Bhagyashree was born, grew up, and studied in the ancient city of Pune, India, – a ‘city of culture and history.’ She was the eldest child in a middle-class family. Bhagyashree explains that Pune is often compared to Harvard in the USA in terms of its education and culture. She describes how students who have studied in Pune invariably want to return and settle there.
Her father always inculcated how important education is for her growth and development. Her grandmother was a maths teacher, and her mother was her first teacher, teaching her English using the phonics system. She then attended Huzurpaga High School for Girls, a 200-year-old school whose name means ‘where royalty keep their horses.’ It was the first Indian-run school to offer education to girls to the level of matriculation. She studied in her mother-tongue, Marathi.
As a child Bhagyashree always wanted to be a medical doctor, contributing towards the health of humankind and those in need in her own country. However, her life took a different path, she is not a medical doctor, but she does work that helps humanity.
Following graduating with her bachelor’s degree, in pharmaceutical science, Bhagyashree was awarded a post-graduate diploma in alternative medicine. She was offered a post in a Multi-National Company in Mumbai, a job she didn’t take as she didn’t feel it helped her on the right path. Instead, she stayed at her family home and for a year prepared for her entrance exam for a master’s programme in the field of Pharmacognosy. During her master’s programme she worked with a gynaecologist who used herbalism within her practice.
Following her master’s degree Bhagyashree started to work as a lecturer for undergraduate students in the university of Pune, but after 18 months she realised that this too was not increasing her knowledge and the greater picture she was seeking.
Bhagyashree began to apply for doctoral positions, and she had an opportunity to work with someone she describes as “a very wonderful person” who was a mentor for her doctoral research. Bhagyashree was this mentor’s first student, and he gave her the liberty of thinking, designing, and executing her research ideas. Her PhD. looked at the development, standardisation, and quality control of the herb-drug interaction of Gymnema Sylvestre.
Joining the doctoral programme was Bhagyashree’s dream, though the first two years were very hard due to a lack of funding. However, eventually she secured fellowship funding from the Government of India University Grant Commission. Meanwhile she was involved in mentoring and teaching graduate and post- graduate students from various states of India and from other countries such as Sudan, Iran, Nepal, Malaysia, and African countries.
Post Ph D. Bhagyashree worked as an Assistant Professor at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research (India) an institute which is highly regarded and affiliated with the Indian Government.
She has worked for several years in herbal research and has been successful in presenting her research work at various national and international platforms.
Bhagyashree married and has two daughters. She left her job as Assistant Professor in 2017 and came to the UK, where she now works as Senior Researcher with Nature’s Laboratory Ltd as part of a KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership) in conjunction with Bradford University.