Absolute happiness !

I was born and brought up in a small town of Uttar Pradesh. Though we were brought up in a comfortable set up but I did notice lots of unfortunate and less privileged people and specially children around us, the inequalities in the society always disturbed me. I always wanted to work for the betterment of the less fortunate of our society but how and when I had no clue..
It’s been 14 years since the capital city has given me so much that now it’s the time to return something back to the society.

As a trained logistics professional I wanted job satisfaction from my work which I was not getting and that compelled me to change my work place.

So in continuation to the same, when there was not much work in my consultancy firm, last year I decided to give my career a new dimension. Last year I joined an NGO as a fellow. My work as a volunteer with another NGO helped me as a fellow. We are trained to organise a community instead of doing only charity. I also got this golden opportunity to meet and be with street children who beg at tourist places for their living. Meeting them has changed the whole perspective of mine regarding happiness.

rainbasera

My work now gives me satisfaction. I feel satisfied when I interact with  under privileged children and youth who are happy and in high life condition oblivious to difficult and life threatening conditions they live in. It was truly amazing to meet children of #jamghatcommunity who are beggars near tourist places of Delhi. One such place is Jama masjid where we went to meet street children for few hours. They met us as if they know us for long.

jamghat 1

They were all over that small room calling as didi, didi. It was their lunch hour by the time we reached that congested building in the bylanes of old delhi. They were made to sit in a circle to have their food. All of them picked their plates and spoon from the small table on which they were kept. They were given food one time a day and that was enough for them. Comparison was obvious with our 5 course meal on daily basis.  It was heartwarming to see them eating food. I instantly compared them with my kids whom I feed while running after them. 🙂 After the food they were taught english subject for about an hour. But the best part was their visible joy and happiness in those difficult living conditions. After lunch they took us to see us their families who were staying in camps or on road sides.

Then we went to see Jama masjid with them. Few of the children surprisingly begged then only and bought Parle G biscuits for us. It was so touching. We had so many things in our life and had nothing to offer them and they had nothing in their lives and so much to offer us. 

jamghat 2

After this visit there was a kind of vicissitude inside me which can’t be described in words. Those benign gestures are unforgettable. It was indeed a life changing experience for me. #lifechangingday

Whenever I read and watch atrocities happening all over the world, weaker section being repressed, minorities manhandled, violence and gender inequality it gives me goosebumps but then I read the fourth silent prayer “peace and happiness to all humanity” after the Prayers, it gives me tranquility of mind thinking that this is the best thing I can do for unhappy people miles away from here.

The difference between rich and poor has always struck my senses, I wanted to bridge the gap between the two, bridging will not be the right word. I guess I want to shorten the distance between privileged and underprivileged ones.

Our society from time immortal is in need of such reforms. #society

Margdarshan

Marg Darshan’ is a campaign with an objective to provide skills to qualified, interested, underprivileged youth. I and my fellow friend Ana aim to do this by primarily identifying such people and providing them with counseling before we link them to skills teaching organizations and perhaps, further even with prospective employers.

We both are residents of Dwarka, a South-West residential hub of the capital of the country, which to establish – the usual method was followed where land was bought from certain villages. One such being Pochanpur around our area. It not only comprises of villagers who own many acres of land here, but also a large migrant population who work as car washers and maids in the residential colonies thus established. Quite often the maids who come to our homes or the gatekeepers of our colonies request us to get their distant relative new in town or their neighbor’s uncle’s son-in-law a job in the city.

Thus, in our campaign we aim to tap youth (boys and girls aged between 18 to 25 years of age) from a nearby locality called Pochan Pur and are in conversation for partnership with NGOs and other interested groups who can indulge in providing training as well as employment to the interested candidates.

 

One such organization we are in conversation with is Literacy India which provides remedial classes to children and vocational training to unskilled youth. We met Mr. Sunil Kumar Singh who welcomed us with great enthusiasm and pointed out to us the importance of counseling amongst such youth. He told us that young people after skill’s classes do not usually continue with a certain job for long as their expectations after skill training exceeds the reality which they have hardly been exposed to. Thus, counseling is important to fill in the knowledge gap to educate our beneficiary population about where these skills place them in the mainstream economic job market.

For this purpose, we will categorise our youth in Type A and Type B.

Type A will consist of unskilled unemployed youth.

Type B will consist to skilled unemployed youth.

 

As mentioned earlier, before we train or even try to employ people, we will foremost indulge in counseling classes for them; and this is so they can take informed sound decisions and be able to connect reality with their expectations. Thus, to tap unemployed youth, recently we visited the field area for our campaign – Pochanpur, a rather large in size urban basti in the vicinity of sector 23, Dwarka. Thus, I and Ana started interacting with the first group of people we came across there! We first met enthusiastic English-speaking boys playing kanchas (marbles) at Holi chowk, speaking to whom was very interesting. All of them were studying in classes between 8th and 12th in a nearby senior secondary government & even private schools. They wore jackets and old woolen caps untidily ad it helped me notice the striking contrast to our kid’s tabs and i-pads obsessed lives.

Children discussed their problems in school they are facing in subjects such as Mathematics and Science. While all of them were trying to converse with us in English, one of them was rather quiet and explained to us that because his parents came to the city only a few months back, he could not get admission in the school. The lack of confidence and his speech amongst the other gang of boys made us realize what effects not going to school can have on a growing kid.

We noticed that children were getting admitted in schools, were not put in classes according to their age. One of the girls, of about 8 years was studying in Preparatory class though she should be in 2nd standard. Reasons to this can be varied like the child could not get admission in the desired class or had left the studies in between or that they failed in the previous classes. This needs more research. Ana elaborates that this is the trend in most places in the country as children as put in classes according to their capacity individual capacity to understand. Thus, we believe here remedial classes can surely help.

All children had aspirations and got interested when we spoke to them about tuition classes or trainings! One keenly told us that he wanted to be a CA and expressed his need for tuition classes after his board papers in March. We will talk to them at length when we visit them next.

Then, they directed us to continue walking in “street number 1”, so we did!

We went to individual households and met more females than men because they were out for work, while women had returned home to cook lunch and cater to their children back from school, or left behind at home. Most families composed of at least three children and traditionally as it is, only the women had to take care of children after their work. Most of the women work as cooks and maids in the nearby residential societies of Dwarka. Women were more cooperative in giving details of their family as compared to the men who were bit reluctant to talk and short of hope.

We discussed with them about what they do, their daily life and whether they are looking forward to increasing their income in any way. We further elaborated about training in skills and asked them if they wished to train in any skill that interests them that can increase their job prospects.

They surely wanted to earn more money but giving time and efforts to the process was a very important factor and at least most women could not speak for themselves.

We met an interesting man who is working as car cleaner in the nearby society. He was BA second year drop out from Uttar Pradesh and completely ignorant and hopeless about increasing his income in any way. We had a long discussion with him where he elaborated the uselessness of trainings. However, we believe it is not his fault to have such a mindset; in the Indian society males like him were always told that only labour job can bring them money to them.

One woman shared with us information about an NGO working in this areawhich is working towards providing education and stitching classes with a fees. A visit to this NGO is also in our agenda.

Overall, we noticed that people are willing to talk about their issues but not ready to do something to change their situations.

Poor are not poor because of Rich but because of lack of hope in their hearts and less exposure to their minds.

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Overall! It was a great experience and we wish to visit Pochan Pur multiple times in the coming weeks! We wish to understand them and help them contribute to the economy of our country and their homes.

We can do this once we build a team of strong connections. In this endeavor will you join hands with us? All we need is your willing sincerity. Would you join  the cause of this campaign?

Deepanshi P Chopra

Haiyya Delhi Fellow and Consultant by profession, right now working on education & employment campaign for underprivileged people in Dwarka area.

Ana

Haiyya Delhi Fellow, a social researcher with keen interest in impact of government policies and civic responsibilities.

margdarshan.us@gmail.com

Call or write to us with your interest and any suggestions!

Do support on social media endeavor at:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/hameinbhirozgaar/

A journey by train !

! A journey by train !

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Sometimes I wonder how God handles all of us. Yes it includes ALL of us, everyone on this planet – human beings, animals, insects, every flora or fauna. We are indeed puppets in HIS hands as rightly said in an old Bollywood cinema. Everything happens for a reason and that too a good one. There is a reason behind the chirping of birds, there is a reason behind roar of a lion, there is a reason behind life and death, and there is a reason behind every accident and incident. In my, not very long lifespan, I have not come across any incident, which has not positively affected me. Even the mistakes & blunders did make a huge impact on the environment around us.
 
Recently I encountered an interesting episode, in which the mistakes done could have been a disaster, if it was not God’s wish. But to view it in other way, again it was a lesson to teach how to avoid our carelessness and un responsive behaviour. And there is a third view to it as well, that there are infect many good people around us. Its up to us if we encounter them or not!
 
We were returning from small town of Punjab after attending a family function. Our trip was very comfortable while going from Delhi to a small green village in Punjab. We were traveling by train this time leaving our cozy comfort of the car. My husband actually does not like to go for long drives. 🙂 Isn’t this so unromantic? Anyways romantic long drives are there only in movies and TV. So we got our train ticket’s print outs and identity cards to show at the time of travel. We boarded the train in the evening around 7 pm from Punjab to Delhi. As soon as we boarded we found ourselves in the compartment full of Sikh men and women. I was amazed because it cannot be a co incidence that whole compartment is full of Sikhs. In few minutes we came to know that the whole compartment is full of a group from Sikh community. They were coming back from holy expedition to their famous pilgrimage located in Amritsar. They were of all ages and gender. Women were doing their ‘path’ and men were also in the process of arranging seats to their people or just relaxing after their holy encounter. What was making me furious because some other people also occupied our seats? Especially I was annoyed, as I having habit to react very quickly on any action done in front of me. Well! My husband was just trying to understand the situation at that time instead of getting angry. He has this innate capacity to be calm and quiet in worst of situations. 
 
After discussion for few minutes, kids and me were given a seat in the nearby compartment. There also few of their seats were booked. After good 15 minutes of wait, my husband came to me and told me shyly that we carelessly checked the timings of train and our train to Delhi is already gone in the morning at 7 am. And that strange ’24 hours format’ has done it again. The moment he told me this, I gave him a stern look as if he belongs to some terrorist group. 
 
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But it took only few seconds to regain my calm back. 
What amazed me was the behaviour and attitude with which people in the compartment held this situation, especially group of Sikh people. They not only gave us seats but also provided us the dinner for all. As it was a ticket, which would have provided us with dinner also, had we boarded the right train? My kids were accommodated comfortably and played throughout the journey with other kids in the train. Overall it was a pleasurable journey and a great learning experience.
 
Though we could not get a chance to formally thank them, but in my heart I prayed for them. 

This incident solidified my belief that we all are interconnected with each other in this world. 
 
It’s only about striking the right chord. And moreover its up to you only, what kind of people are attracted towards you – good or bad: clever or simple. 

! RAIN AGAIN !

! Rain again !

 
Whenever there is a rain be it in winters or summers, it makes me more vocal, active, romantic and I suddenly become eager to shed out words out of ‘brain bank’ about anything. Today in winters of January its raining outside and that too very heavily since morning. The wind is heavy and very cold. My kids are gone to school and husband to office. I am trying to take time out to write something amidst this cold winter morning. Well ! finally I got myself settled in front of my Mac and started typing on key board.

And suddenly I was out of words as if simply words were not coming to me. Then I realised that here I am sitting in the cozy comfort of my study room, enjoying this awesome weather, and there is someone out side my home, colony, city or country who is much less fortunate, struggling hard – full of frustration fighting a lone battle with this weather.

I mean what am I thinking ? Rains, baarish, mausam these all are beautiful romantic words for me and someone else’s life is disturbed and shaken by these rains. Homeless will be drenched on the road and that will include small kids also. When I am bringing my kids in comfort of cars, umbrellas & raincoats, at the same time some kids will be shivering of cold in a broken shade without proper clothes forget about rain coat.

While I am writing and waiting for the hot lunch on my dining table, someone else is running pillar to post for a single cold meal of a day. When will those days come when fundamental rights to live respectfully will be provided to each and every one. Definitely, it can not be achieved only by thinking about it. It can only be achieved by moving our pretty ass from our cushioned seats and do something about it, create value or take responsibility of at least one child. Again this can not be preached or taught. This feeling has to come from inside, from the heart.

And then rest of the others will definitely follow. Like you, they will also follow their heart. Try to change life of at-least one individual, and that will change everything around.

And here I am from romanticise baarish to visualize roti, kapda aur makaan….at their basic level.

Knowledge is great – Psychology

 

Education, for me had always been a legacy to carry forward or you can say, it’s been a part of daily existence like breathing, eating, playing, or loving.  As my parents were from academic background, both my brother and me had lots of pressure for studying hard and getting best grades. We never had a thought or say what should we study or what should be the next course we opt. So when this question was thrown to me I was very happy to catch it.

If you could study/specialise in any subject of your choice in the UK, what would it be, where and why?

Being from a small town of Uttar Pradesh, India, I always had a dearth of career opportunities to go for. Though there were universities, colleges having known and famous scholars as professors, but somehow that was ‘Run of the mill’ kind of thing. And being one of the sheep was highly unacceptable for me.  

I did my post graduation in Botany and shifted my base to capital of the country. I always thought that Delhi has hell lot of opportunities in terms of career and jobs. And its true also to some extent. But somehow as I may be a most restless of soul, I was never satisfied with the way my career was shaping. Anyways after sometime I realised that it’s the psychology, which I always wanted to study. And when this question I read on the contest my first instant reply was

PSYCHOLOGY.

Yes I would love to study and also specialise in Psychology subject in UK. But why in UK? UK has emerged to be most cosmopolitan place across the globe or may be we have some past heart to heart connection with England, since the time Britain ruled India for years. What drive me to the subject is its human touch and the kind of interaction or communication done on one to one basis.

It’s incredible to study one’s mind and behaviour. And at the same time its fun and highly adventurous. Psychology has the immediate goal of understanding individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases, and by many accounts it ultimately aims to benefit society.

It also makes me wonder which kind of people are living in different parts of the country. The thought always amused me that how come I am in India and someone of my age, gender and thought process living in some other part of the world. God has sent us to different areas pertaining to different countries. This will help me explore the other person’s perceptioncognitionattentionemotionphenomenologymotivationbrain functioningpersonality, behaviour, and interpersonal relationships. Now that sounds hell lot of an interesting idea.  It will be great to know the people living in UK, their behaviour patters or their interpretations.

Of course Psychologically knowing the people of UK will be an amazing study. Moreover this subject will lead me to another subject close to my heart – Social sciences. Will write next about this very soon. 

Till then keep reading – MINDS

 

The seconds hand !

This is the time when I am enjoying the age of my growing kids the most. Sometimes I feel very happy, content, sometimes frustrated and highly irritated. But Life goes on. That’s why its said that time is eternal, limitless and without any boundaries. I have two sons, one is 9 years and little one is 4 years. And like any other mother I adore them despite all the hitches and hurdles they create in smooth running of home. They are my treasures. My younger son always inspire me to write, he is always unto something new and interesting and compel me to pen down my thoughts.

 Now days he is all excited to see the clock. Yes! Clock. Sounds weird. Isn’t it? He screams whenever he sees a clock and become excited to see the moving seconds hand. He will ask me to give a glance to the clock. And I can’t stop myself staring him. He himself never loses the sight of seconds needle moving. Yes, I understand, at his age any moving non-living thing is an object of enthusiasm and eagerness. But I am amused and eager to know what his little mind is interpreting a moving time?

 We cannot read other’s mind but what makes him excited for this moving object? He feels more ecstatic when the seconds needle moves to 3 and then to 6. Is he also moving with it? Is he moving with the time? Or is his just missing the time passing by ? These questions screams inside me for the answer. Well ! I may get the answer or may be not. But I just enjoy the seconds when he watches the seconds hand in the clock and his eyes gleam as if he is getting his favorite toy. Time stands still then and leave me as soon as he leaves. 

 

 Of course! It’s not necessary to know all the answers. Life remains unanswerable, as always! 🙂