All You Need to Know about Parenting
 Afternoon,  June 17 1999
By Priya Parikh-Tanna

All you ever needed to know about parenting... but didn't know whom to ask! An expecting mother's diet, the child's intellectual development, a father's role, a parent-child compatibility chart according to the zodiac signs, nursery rhymes and prayers, and lots more...! It's all there for you, a click of a mouse away.

Why would Nirali Sanghi, a yuppie having gone the management route, make a dramatic U-turn and launch a site on an issue as domestic as parenting? Because her years at Columbia Business School taught her to grab an opportunity when it stared at her in the face.

A Mumbaikar, Nirali headed for the US for a major in economics, followed by a year in computer programming and then a brief stint at a leading mergers and acquisition firm before heading for Columbia Business School. She left New York as the associate vice-president of Citibank. 

On moving back to Mumbai, she joined the Boston Consultancy Group. In 1998, her daughter was born, which is when happened to her - or vice-versa.

"When I was pregnant, I had logged on to the net to find information on Indian pregnancies," she says. "I found many sites on pregnancies, but nothing related specifically to India. And there are lots of topics which are specific to us. 

"Like the Indian diet, for example, or the numerous myths and old wives' tales - if you apply ghee, you won't have any stretch marks, or if you have tea, your baby will turn out dark. You do wonder if here is any merit to all this, and there was nothing on the net that dealt with it. So I decided that parenting would be the first topic I would get into." 

Work for the site commenced last November, and the site was officially launched last month. 

"It took us a lot longer than I expected," she continues, "but one thing was sure, I wanted to be thorough." 

And thorough she was. The site is a compilation of over 1,800 pages, and is a virtual A-Z on parenting. The material has been sourced from scores of books and after months of extensive research. 

A few of the issues covered are pregnancy diet and care, child care, new-born child's development, role of the father, a chi1d-parent compatibility chart according to the zodiac signs, baby contests, nursery rhymes and hymns in different languages, baby names (including Muslim names, names by alphabets or rashi, and names that are easy to pronounce) and an interactive poll for readers. 

"We also have a panel of eminent doctors whose services are a part of the site," continues Nirali. "This not only includes paediatricians and gynaecologists, but also cardiologists, neurologists (for fits, falls and epilepsies), dentists, speech and hearing pathologists, radiologists, etc. In all we have a panel of 22 distinguished doctors who not only disseminate information but also answer visitors' queries."' 

The highlight of the site, though, is a cybershopping section for babies. "I have started off with a line of ghagra cholis which people can buy off the net, and delivery is done in and out of India. From personal experience I know that it is very difficult to find ethnic wear for young girls. The clothes and designs are displayed on the site with details and pricing in rupees and dollars. 

The site may concentrate on Indian parenting, but has been developed keeping both Indians and Non-Resident Indians in mind. 

She works out of her residence with a team of five, which, she adds is slowly increasing. Speaking of her involvement, she says, "I am here most of the time, even after my team disperses. Many a time, I work till late at night. My involvement is complete." 

Nirali says she has received an overwhelming response from the site, which has been inundated with visitors from all over the world. 

Encouraged by the feedback, Nirali has made elaborate plans which include  developing the existing site and creating many others which are rich and content based." 

A fore-'site'ful person, na? 

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