15 Mar Volunteer Den – Aravind Chandrasekar
Tell us a little about yourself!
An optimist turned realist. I am an engineering graduate currently working as a software engineer in CSC. Born in Trichy, brought up in Chennai. Movies, TV shows, Comic Books, EDM and AR.Rahman are the most essential things of my life. To taste different cuisines from different cultures is my ultimate life goal.
How did volunteering with Bhumi happen?(including beginning, which project you volunteered for)?
2012-2014 was a period when there was a nation-wide social political unrest . I always wished to create an impact and do my part to this society. It was the time when my close friend volunteered for a scribe writing event organised by Bhumi and that was how I was introduced to this organisation. It was also the time when Aam Admi Party (AAP) was formed and I was in a dilemma whether to join in Bhumi or AAP. As a youngster myself, I wanted to influence more young minds and enlightening them with social awareness and hence I joined Bhumi as a volunteer in august 2014. I planned to join the Mentoring project (Lakshya) but since my friend opted for the English project (Speak Out) in SevaChakkara, I chose Computers project (Kanini) in the same center as we both looked our for each others company.
Initially, teaching did not appeal to me and I had no idea how to deal with teen kids, it was Syed, fellow volunteer in Bhumi who gave me that little push and my fun journey started from there. The two hour sessions turned into three hours. The kids gradually started to grow a liking towards my teaching and myself.
What change did these experiences bring in your life? How has Bhumi altered you, personally?
Right now I am unable to imagine what would I have been if I had not volunteered with Bhumi. My perspective about life and world are broadened. My weekends are busier than my weekdays. As my perspective broadened, I noticed a lot of changes inside and around me. I also learnt to honour my commitment as I am responsible for the children for those two hours in the weekends. Watching other like minded people volunteering inspired me further. Today I am immensely grateful to Bhumi for providing me a platform and to take lead responsibility to conduct a various events which exposed me to reach out to the children beyond my imagination. Bhumi has become an integral part of my life.
One most memorable incident in your life as a Bhumian:
There are several incidents , I would like to mention two incidents here …
It was a busy morning on Feb 7th Nakshatra 2016 and all the volunteers were busy doing their tasks. It was almost time to kick start the event and most of the children assembled before the auditorium. Chanesh, a fellow volunteer guided me throughout the whole event. The most memorable scene of that day was that I lit the inaugural torch and handed it over to our children athletes who were the winners for Nakshatra sports 2015, for the inaugural torch run. I ran along with them cheering them along with the other children present in the auditorium and it was truly a joyful moment honoring our very own children athletes who filled with pride and ecstasy. My only aim that day was to send the children back to their home with smiles on their faces and was able to achieve it to a large extent.
Tell us about one Bhumian, who has been an inspiration:
Kathambari, an ex Kanini volunteer and Safirudeen Habeeb are few among many volunteers who have inspired me. Kathambari developed a team bonding which is continuing till now and this attribute is something which I envy wishing I could do the same. Safirudeen Habeeb is a very kind volunteer whose involvement amazes me. He adapts and gels with any kind of person and he is one I am proud to have as a friend.
Any specific, special moment with kids or volunteers you would like to share with us?
It was in 2015 during Kanini Quest, where I was a home specific volunteer for Seva Chakkara. Two of the seven children from my center won prizes which gave me immense joy filled with pride. Our children felt extremely motivated and joyful as well. The most inspiring part was the way, the coordinators and the volunteers of the Kanini Quest who worked together with so much harmony, synchronization and joy. I wished to be like them one day. I am still trying to unite volunteers and create the bonding as they did. I consider this as my best moment.
A message to every volunteer at Bhumi:
I wish every one of you to have a great time volunteering and create memories. Live the dream , dreams shape into reality. Also Just keep moving forward. You may face a lot of hurdles in your path but don’t get trapped there even if you fall. Just get up and keep moving!
Kanini Volunteer, Chennai, Bhumi