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This Indian millionairess is fighting to stop child sacrifice

It’s not all champagne and roses for Samara Madhvani

By Hasina Khatib  May 22nd, 2017

As the heiress to the multi-million dollar Madhvani Group fortune, we doubt that Samara Madhvani is short of ways to spend her time. That she chooses to throw her energy and resources fighting to make child sacrifice illegal in Uganda, where she was raised, is a testimony to her determination and drive to give back to society.

As the only daughter of Gayatri and Roni Madhvani, (current director of the Madhvani empire) Samara’s altruistic efforts began at the age of 16 when she learned that there was no specific penal code for the perpetrators of child sacrifice. “That was what pushed me to create a non-governmental outfit, The Gideon Foundation, named after a survivor. I was absolutely devastated to learn how common child sacrifice is in Uganda, and I just knew that I needed to do whatever I could to put an end to this heinous crime,” she recounts. What followed next? “I helped lobby to pass a law and had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to address the Ugandan Parliament to urge them to pass the bill when I was 18.”

Her list of achievements doesn’t end there. Her work for The Gideon Foundation paid off when the organisation was certified by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights a couple of years ago. She has also contributed to an NBC documentary on the horrific practice, that later went on to win the Broadcast Journalism Training Council Awards’ documentary of the year.

Having double-majored in Political Science and International Comparative Studies at Duke University, the 22-year-old has since shifted base to India. She is working on opening a social media boutique, Posted by Samara, to utilise her Instagram expertise to create tailor-made content for celebrities, hotels and clothing labels. “I have been instilled with the value that the measure of a person’s life is the effect that they have on others,” explains Samara. “And I have been very fortunate to be in a position where I can certainly try.” 

Inside Samara Madhvani’s life

What does the life of an heiress-slash-social-activist look like when she’s off duty? Samara gives us the tour.

Her New York pad is no different, except that she helped decorate the space to reflect her sense of style.

When your father's conglomerate specialises in exotic safari lodges, plush accommodation comes with the territory  Samara's Ugandan mansion is no exception. Good luck leaving that infinity pool ever.

Of course, you bump into a Will Smith or two when you run in those circles. 

And your daily itinerary involves scenic views of the New York skyline.

You also routinely fastforward over those zillion-hour layovers in the family chopper. 

But when your holidays look this good, nobody's going to blame you for wanting to get there as soon as humanly possible.