Bhumi | Changemakers 2012 Speak
Bhumi, NGO, Youth Organisation
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Changemakers 2012 Speak

Changemakers 2012 Speak

Ashok Shanker

I was attending a lecture far, far away from India when I received a message on WhatsApp saying, “Congrats Ashok, you’re one of the Changemakers for this year”. I wasn’t sure then whether it was true or just a prank, but soon I got my online certificate! 😀 Being recognised by one of India’s coolest and most influential NGOs is a big thing! 🙂

I joined Bhumi in 2010, and now when I look back at my journey, I wish I had heard about Bhumi a lot earlier. Having started out with absolutely no teaching experience or skills, it was Bhumi that helped me mould myself into a teacher and gain experience in HR, PR and all that goes into organising an event. I can say with confidence that each and every member of Bhumi has, in some way or the other, taught me something important that I can apply in life. I would like to thank them for doing so, and for being there for me. Spending time with kids can bring a smile to your face, and take your mind away from problems that are disturbing you 🙂 Each and every one in Bhumi is a ‘Changemaker’ and is involved in the building of a youth movement that promises not to rest until every kid has been given the opportunity to be educated. Keep striving forward and don’t you dare look back!! 🙂 😀

Bhooma Madhavan

I am overwhelmed and also inspired on receiving the ‘Changemaker’ award this year! The last one and a half years or so with Bhumi have been very fulfilling. What I have earned are cherished memories with the kids I taught, and my fellow Bhumians. Bhumi not only supports, encourages and empowers the children we reach out to, but also enriches the lives of the volunteers. What makes Bhumi special is the way all volunteers are appreciated and recognized for every little thing they do. I am sure this is why Bhumi’s popularity and reach are growing by leaps and bounds each day! 🙂 I can’t help but quote last year’s award recipient Ramya Balu – “I was part of Bhumi but now Bhumi is part of me!” My heart-felt thanks to Bhumi and all Bhumians!

Boopalan M

I must first thank my friend Jennifer David who invited me into the family of Bhumi. I was really amazed to see such an organized way of teaching kids. The motivation and support given by everyone, on and off classes, was immense. I still remember, irrespective of how many times I have shot questions at Sharanya Barath regarding Bhumi work, she has always answered them patiently. She has been my role model in Bhumi from Day One! From the enthusiasm shown by Divya Barathi for preparing attractive number badges for kids or Sasikala for even a small decoration of straws for the Maths carnival, to the dedication shown by Sharanya, Gopi and Sriram in organizing the classes/events or the fun-filled meetings we had at parks and other “romantic” spots, I learned many things. These things showed me what I was really capable of. Actually they were the spinach for the Popeye in me! 🙂 😀

Being a part of the Bhumi family itself is an award to me! Every Bhumian deserves the tag of being a Changemaker, for keeping up the spirit of being the change that they want to see tomorrow! Thank you all for moulding me and I hope this is just the beginning!

Dinesh Kumar N

At first, I couldn’t believe that I was getting an award. I know that most Bhumians are doing wonderful things and dedicating most of their time. ‘Changemaker’ award for me? Wow!  I feel honoured.

I don’t know what I changed. But I do know what Bhumi changed in me 🙂

Earlier, I was not a guy who liked playing with kids. I distanced myself from them as if they were all from Pluto. So it was a little awkward for me in the beginning. Soon after classes started, I found that the kids loved us, the volunteers! All they needed from us was a little affection and care in addition to the teaching. Now I’m happy to care for them and I love to see their little smiley faces. Now Bhumi classes are like chicken soup for my soul 🙂

I’m always reminding myself of the unpublished Bhumi slogan, “We are role models for the kids”.  I’m trying to follow road rules, (yeah! It’s a big deal) and throwing waste into dust bins. I’m honestly trying my best to be socially responsible!

Working in the syllabus team is not as easy as I thought it would be. The work done by the syllabus team is no mere copy-paste from Google. We ensure that each word is chosen precisely, with care. So, according to me, this award is not just for me, but for the syllabus team as a whole 🙂

Gopi Pepakayala

It’s a privilege to be considered in the company of the past, present and future recipients of the Bhumi ‘Changemaker’ award. It is actually their effort and that of hundreds of unnamed Bhumi volunteers who have worked tirelessly that has helped us bring about any change, however minuscule it might be. I would like to thank each and every one who has helped in this cause. Special shout out to Bharath, Sriram, Sharanya and Vaishnavi (the Supermen and Superwomen of Bhumi, Little Einsteins) and Dr. Prahalathan (Doc) for all their bullying, torturing, guidance and help in making sure I did what I did 🙂

We still have a lot more to achieve. Bernard Shaw once said, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him…The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself… All progress depends on the unreasonable man.”  So let’s be unreasonable, let’s not rest on past laurels, status quos and practices. That is the only way we will be able to change this nation of ours.

Kathambari Ezhilarasu

I feel honoured, proud and totally overwhelmed. I’ll probably take a long time to reach back to the ground. 😛  Bhumi brought out the real “me”! Two years ago, I had not even dreamt of addressing a group of new people, conducting events, leading teams or taking crucial decisions; Bhumi showed me that I could do all these! I joined the Kanini project when I was persuaded by a bunch of volunteers for no real reason except for the fact that I resided in Parry’s corner and a new centre was being opened up nearby. Little did I know that, from then on, it was going to become an inseparable part of my life!

In addition to the happiness I get from teaching, Bhumi has given me lots more to cherish for a lifetime 🙂 I really owe Bhumi for this!   Somehow in 2010, I became a part of Bhumi and it has been one of the best things that happened to me. Now and forever Bhumi will be my first and only priority 🙂

Nithya Ramamurthi

I joined Bhumi when I was going through a difficult phase in my life, and never did I think that teaching kids would be a big lesson by itself. One thing that I really like about Bhumi is that they allow you to grow and excel based on your interest, at your own pace. Slowly I realised that, only when I gave a hundred percent and opened up to the kids, could I expect them to believe in me. I loved planning exciting activities for my classes and it’s a special feeling to watch the kids’ faces brighten up when they understand something 🙂

At this point, I would like to thank the volunteers who have inspired me. First, I thank Priyanka, whose amazing teaching techniques I have always admired, and who helped me prepare for my classes during my first few weeks with Bhumi. I would also like to thank Vaishnavi Srinivasan, who inspires so many volunteers every day and has a big heart! And of late, I am continuously inspired by Harikumar, who is like a well-oiled machine and works endlessly day and night! Finally, thank you Bhumi for giving me this wonderful platform to learn so much and I’m glad to be involved with such a wonderful team of people!

Raghavan S

Receiving the ‘Changemaker’ Award is to me like getting a Noble Prize, because I’ve never been encouraged so much by anyone before! I would first like to thank Bhumi for giving me this opportunity to enjoy with children. Each of us receives inspiration from different sources; my inspiration has been and will always be the kids at Bharathiyar Gurukulam – for they were the primary reason for my getting absorbed into the Tech team. After I joined Bhumi, everything I do in life seems to have a purpose.

Knowing that I have been of use to Bhumi as part of the tech team is great, because I get to be of help to someone by doing what I like to do the most. I would like to thank everyone in Bhumi who knows me and has been helpful and supportive of me. Last, but not the least, I would like to thank my friend Venkatesh for inviting me to join Bhumi, Vidyasagar for teaching me to service systems and helping out a lot with the tech team, and Lakshmi Narayanan for always being there and believing in me. I hope to continue working with this great team in the years to come, organise many more Nakshatras and spread more smiles 🙂

Rajan Santhanam

Surprised and happy – this was how I felt when they read out my name as a ‘Changemaker’! It’s been a journey of a year and a half, and I have a lot of sweet memories to cherish. I am very proud to be a Bhumian and I would like to thank Bhumi for this wonderful opportunity to serve children.

I want to thank my team which gave me the confidence, and my mentees who accepted me as their mentor and allowed me to play a role in their lives. Special thanks to Bhargav and Vivek who believed in me and gave me responsibilities. Thanks to Raaj, Gana, Sangeetha, Pradeep and Prasanna for encouraging me in whatever I have done 🙂



Rajani Ramamoorthy

I always believe in going with the “spark” decisions, as I call them – the ones you take without thinking too much to decide. That’s how I joined Bhumi! A momentary decision…there I was, calling Dr. Prahalathan, to propose a new chapter of Bhumi in Trichy. Now, after a year, when I received the ‘Changemaker’ award, everything seemed like a miracle! That was when I felt like I was actually LIVING and not merely existing. It was a double treat for me, receiving the award, and that too at Nakshatra 2012! First edition of Nakshatra-Trichy…..first big award….the smiles of 527 kids….I was completely dumbstruck! I was enjoying the moment when I should have been tired after the sleepless nights from the Nakshatra preparation work; this is enough proof of what the award means to me!

Being a part of Bhumi has made me realize that the small things we do for children can make dramatic changes in their lives. It taught me to be responsible, regular and of course, to be happy! And now with this award, I think my responsibility has increased even more. What I have done for Bhumi is nothing when compared to what Bhumi has done for me – giving me new friends and hundreds of siblings! 🙂 Thank you Bhumi! Here I come with lots more energy for the years to come!!

“Let actions be performed well; thus let God be worshipped.”

Saikanthan S

“Bhumi” has been the word close to my heart through the past one year. Bhumi shows me the way to give something back to society. From Day One, to this very day, it has constantly given me the space to implement my ideas and express my creativity. Bhumi has impacted me so much that I was encouraged to make a career change to the social sector. So I must say that Bhumi is the real changemaker in my life.

I feel extremely proud and special on winning this ‘Changemaker’ award. At the same time, I feel that my responsibility towards society has now increased. I would like to thank all my fellow Bhumians who supported me and encouraged me in all my initiatives. I will always be proud to call myself a Bhumian 🙂


Santhosh Saravanan

Though I was on a long awaited family tour to Mumbai, I was upset to be missing Bhumi day for the second time. That was when I received a Facebook notification that said, “Vaishnavi Srinivasan tagged a photo of you.” Assuming that it was a picture taken at Nakshatra, I opened it casually.  I wasn’t ready for what I saw, “CHANGEMAKER OF THE YEAR”!! 🙂

Being part of Bhumi itself is a matter of pride because it is an organisation that spreads so many smiles, is brimming with energy and one where change-making happens as a habit. Being awarded a ‘Changemaker’ makes me extremely proud!

Looking back, it’s only been a journey of one year in Lakshya. What made it possible to be a changemaker? From Day One, I never felt like a newcomer here. The team took me in; my opinion mattered, my suggestions were heard…so naturally, I felt responsible for my project. This is where Bhumi wins! Every volunteer is provided full space to act, to change!

Being a ‘Changemaker’, I acknowledge the responsibility that comes along with it. I would also like to dedicate this award to ALL my fellow-volunteers in Lakshya!

Sasikala T

All my life, I have been passionate about teaching and spreading education. Nothing gives me more joy than spending time with kids and helping them to become better individuals. J Bhumi gave me the perfect platform to pursue my passion 🙂 Along with helping kids to nurture their abilities, Bhumi helped me nurture mine. It has been a year and a half since I joined Bhumi and every single day has been a great learning experience. I don’t know how much I might have helped the kids, but each of them has been a great inspiration for me and I’ve learnt a lot from them 🙂 For the situations and environments that surround them, their levels of confidence and talent are immeasurable.

When my name was announced for the ‘Changemaker’ award, I was kind of shocked and couldn’t believe it for some time. Personally, I feel that there’s much more to do and am sure I will keep working hard. I owe my friends and parents for all that I have done so far and for who I am today. They have supported me throughout the journey. I would like to specially thank Sharanya, Sriram and Vaishnavi for the confidence they had in me and for keeping me motivated all the time. I feel honoured to have received this award and, as always, I’m proud to be a Bhumian 😀

Sriranjan Gorty

First of all, I thank Bhumi for every opportunity given to me, and my co-volunteers for their continuous efforts, never-ending energy and enthusiasm.  I’m overjoyed on receiving this award; it belongs to the entire Bangalore team which is responsible for achieving what has been achieved today 🙂

My journey with Bhumi started with me thinking that I should do work that lets me make an impact that I can feel and believe in, rather than organizing events like blood donation camps and environment awareness drives (which I had been previously involved  in during my university days). I came to know about Bhumi, registered online and the journey started. I met some great volunteers like Mini Jain and Vaishnavi Srinivasan (Bangalore) at the orientation. J I got into the ‘Little Einsteins’ project and started feeling the change that all of us believe in. I was greatly impacted by Bhumi’s tag line “Change today! Change Tomorrow!” If you observe it keenly, there is a lot you can infer from it.

I’ve been associated with the Anatha Sishu Sevashrama, Wilson Garden home now for a year and a half. Like all of you, I had a great time teaching kids and learning Kannada from them. J I had the opportunity to participate in all the events in Bangalore and the pleasure has always been mine. I feel that all of Bhumi’s volunteers get more than what they give 🙂

Special thanks to the people with whom I have been working: all the iron men (Sharan, Das, Rajkiran, Rajendra, Prathap, Sridhar, Vishnu, Jobin, Praneesh, Suren, Sai) and the one and only Aarthi. J Also, the constant guidance and inputs from Dr.Prahlathan and Vaishnavi Srinivasan (Chennai) really filled the gaps and made things simpler for all of us. Thank you both 🙂

Thank you Bhumi for such a wonderful journey with so many amazing people! No destination is too far with you all 🙂

Supraja Suresh

Firstly, I extend my hearty congratulations to all the award winners. I deem it a great privilege to be recognized as a ‘Changemaker’. Thanks to all those who recognized my work, stood by me, supported me, encouraged me and corrected me whenever I went wrong. Special thanks to the Kanini syllabus team for the good start. Without my team, I wouldn’t have become successful. I dedicate this award to the syllabus team through which I got the chance to learn many things about computers, which I wouldn’t have known if I were a teaching volunteer.

More than my happiness, my responsibility has now increased after receiving this award. I consider this award to be my biggest achievement ever. Bhumi has moulded me into a responsible person and has helped me learn more about myself. It has increased my self-esteem, my patience, and my dedication. I consider all the ‘Changemakers’ and the ‘Torchbearers’ as my inspiration so that I can do better in the days to come. Thank you once again! 🙂

Surendran Krishnan

Volunteering has always been my passion, but I started to actively pursue this just about a year ago when I started working with India Against Corruption (IAC). Ever since, there has been no turning back. At Bhumi, on the very first day, I was mesmerized by the smiles of the children during the ‘Joy to the World’ event.  This was the driving force that led me to become a part of Bhumi’s Bengaluru Operations Team, to identify more centres and children across Bangalore in need of Bhumi’s support.  It was also an amazing experience working with Nakshatra’s Liaison Team and to see the final outcome – the joy and laughter of 517 immensely talented kids 🙂

In the midst of all the celebrations at Nakshatra, I was called up on stage to receive one of the ‘Changemaker’ awards! I can’t find the words to explain how I felt at that moment. I was completely overwhelmed 🙂 It is my first ever award for volunteering, and it has only been five months with Bhumi! I am very grateful to Bhumi for giving me the freedom to work in my own way and to all those who guided me whenever I faced obstacles. I only worked to see the smiles on those children’s faces, but Bhumi has given me something much more than that. Thanks a lot everyone. This means a lot to me.

Yasaswy Peesapati

I feel greatly honoured to have received the ’Changemaker’ award.

Bhumi is a place where people with great aspirations come closer and make a collective effort for the betterment of society. In this journey, we discover a lot about our potential to bring about change. My journey started as a volunteer who taught kids about computers. I had to struggle a bit initially because of the language barrier, but eventually realized that it’s the passion and commitment which are primary and more important than any other quality. When I got the opportunity to become the Centre Coordinator, I tried my best to ensure that volunteers loved to work with me and strived to bring out the best in each of them; we were great as a team. The enthusiasm of the kids and their eagerness to learn motivated us to work harder, and as a result, we could excel. The volunteers in our centre also took the extra effort to help kids improve their communication skills by conducting fun activities whenever possible. For Nakshatra, I felt that Venue Management would be quite a challenging task. Luckily for me, I was again supported by a great team which contributed to execute the plans efficiently 🙂

While awards like these undoubtedly motivate volunteers/teams further, true happiness is found when one learns from mistakes and strives to excel in the chosen path. I am proud of all Bhumians for their contribution to the society. My journey with Bhumi goes on forever and I have bigger plans, and much more to contribute!

Yogesh R

First, I would like to thank Facebook, as it was through it that I learned about Bhumi 🙂 Six months later, I was inducted into Lakshya in June’11. From the day I joined Lakshya, I was not alone. My heart-felt thanks to a fellow-volunteer Sukash, who was always my constant support in each role I took up in Lakshya, Siragugal’11 and Nakshatra’12. I also thank my fellow-volunteers, both from Nakshatra sports and team Lakshya. I wholeheartedly dedicate this award to all of them, because without them, I would have been left unorganized and helpless in the things I did.

After joining Bhumi, I have learnt a lot about myself. I am now a totally different person. This award will definitely be a significant factor in helping me achieve my goals in the future. In all of these, the people who inspired me the most are Bhargav and Karate Vaishnavi. A special thanks to them 🙂

  • Gayathri Thiagarajan
    Posted at 15:30h, 10 September Reply

    Congrats to all the changemakers 2012 🙂 Really Proud to be a Bhumian 🙂

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