Anu Wat is Dr. Brad Miller’s guest on Episode 170 of The Beyond Adversity Podcast
Anu is an academic expert, education expert, and mentor with 15+ years of experience as an immigrant consultant for students focusing on teaching and education services in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Vietnam, and many more. She is also the founder of Wings Education, which helps other people immigrating and mentors them to overcome fear and judgment.
In this episode, Anu shares her experiences of overcoming the challenges of her migration journey. She also shares her experience of being a woman and navigating through a culture that did underestimate women.
She talks about how women in India don’t have much freedom, unlike in the United States. For her, freedom in the US is a supportive environment where nobody judges her. In every step of her life when she lived in India, “I get out of the door, and five betrayals are waiting for me.”
With this toxic environment, “Any place of association for a person, there are hundreds of betrayals because everybody is looking for their own benefit.”
Not only did Anu take a leap of faith, but she also took the actions to move from India to the US and broke the norms of women from her country. The reason she moved to the US was poverty. Seeing her parents live life not knowing how to afford Education and groceries made her migrate and study abroad.
Anu didn’t want to live in poverty. She wanted to be her own woman without being dependent on her parents or a husband. She took charge of her life and made the risk all worth it. y
In her words, “I don’t want to see my parents live in this life in the future. On top of that, I don’t want to live a life of constant worry.”
With her experience of being scammed, she vows to help others who are migrating to other countries to reach their goals. When she went for help from a consultant, they only took her money and never actually helped her. So with Wings Education, she vows to make an impact and help people not experience what she experienced. By helping one person at a time, she knows that she can change the lives of others and the future generations to come.
The story of Anu Wat is both exceptional and inspiring. Overcoming the cultural barriers and the norms from her country and taking the leap to have a better life is a testament to bravery and determination. Facing the fear and the desire to have a better life than poverty is what made Anu the woman she is today.
“The Beyond Adversity Podcast with Dr. Brad Miller is published weekly with the mission of helping people “Grow Through What They Go Through” as they navigate adversity and discover their promised life of peace, prosperity, and purpose.
Sprouting Wings with Anu: http://sproutingwingswithanu.com/
I knew what Welcome to the Beyond adversity podcast.Anu Wat:
Thank you so much, Brad,Dr. Brad Miller:
You have a story to tell. And it’s quite a fascinating story to tell your own personal story. And then the story of working with folks who are facing some challenges in life. And we’re talking about the world here of immigration. And among other things, and all the things are involved with it. I’ve got some own my own stories to tell along this line. But I really want to hear yours. First of all, tell us a little bit about you, and maybe your immigration story and maybe some of the challenges that you faced as we then begin to frame that, to help us look at the work that you do.Anu Wat:
I was raised in India, it has been a third world country for many years now. And it really shows on its culture. Like as why it’s still a third world country, and what challenges it faces. The greatest challenge I faced in my migration journey, the mindset of the people, being a woman is not easy in that country, like you are a second class citizen. Very few people respect you. People will say women should be respected, but nobody actually does that. It’s very underestimating and there are really no opportunities, not only for women, but for citizens in itself. Like if within the country, there was like 1.3 billion of them in one single country where there there are no opportunities, because if you don’t want something, there’s like thousands or millions of others who are in the line waiting for it. For years, the greatest challenge for me was being a woman and navigating the culture, and the mindset of people who didn’t want me moving abroad. And for them, the best future for me was just to get married, and be settled. It could be to anybody, like literally just get married to anyone. It doesn’t matter. You don’t have to have any choice in the, in the matter of your marriage was.Dr. Brad Miller:
Was just a culture of arranged marriages for instance, that type of thing?Anu Wat:
Yes, actually, it’s still very prevalent. Arranged marriages are very prevalent, people still prefer it. That’s what happens a lot. But like now, the people have been more open towards the choosing their own, like children choosing their own spouses and family members having the freedom when I lived in the country, there was no freedom like, no, and my Another problem was, I came from a poor family, my prospects were already less like in terms of working in terms of educating myself, or just about anything because of the financial restrictions. So even for me, like for my parents, everybody suggested you know, you, you should be happy, you have daughters, not sons, because you can marry the daughters off and you will be done. You don’t have to worry about them, they are not your problem anymore. They become somebody else’s problem. So nobody solves a problem. They just push the problem away from one person to another. Goals are the biggest problem in the entire culture.Dr. Brad Miller:
The situation was in India there you mentioned being a woman and being poor and being difficult, cultural. So what were some of the things that led you here now and get get you situated in a new way of life here?Anu Wat:
I think in the US, the freedom is a lot more than India ever had, at least for me. Like I know a lot of people still prefer India to live their life over us. But for me, the freedom here like nobody cares, or nobody judges each other because they nobody has time they have their own thing going on. We don’t have time to judge anybody else. And people are supportive, people help each other. And I didn’t find that because all I found was sabotage, backstabbing, and betrayals, like betrayal that every step of life like I get out the door, there’s like five betrayals waiting for me right there.Dr. Brad Miller:
By betrayals, you mean within a family structure or when it’s in like in the employment environment? Is that what you mean?Anu Wat:
Everywhere like you name it. Any place of association for a person, there’s like hundreds of betrayals waiting there, because everybody’s looking for their own benefit.Dr. Brad Miller:
So now you found your way to the states in your you work with an organization called Wings Education, which has to do with educational services for emigrants kind of primarily. Tell me but I’m interested in a little bit more about your story how you got there then in the terms of what did you find were some of the key decisions or actions especially if they went against the norms of what you were used to they kind of broke a pattern. What were some of the key decisions that you made were the transition points for you.Anu Wat:
So I decided I wanted to overbroad, but I had no guidance. So I reached out to a consultant. And then they betrayed me. I was already poor, I paid them for their services, they betrayed me. The owner was very selfish. He still is very selfish. And he only works for money. Same thing happened, they took my money, they never had me back. And that’s when I decided like, what’s the point? And eventually, after a few months, I made it to the US. And after a few more months, I think one semester or two semesters down the line. I thought to myself, like I live in this country, I have an education from the US there isn’t going to be a better credibility amongst the aspirants, like immigrant aspirants who want to move abroad to study, because they want somebody who has been in their shoes. So I have studied here, I live here. So there couldn’t be anybody more qualified than me who can help them get move abroad. And that’s when I founded Wings Education.Dr. Brad Miller:
Not only took the leap of faith, and they took the actions to move from your country of origin India, you broke some patterns, you had some issues with your family sounds like and you certainly broke the norms in terms of women being employed in your country. And then only you got here and you got your Education. And that’s probably story right there. But you took the leap of faith, which even in in Western culture is a pretty big way to start a new business. So you’re quite a risk taker, aren’t you? And you you’re willing to do something. Tell me about the fear or the overcoming of the fear of the risk tying something new. What do you do to get yourself the courage to take a leap of faith?Anu Wat:
Coming to a point where deciding if staying put good, or moving on, and searching for better option is a choice. And I was put on those crossroads. When I made my decision to move to the US for studies, the only motivation for me, I believe I had was, so I don’t have any problems with my family. I love my family, my parents, my sibling, I absolutely love them. The only reason I chose to move to the US for studying abroad was because of poverty. I have seen my parents worry, like all their lives, like how will we afford tuition fees next year for kids? How are we going to afford enough groceries next month? How are we going to afford like just you name it, I never went for shopping for three years in a row because we never had the money I staged the torn clothes or the worn out clothes myself to wear it. And then and the stitches shouldn’t be visible. Because it’s a matter of to keep the keep of the appearances, I would wear jackets on top of it so that it’s not visible to people like I have gone clothes. And coming from there. I saw one day myself like I don’t think I want to see my parents live in this life in the future. And on top of that, I don’t want to live a life of constant worry. And I’m not somebody problem to just marry me off from like, just transforming from one head to another that said I’m not a problem. And I’m a problem solver. Like I want to solve my own life’s problem. I don’t want to depend on a man or just about anybody else to help me solve it. And I was like, Okay, if I don’t make this decision now to move abroad, no one’s ever gonna make it for my parents for myself or my sister. So I have to do it here. And that’s when I decided, okay, let’s do it. Even if I fail, at least I would sleep better knowing that I tried and I failed.Dr. Brad Miller:
I love what you’re saying. You’re saying you’re a problem solver. But you had this gigantic, motivational, bigger, big why some people call it you didn’t want to live in poverty. You wanted to be your own woman without being dependent on your parents or on a husband or something like that. And you just wanted to take charge of your life. And it sounds to me like the risk was worth it. You know, your the risk was worth it to you. And that’s awesome. Let’s talk for a minute about relationships. You’ve mentioned a few challenging relationships, but not now you’re in an environment and you have created this organization where you deal with people all the time, many of them dealing with difficult circumstances of their own. Oftentimes there are people who take advantage of people in difficult circumstances as you have mentioned, but and yet I believe and see what you believe you’re a new a new is that you still have to work with people. And you have to put some trust out there with somebody in order to truly make some progress to have some, some breakthroughs. So tell us about the importance of positive or encouraging relationships, or accountability, or even mentorships, or things like this, to a process of helping both yourself and the people you work with, to have some tools to work with some resources to have a breakthrough. Tell us about the importance of loving, vital, caring, helpful relationships,Anu Wat:
Loving and helpful relationships are very important because we don’t see their effects on a person right away. Because it’s like this subtle, pat on the back or a subtle just cares that a person slowly tries, like opens up and blooms. It is because of these relationships. And very sadly, a lot of immigrants do not have this privilege in their own countries, because of the culture, because of the people’s mindset. And because of the situations they are living in. And for them, the main problem is survival. In the US, our survival needs are met, even if a person does not have a job, the government pays them the employment benefits so that they can afford food, and live somewhere. It might not be fancy, but it’s enough for a person that’s not privileged or luxury a person in an abroad country, especially in India will have when we were getting stimulus checks by the government and IRS, Indian government didn’t even give their citizens even a single penny to live through the pandemic. And when people have this when they live through this day in day out years, over years and generations over generations. The only thing in their mind is selfishness. Me, I want everything for myself and my family. That’s it. I like they become selfish. And what do they want, they want money that and money is everything. My I wouldn’t say my own family, but my extended family. They literally extorted me in the name of website designing just for money.Dr. Brad Miller:
In order to break through those negative deals, you got to partner up with others. And in your case, you came to the west, you help others to navigate the process of coming to the west and a lot of folks and in the States and other parts of the West. I’ve been privileged to travel in third world countries, South America, Europe, Russia, I’ve been to Russia, there’s just a lack of appreciation from a lot of Western folks, Americans, particularly who just don’t get what you’re saying, you know, just don’t get it don’t get the don’t get the sensibility of the survival issue, or the very basic subsistence issue that many people would settle for. But also then have, you know, there’s some jealousies, there’s racism, there’s cultural biases, all kinds of things that are there. But there have been there have to be people you’ve partnered up with in the West, that have been helpful to you in the West who’ve been helpful to help you partner up to help you to create what you’re doing now. And tell us a bit about that.Anu Wat:
When I first moved, I think for the first six months or seven months, I was just shocked at how loving and supportive people were in the US. And like literally, I would come back and call my parents and tell them the stories and I’ll tell them like, I can’t believe how helpful these people are. Like, if I had gotten even one of this is much helpful person back in India, my story wouldn’t be so challenging, like just one person would have made a lot of difference. But now everybody I met for everything I needed to get needed to get done to come to the US every step, no help. And that was the biggest challenge to Accept to accept the willingness of people to love me and help me so much.Dr. Brad Miller:
I always like to ask my guests but so I really believe in a process where there’s these four person to really navigate and get through something bad. One of the bad things that can happen to you is, you know, being in debt or being poor or depression or having a disease, you know, or you know, we had with a COVID crisis, we had a lot of death and things like that throughout the whole world. It was a common thing or certainly relationship issues are another one big things that people deal with but don’t get through those. We talked about a couple of months leave you had to be an action taker. And I believe you have to have some connection, some positive connection with others. You just can’t do it alone. In other words, another thing I believe also that comes into play is some sensibility of Have you got a mission greater than yourself, that you’re thinking about something beyond yourself, you mentioned several times, and knew about how, you know, just the the money and degreed part was a part of your experience. But I was here and feeling your vibe for you that you have a mission greater than yourself. And for some folks, that’s a mission of some great social cause. And some folks it’s a spiritual thing, or a religious thing, or some sort of meditation type thing. Tell us about any sensibility about in your case, something that you connected to greater than self,Anu Wat:
let me put it this way. I want to offer help to people. The help that I never gone, like the help I wanted from the the consultant I paid, but they never came back to me to help out. All they were interested in was my money, people are ready to pay, but I’m like at what cause they need to be they need to get what they’re looking for. Because it’s not about money. In the end, it’s about making an impact. Suppose I help a person move abroad, and we stay in touch. But then we lose contact, I don’t mind. But I will I sleep better knowing I not only helped one person, I probably have an entire future generation of that person. And no one thinks like that anybody who thinks about money doesn’t think about this. They don’t think they are changing lives. They are changing generations and they’re changing family’s future. The only thing the client becomes one of the columns and rows on their, on their Fact Sheet. That’s it. It doesn’t become any more than that.Dr. Brad Miller:
So you’re about changing lives. You started with your life and now you’re chopping change others and that’s another thing I think is so important for life transformation take place is when we love others enough to give back to them. So let’s talk a little bit now about what you do. You know, you’ve created this company called wings education. So tell me about what you do there and how you’re changing lives. Some of the people that you work with and some of your passion is there. I know that you’ve already indicated you’re a problem solver and you deal with immigration issues it is incredibly complex and you I’m sure you I’m sure is your the world that you live in and you are inspirational person and you are helping other peopleAnu Wat:
wings, Education’s a one stop solution to all abroad migration problems. Like, right from motivation with and then preparing for exams, a proving English language skills, applying to colleges, applying for permanent residency and everything. So I help with everything. And not only this, once an immigrant moves abroad, what are they going to do they got to work? How are they supposed to sustain themselves so I do help immigrants find a job abroad. But it’s very tough for immigrants to be convinced that a person can truly help them find a job because of the betrayals they have faced back in their country, their own fair share of betrayals and backstabbing, for them to have so much so less trust in people, I’m trying to do my best. And I am happy to know I do have a lot of students who do trust me and who do exactly as I say, I feel I have this gift that even if I don’t, even if I don’t say. But whatever I suggest and tell people to do, it worked for them. And it has worked for everybody, no matter what it soundsDr. Brad Miller:
You have in this process of giving to others. You’ve built up trust, where people have now entrusted you and also you’ve come through in terms of exams and helping people when they arrive to, to find jobs and to find a place to be. And you’ve also found some people to connect up with here in the States to be partners with that. But I’m also interested as to for a minute or two I knew about some of the challenges you face face here, because it’s not all many Americans do not appreciate how good we have it, especially if travel abroad you get a better appreciation of that because so therefore, you have folks who have their own biases or prejudices and other systematic and political things which are problematic. How are you navigating some of that? Are you navigate? Are you having to deal with racism more, you know, culturalism or anything else that is challenges for you that and especially if I know for some immigrants, this becomes a slap, you know, kind of a shock as well. How are you navigating some of those things that you must be facing?Anu Wat:
I did face a little bit of racism and but I don’t think I got the bad end of the stick. Because when I moved, I integrated myself with the culture and the language. So nor, and as much as I could, so that it becomes easier for people to understand me like working on my accent. Working on the way I speak, like making using more American idioms just make speaking things that are easier for Americans to Americans, or in general for everybody to understand. And not speaking the language like Indian English. That’s a big problem with people, like people who move from India, but they never stop doing Indian things. Those are the people who have the most difficult time integrating in the culture. Even if they move out of India, they still live in India in the US. And I know many people like that who have lived in the US. They are naturalized US citizens, but they have never even made one American friend.Dr. Brad Miller:
So you’re saying that it’s important for immigrants to assimilate into the culture. And yet I also know that importance of sustaining some their heritage, their legacy, their or their lineage. And that must be a bit of a balancing act. I know that, in my particular case, I work in a multicultural environment. I’m a pastor of a church and a church I have, I have a associate pastor who’s Hispanic. And so we, the church is located in a area that is both. It’s a very poor neighborhood, inner city. And there’s a you know, there’s basically poor white folks, and there is poor black folks and poor Hispanic folks. So we have a English language service. And we have a Spanish language service and Hispanic pastor and we have a number of folks in both groups, but we do have some language challenges, but we have to, everybody’s got to work at it, is what I’m trying to say everybody’s got to work at it. It’s not just folks, Central and South America, in my case, they have to work on learning their English, but some of us who are English speakers need to work harder understanding and not being, you know, quick to judge and that works both ways. And, and I’ve seen the success of that as well, in my church, now, a former church where we had some folks in desperate situations who came from the country of my Omar, who has set which is, you know, they’ve had, you know, incredible tragedies in that part of the world. And, and they made made their way here. And, you know, they grew, their group grew from a small group of 25 or so to serve about two or 300. But they were also worked hard at simulating, but also they’re very much connected to their, their native tongue and social norms in that as well. So it seemed kind of both ways. But tell us now about what you provide this one stop shop for for folks who are, who are immigrants and facing the immigrant experience here in the United States. I’d like to hear from him about a new about basically a success story, tell us about somebody you’ve worked with who has kind of come through your training and your process. And you can just say, Okay, this makes me feel good that I this is, you know, you mentioned about life changing medical. And this is what this is all about, for me tells a story about a person or a person or a family that you’ve seen, they’ve got they’ve got this aha moment. And they have transitioned from their country of origin.Anu Wat:
I have a lady she was 34 years old at the time. She was married, but her husband had abandoned her out of domestic violence and everything. So it was a case of abandoned marriage, and just desperately trying to make life for a single woman. So I have her pursuing Education in the US, she did finish. She wasn’t smart. But she was very hard working. So she did work very hard. And you despite the age gap, and the cultural difference and everything where she came from, she did a good job. And the off, she didn’t stay in touch with me because she was very private. She was like, thank you for bringing me here. But I’m going to, I’m going to be my own person from here on she made it she she would text me you know, like, once in a while saying like, Hey, I graduated. I’m working over here. I’m living here. I just moved here. And another story I have is a girl who was in similar situations like I was who are family, two siblings, both girls, both parents in the same pressure. This was around the time, something very dramatic happened in India that was called as D monetization. In that I’m not sure if you’re aware, but overnight the government of India ban the use of certain denomination of bills in the economy. So what happened was, she suffered a lot because the government stopped circulating the 500 rupee bill and 1000 rupee will. What happened was she got stuck in between that she had an admit she had to make a deposit to the university. But the bank would have let her access any loans or any money from her own account, even if she had some that she had saved over the month, and whatever, like she couldn’t keep cash because the cash will be worthless since the denominations were banned. She worked very hard. And then I told her like take a break, let’s take a break of who you are, and try for a scholarship so that way you we can work on your profile. She did get a scholarship. She got 150% scholarship from the college that paid not only her tuition, but her rent her books her laptop, and gave her a job on campus that paid her $1,200 a month. That is like a great privilege. Then I had another boy who got us visa rejected for four times and nobody could help him. He was like, ma’am, I have tried everything. I don’t know why, but it would not be approved ever. And he can’t come if his visa is not approved. So I was like, you know, let’s give a shot. I trained him I told him everything, all the answers and everything like how to answer how to prepare your answer how confidently you speak on the body language training, that that person’s visa was approved in the first 10 seconds of his interview.Dr. Brad Miller:
That’s an awesome, great testimonial story makes you feel good to doesn’t when you know that you’ve accomplished something. And that gives makes you a sense that you have value in what you’re doing. And you’re doing something greater than yourself. And so let’s that’s a huge, it’s a huge need out there. For people to understand the immigration issue better. To work with folks who are emigrating into our country, the need is create we have great need economically in all kinds of ways, you know, and we were better for it. In Western countries. When we have diverse we become better when we become more eclectic in that type of way. So I just want to thank you for the work that you’re doing. And if folks want to know more about you and knew about who you are and what you’re about about,Anu Wat:
They can find me on Instagram, on Instagram, we have close to 30,000 followers, they can always find me on Instagram. And if they want to look at my professional credentials, then they can find me on LinkedIn using my name Anu Wat. And on Instagram, I use @flyingwithwingswithanu.Dr. Brad Miller:
We will put connections and links to all of that on our show notes page at Dr. Brad miller.com. And it’s been a real pleasure to have a new watch with us today. Her name of her organization is Wings Education. There are great things from you and from the services that you offer as you offer a vital service that helps everybody. So our guest today on Beyond Adveristy is Anu Wat.