A free soul, she forged her own destiny by obtaining degrees from the Lahore College for Women in arts and then from Sir Ganga Ram Training College, Lahore in education. Apart from studies, she for much part of the 1930s was the state level badminton champion before partition of Punjab.
Sheila’s began her political career by becoming a member of the Lucknow municipal corporation and a member of the Legislative Council of UP. From 1971 and 1991, she was elected MP for five consecutive terms, representing Indian National Congress. Thrice she became MP from Lucknow and twice from Raebareli. She held several prestigious positions in her distinguished career and worked tirelessly in the fields of social welfare, education, urban development, and culture.
In her career, she was privileged to represent India at various international forums on culture, education, and women’s rights and the European parliament and at the UN general assembly. The last post that she held was as governor of the state of Himachal Pradesh from 1995-96. She was noted among her colleagues for her astuteness, perseverance, and candour.
She was married to Kailas Nath Kaul, a well-known botanist. The couple was blessed with two sons named Gautam Kaul and Vikram Kaul and a daughter Deepa Kaul.