04 Nov Volunteer Den – Sanket Mendon
Tell us a little about yourself!
I am a Consultant and technology evangelist for cloud and mobility solutions with Atos (Mumbai). As a person, I am quite reserved and prefer spending time with my family and a few close friends. On weekends, if not volunteering or coding, I prefer reading a good book, cook or simply keep my phone aside and go for long walks followed by lots of chai at the local ‘Tapri’. Lately, I have also been trying my hand at acrylic painting.
A little about your work in Bhumi
My volunteering journey started with ‘Kanini’, our computer literacy program and have been part of various projects since. It was quite a pleasant and memorable experience. I am currently the City Coordinator for Mumbai Chapter.
How did volunteering with Bhumi happen?
The day was special. It was my birthday when I participated in Bhumi India Run and coincidently there was a volunteer orientation scheduled on the very same day. Soon after, I signed up for Kanini and the rest is history.
What change did volunteer experiences bring in your life? How has Bhumi altered you, personally?
Honestly, my time in Bhumi has made me more sensitive and changed my perspective about many things. Before joining Bhumi, I was unaware of the education scenes for the underprivileged. My time here left me both shocked by the ground reality of our education system and surprised me in a pleasant way when I saw the growth and development of my children. I have become more sensitive towards the environment and get quite upset when I see people using plastic items. This one time I gifted a copper water bottle to one of our VP’s in my organization as a lot of packaged water bottles were used during his meetings. I thought he would get offended but he ended up enforcing a zero plastic policy for all the meetings going forward. Moreover, after working alongside so many energetic volunteers, it is interesting to learn from each ones working methodology.
Any memorable experience in Bhumi?
It was during one of the Nakshatra Arts edition where the kids from my center were participating in the group dance event. Before their performance, they came on stage and flashed a cute little thank you note for me on a chart paper with a little drawing of me on the side. I was moved by this gesture.
Any specific, special moment with kids or volunteers you would like to share with us?
It was in 2017 around teacher’s day when we were having our usual computer session. The kids were behaving in a peculiar way as if they were holding some secret. After we were done with our class and were about to leave, they rushed out and came back with a jug of lemon juice which they prepared themselves. They had also made these cute greeting cards for us. This was the best teacher’s day ever.
A shout-out to your friends or fellow volunteers?
While every single Bhumi volunteer is an inspiration in themselves, Aniket Prabhudesai and Sanket Shah are two people who have always been an inspiration and my pillars of strength. They are the most humble people I know and the way they care for all the volunteers and motivate them is inspirational. Though I have never said this, it’s so assuring to have them by your side when they say and I quote, “Tu tension mat le, apan kar lenge” (Stop worrying, we will do it together). Thanks to Bhumi, we three share an amazing equation even on the personal front.