Friday, June 20, 2008

FastForward India : 2 Years Hence(Part 2)

It was a new experience for me as all of us(me and 4 mentors)
were located at different places(continents rather.. 2 of themwere in USA,one in Canada and one in Bangalore with me in Dhanbad) and we used to exploit conference feature of yahoo messenger fully[:)].
Initials discussions focussed mainly on the social issues to start and work with,suggestions were asked from all and we recieved almost a dozen.(The full details can be had from the link a lot of Brainstorming sessions we zeroed on to pursue 3 of themas pilot projects which meant that these were to be run as beta version and after a fixed time frame the projects were to be evaluated and their feasibility and sustainability analysed.This experience was to be used in implementation of the tested projects at National Level(we planned really well :)).
In the meantime ,FFI was growing in numbers at ISM thanx to the equally dedicated efforts of Mohit Ranjan.We used to brief volunteers about FFI ,its vision and plans,the initial response was very enthusiastic and it all seemed too easy to work with(I was wrong big time)

Winter Trip

Then someone came with the idea of a trip to various NGO's to give volunteers a first hand idea of how organisations function and see the society we were going to work with more closely.
After a lot of discussions and modifications in plan we finalised on three venues Kolkata,Jamshedpur and Bodhgaya.
About 15 volunteers with me and mohit set on to a journey to understand the better of Under-priviledged India. Be it one of the poorest regions in Nation,the 24 parganas in west bengal,the remotest jungles of Jharkhand or the selfless devotion of Monks of Bodhgaya ,it was an Inspirational Journey for me atleast.
During the course of trip,we met Deputy Commissioner of Jamshedpur Mr. Nitin kulkarni who was very kind in offering us to use his sumo for a tour of Jamshedpur(such a behaviour was highly appreciated by us specially in India where bureaucrats are know for their High-handedness). Another inspiring personna we met was Mr. kabir who was leading the famous Maitreya Foundation at Bodhgaya, born in London and an Oxford graduate,he decided to devote his life to the service of humanity and Budhism.

Though,I found the Trip immensely enriching but looking from a different angle as to the amount of Money spent on trip(Fully Sponsored by FFI) and the productivity Gained henceforth in terms of volunteers' motivation, I would wish for a better Value for My money.Probably there were many other factors playing their role which we realised later on.

The trip was refreshing and had prepared us in some way for the larger battle that lied ahead..the actual implementation of projects which was to start in the new semester commencing just after the trip...

(To Be Continued...)

Monday, June 16, 2008

FastForward India : 2 years hence..

The piece which I am going to type down below is a tale of
one of the most valued learning experiences of mine so far
in this short span of life.Infact one of the best things
to have happened to me in the four years of ISM life.
Yes,the title says it all..I'm talking about fastforward India.

The brainchild of some young ISM passouts based in USA/Canada,
FFI was still in thought process and evolving when I was called
to take on the lead,organise the volunteers and start the ground
operations of the organisation.

It was to be a philanthropic organisation aimed to make the
society a better place to be by analysing various social problems
and coming up with innovative solutions.Things I had in plenty
were funds(I thought so),inspiration and guidance from my mentors
(Namely Durga Prasad Pandey,Jitendra Mohan Jha,Shulabh Gupta and
Priyank Nandan).But it still was a herculean task,I was about to
move into pre-final years of my B.Tech degree and never had any
chance to see the working of such a fully functional Organisation.
Though one such initiative Kartavya was in full blooms at that time in
ISM,but I was not associated with it,not even remotely.
However, on top of all this ,I was eager to accept the
challenge,the reasons:-

(a) Before the starting of placement season,I was desperately
looking to add something 'special' to my resume which otherwise
looked so ordinary at that time with my Average GPA and usual
stuffs like projects,training and blah blah

(b) Deep Inside ,I always had it in me that I can be good team
player/leader and the oppurtunity gave me a chance to test my
skills and hone them.

Thus,the journey Began,a journey which was so enriching in
learning and satisfying to soul that now,when I have passed out
from ISM(where the organisation is functioning currently) I wish
to extend it to wherever I go..not for the abovementioned
reasons but for the sheer satisfaction that comes from within
when you feel that you are adding value to the society around
you,you are contributing your bit in the great Vision 2020 of our
former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalamand that you too can
proudly say,I am not just living for me or my family..I am
contributing to a larger cause....

(To Be Continued...)