28 Aug VOLUNTEER DEN – MADHURA SHANTHINI
Project in Bhumi: Refresh
City/State: Chennai/Tamil Nadu
Volunteering Period: From 2015 to current period
Tell us a little about yourself:
How did volunteering with Bhumi happen?
My school and my sister were a major influence in me choosing to volunteer. I was a member of the school’s NSS team during Higher Secondary. As a part of our 11 day camp, we were interacting with women and children who were victims of human trafficking. Their stories showed us a world different from the one we were living in. After joining college, I was looking out for long-term volunteering opportunities. My best friend and fellow attendee of the camp, Meera Menon suggested me to join Bhumi. I was initially with Little Einstein’s Science, later out of interest in organising events, joined the REFRESH Team after a year.
Share your experience in the event that you have been actively participating in:
They say “first impression makes the best impression” and they were right. Now when I sit and think, my first volunteering moment pops-up surpassing all others. It was the 12th of July 2015, during Nakshatra Arts, Chennai. As I was with the Hospitality team that coordinated with the judges and guests, I didn’t get to see the kids performing. Almost during the end of the event, when we entered the auditorium during the group dance event, the floor almost vibrated against the cheer and roar of the children. And just like how the name “Nakshatra” suggests, I felt high on the sky, amidst a thousand little stars. It felt magical to see the so many bright smiles. Some kids described as to how they consider Nakshatra as a “festival” and of higher priority than diwali, christmas, pongal or their own birthdays!! When few with wide-eyed curiosity started asking “next Nakshatra epoooo akka varum”.. I started feeling the curiosity too, which has now become persistent.
What change did these experiences bring in your life? How has Bhumi altered you, personally?
After joining Bhumi, I grew to be a merrier person. The spirit of fellow volunteers energises ours. Working with the underprivileged make us realise our own bounties, and eliminates discontent. Joining a volunteering organisation at 18 years of age, gave me a wide exposure and trained me in things no college would ever do. I’m able to realise that, choosing to volunteer, and the various responsibilities I took up as a part of it, has together moulded me into a better individual. It provided hands-on experience, and gradually imbibed skills, confidence, maturity and patience. This experience makes me discover potentials and develop certain abilities way before I could even graduate out of college, which makes me stand ahead of my peer group. I realize that alike many others in my organisation, I’m strongly infected by Volunesia (that moment when you forget you are volunteering to help change lives, because its changing yours).Volunteering took me to different localities in the city, and introduced me to different bunches of lovely and inspirational people. It helped me discover a wider world and a deeper me.
Tell us about one Bhumian, who has been an inspiration:
I m afraid I’ll type out a long list of volunteers. Almost every volunteer I ever came across had left me with an impression. But it would be an injustice if I’m not mentioning the Treasure Hunt organizing team that cascaded the energy, the Nakshatra Sports 2016 Coordinators team(the manjasattai’s) who showed what dedication is, and the close-knit Refresh LB team and every new dimension it has taught.
A message to every volunteer at Bhumi:
Never settle with things you do, and lives you change. Whether the cup is half empty or half full, it always has space for more.
Cheers to making this world a happier place.