At Risk Stories - Ms. Sujaya Rupani

Full Oral History Interview

Ms. Sujaya Rupani



Sujaya Rupani, 66, is an ophthalmologist and active member of the Indian community in Chicago. The interview includes discussion of her successful work life and moments of culture shock as she adapted to the US. She describes being raised in an agricultural home, with a rare nuclear family structure, and a mother who instilled values of independence and self-sufficiency in her daughters. Sujaya credits much of her success to lucky breaks and to helpful individuals who taught her. She recounts one terrifying incident of racial hatred and violence that she and her husband experienced early on during their time in Chicago. Sujaya discusses the long process to feel at home in the US, and her trips home several times per year, but also her eagerness to obtain her American citizenship so that she could sponsor her sister to join her. She describes her participation in the Indian Medical Association and the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago board. Her husband died tragically on a visit to India several months before the interview. The interview concludes with a tribute to him and the work he did for the National Indo-American Museum. Other topics discussed include: the impact of attending a Protestant school as a girl, the diverse religious community of her childhood, her choice in bindis, comparing driving in the US and India, American medical education system, trouble of finding childcare, and her family’s passion for travel.




Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Date Recorded

August 2, 2020


Shilpa Rupani, Priyanka Rupani



Date Of Birth

July 1954

Place of Birth or Hometown

Guntur, India Hyderabad, India

Date of Immigration


Reason for Immigration


Port of Entry

Chicago, IL



Occupation of Parent(s)

Lawyer and politician (father); Homemaker (mother)

Number of Siblings


Family's Religion



Convent school; Medical school in India

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