I was someone, who grew up hearing the phrase, "I hate changes". My brother was totally not liking the changes he had to endure in his adolescence, while i was still young to appreciate what my brother was experiencing. He is elder to me by 5 years and he often used to utter the phrase, "I hate changes", when he came home every week from his residential college! My brother pursued something close to his heart - Marine Engineering, but wasn't wee bit aware of how arduous his life is going to be !
My brother's statement echoed within me as, "Stay away from changes. Try to stay in your comfort zone. Changes aren't nice to experience." I grew up to be a 'girl-who-stayed-satisfied-with-anything'. I never used to dream big, i dream of things within my reach, attain it and stay content! I was never the great aspirant nor was i the dormant, sluggish girl - i called myself smart :-)
Time is not only a healer, it is also a true teacher! With time, one gets to learn and mature and so did I! It took me a while, but i did realize that, "Change is inevitable" and "Change should be embraced and not shied away".
The more you resist change, the more it persists.
Life's experience taught me that 'One who accepts change can bring in new solutions to life'. I realized that though my brother detested change, he accepted his new environment and the changes that came along, to be a successful Marine Engineer he is today!
When i graduated out of college in 2005, i had no big experience of a 'changed' environment but by then i knew to realize your dream, you need to be the change yourself, and not wait for the change to occur.
A change triggered from outside creates ripples within and leaves you disturbed, like how my brother experienced!! On the other hand, when you bring about the change from within, in your life, you can leave indelible marks in the life's of others.
I would like to thank IndiBlogger and Stayfree for providing this opportunity to share my experience!! It's a true experience of a young girl, fresh out of college, who believed she could change the state of the Indian Society - a story of my rendezvous with erasing illiteracy from its roots!
Yes, i believed it is 'Time to Change' the pathetic state of our Indian Society! I am true patriot, who loves my country dearly. I spent countless hours after graduating, wondering how i could change the state of affairs in our country! There was a long list of social evils that i had listed out - Corruption, Poverty, Illiteracy, Poor Sanitation, Poor Civic Sense, Lack of Infrastructure, Malnutrition, Illness and many others. I spent considerable time understanding each of the problems that is plaguing our country and wanted to make some contribution in one of those areas that would lead to betterment.
I finally concluded all problems were interlinked and most problems stem out of one key issue - Illiteracy!
I decided to 'Be the change' ! I hunted down for Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) that work towards upliftment of less-privileged children, unfortunately i found many NGOs but wasn't satisfied with their level of commitment.
My intense search ended with a phone call to a founder of a NGO called 'Dream India' in Mumbai. I was happy with their intention and knew there only purpose was 'To Serve' unlike others. Dream India was a small NGO, with hardly 20 members - a group of working professionals working tirelessly to provide education to every child. You can read about Dream India here. I joined them and opened the Chennai chapter of Dream India.
I have been associated with Dream India for 7 years now, the joy that i get out of teaching under-privileged children cannot be equated to anything on earth!
To be the change is not easy!! There were many NGOs that were providing education to orphans and homeless children. We wanted to focus on school dropouts in urban slums. It wasn't an easy task to approach children in our slum dwellings and start teaching them, but we did it. We had many obstacles on our way. In August 2005, i conducted my first class for a group of 25 children in a temple. The maid, who worked at our home helped me established the link! My experience with these children has taught me that, the only difference between our children and them is - Exposure! If only they had someone to guide them a little and some financial help, they would all be studying well!
|My students :)|
I am proud to tell you that one of my students is now a first year engineering student :-)
I have loads of experience to share pertaining to my association with Dream India, but through this post for the contest and Stayfree for kindling my thoughts on 'Voice to Change', i would like to say that 'Change is possible'. We can all bring about a change in things around us. It is time - to stop complaining and start acting! In fact, i hate littering and it used to bother me a lot when someone drops something. One fine day i decided to be the Change myself, i observed even i do litter a bit and completely stopped littering. I was in class 8 then and i made it a point my friends took notice of it. I was instrumental in making many of my friends follow my footsteps.
If something irritates you so much....Change it! -- It only needs a beginning!
I am sure one day, i will be able to see the 'India' that i had envisioned - free of most social evils and for that, the ONE CHANGE that has to occur is 'RIGHT TO GOOD EDUCATION'
Education can remove the weeds from our society. An educated citizen will not only be able to take care of his own family but also the society by voting responsibly! All other social issues can be combated successfully with educated citizens!
Our work won't stop today or tomorrow. I, as a part of Dream India have seen so many challenges that has bogged us down at times, but every time we see a child smile, a child read, a child dream - we know, we have made a change!
The journey is long, but the experience is countless! In our journey, we have given education to so many children and changed the fortune of their family and we strongly believe that one day we will change the fortune of the country!
You can 'Be the change', you want to be - Take the first step!
Dream India's tagline says - "Together we can!! Together we should!!" - It sums it up well :-)
Interested to be a part of Dream India's activities - Our Facebook Page
Would you like to Volunteer? - Our Facebook Group