A personal appointment with the Counsellor General of India or talking eye to eye to a politician or staging a protest in support of the Bhopal gas victims or interviewing the champions of social causes, or organizing fund raisers or hosting shows for non profits or initiating projects or coordinating volunteer organizations are some very small steps I’ve taken. But every step I’ve taken, I’ve taken with no fear in me, instead have taken with lot of passion and utmost sincerity.
It’s quite surprising to me how far I’ve come along since when I started this journey. I remember years ago when I had my first opportunity to talk about CRY (Child Rights and You) to a group of about 10 students in a small classroom, how nervous I was and how scared I was. Not that I’m not now, but I got better in hiding it. So that day, I started my little talk by saying “good afternoon”. And believe me that was the only phrase I said with confidence and clarity. The rest of the 5 minutes I just blabbered in fear or I should say the stage fear.
So what happened, how did I come this far. I don’t have a degree in communications nor a degree in political science and neither do I have a degree in event management.Well it was quite dramatic. It was a Sunday afternoon, a rather quite and yet a beautiful sunday afternoon I should add, I was walking alone on the beach front, when a heavy wind out of no where almost threw me off, if not for the hand that stretched out towards me.
Actually nothing dramatic happened, I’m just kidding. I just continued to be a volunteer. I started as a volunteer with CRY (child rights and you) and worked towards creating opportunities and avenue which I could use to further the cause of CRY. In the process I realized there are so many people doing so many good things and making good use of their potential in creating opportunities for the less fortune. It was only natural that i joined them and started working and collaborating with them and play my role to the extent possible. Sometimes this meant, creating a website or doing an RTI survey or raising funds to help a 4 year old with heart operation or sometimes it was long drawn discussions on projects or organizations, administrations etc.
Where is the time ?
Before I realized I was part of more than 10 different groups and quite honestly it didn’t matter to me as long I was able to contribute in a positive way. My friends often asked me how I manage my time or take time to do so many things, my answer is I don’t. I don’t take time or make time, because this is not any other job it’s a responsibility and just like how I work for my family everyday I just work for my society everyday. Weekends or weekdays, India or abroad, it doesn’t really matter then, there is always time for my family and my society.
Being a Volunteer
- Being a volunteer made me realize not just my responsibilities but also the deeper issues in the society that’s around us and how even an individual like me can make a difference – may be just touch one individuals life but I should still do it.
- Being a volunteer gave me opportunities that I couldn’t have gotten otherwise and it helped me more than me helping others.
- Being a volunteer gave me the good fortune of meeting so many inspirational people, so many heroes, so many friends, so many kind hearted men and women and even kids.
- From understanding the issues of the farmer to the hardships of the weavers to the water problems faced by the villagers to the citizen charters to the constitutional rights to the child rights to the women’s issues, being a volunteer, taught me about the various problems and also taught me how I could be part of the solutions.
- Being a volunteer helped me transform from a volunteer to a socially responsible individual and helped me realize the potential I had and how best I could utilize it.
And this is just the beginning of the journey. There is no road map and there is no destination and neither do I need them. The journey is so long, full of ups and downs, filled with joy and sorrow, throwing surprises and challenges that just staying on track and continue the journey for as long as I can.
Be Someone, Be A volunteer and Become a leader to “Bring the Change” and not just “Be the Change“.