My mother is my hero: Sonali Bendre

New Delhi, June 4 (IANS) Who is Sonali Bendre's real life hero? The actress calls her mother her hero for raising three daughters with very limited resources and giving them wings despite being not so educated. She admits this kind of heroism is not so uncommon in the country.

"My mother has done a great job with her kids," the 38-year-old actress said in a group interview.

"The daily struggle of raising three daughters with a very limited income, yet seeing to it that they get a good upbringing, giving her daughters the wings even after not being so educated - that person is my hero," Bendre added.

Having said that, she feels that "this kind of heroism is in most of the women in India because they all are doing that."

Hailing from a middle-class family, Bendre entered filmdom through ads and later rose on the firmament with her work in "Sarfarosh", "Zakhm", and "Duplicate".

After playing a successful innings, she tied the knot with filmmaker Goldie Behl and settled down. Mother of a seven-and-a-half-year-old son, she has an immense respect for women who balance family and work.

"I had the luxury of making a choice (whether to work or not). All the women don't have this luxury and I really don't know how they do it. If I had to do everything on my own, I would have fallen apart," she confessed.

"I have an immense amount of respect for women who leave their kids and go to work, because they have to. They don't have a choice. I couldn't have done that," she added.

After becoming a mother, Sonali cut down on her work as her priority was to be a hands-on mother. Off and on she appears on the small screen as a judge of reality shows.

"From what I know and what I have read, the first seven years of a child's life are very important - be it for their emotional quotient, body type, IQ or habits," she said and added that much of a child's personality evolves in the first seven years.

"So for me, it was very clear that the first seven years of my son's life should be good," said the actress who recently judged "India's Best Dramebaaz".

Sonali wishes for longish maternity leaves than the prevailing rule of one for new moms.

"I really wish that at work place if we could let a woman have maternity leave for the first couple of years, so that she can take care of her child, because what a mother can give during that period nobody else can give," she said.

(Aditi Chandra can be contacted at aditi.c@ians.in)

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