace.”

Now settled in Ireland, having bought their first home, Pavani and her husband’s top priority now is “to get my kids the best education I could provide and enable them to reach their fullest potential with values like honesty, and integrity in everything they do in their lives. I pray and wish God gives me and my husband that strength and health to be able to see that through.”

Something the Government could do to help in that process, Pavani says, is by providing better child care assistance for the working class, as well as making positive changes to the visiting visa system.

“They should allow immigrants to bring their parents for six months to Ireland, like they do in the UK and USA. These two areas could make a huge difference to the immigrant community in general.”

The State can also make improvements on other matters. “Immigrants need to be encouraged to run for different offices to bring in their thought process and experiences to the system,” says Pavani who admits she is fortunate not to have experienced any form of racism so far, but would like to see more awareness built in different communities on this subject.


- Princess Pamela Toyin is a journalist, author and TV presenter who has gained experience since the mid 1980s working in various fields and interacting with people of different tribes and ethnicity. With her passion for diversity, she is propelled to report a diverse range of issues that facilitate intercultural dialogue and integration, which can change social, economic, and cultural stereotypes, and believes there are lessons to be learned from everyone. Talk to her on +353 (0) 87 417 9640 or email

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