“Early on in life, I had a very rough upbringing into this world. My dad was a daily wage employee and we were in dire poverty all through my childhood. But the only thing that I knew to do well then was study. I studied with all my heart and that in turn impressed my teachers to encourage me to give it my all.
I remember how in my school, there were no teachers for specific subjects. So one of my own school teachers paid my tuition fees to enable me to take my subject learning from outside school; which in turn I would bring to my class and impart it to my classmates. I cleared my 12th boards with excellent scores and with the help of a fund donation from my caste members, I enrolled for an engineering degree in a college here in Chennai. But coming from a village, I had literally no exposure to English and gelling with the city-bred crowd was a very big challenge for me. But everything changed slowly owing to the time I spent in my hostel. Since I couldn’t visit my hometown often, I would spend all my time here in my hostel and this with time, helped me build a meaningful relationship with my peers. It so happened that one day, I came to hear from one of our classmates that a girl from our college had met with an accident. Hailing from a poor background, she was in dire need of funds and I felt called to do something about it. I headed out to meet my HOD and spoke to him about mobilizing funds for her and he readily agreed. With the approval in place, I went to each and every class making a humble appeal for her and within a day’s time, I was able to collect Rs. 11,000 which was then donated to her. And this was just the beginning. Having overcome my fear of public speaking, I started crowd sourcing for a lot of events like festivals and birthday parties and donated them all to different orphanages. As the years rolled in, I successfully managed to get placed in a MNC and within 5 months of getting into the job, I founded my NGO ‘Pranavam’.
Now, all the funds that I mobilized went towards helping kids study. I started to earn a good reputation and name with all the other NGOs in the city. I have volunteered in countless events and also participated in a lot of initiatives by other NGOs. All this to say that, every circumstance that life threw my life has only enabled me to build up on myself and my network. Today, I have built a beautiful house for my parents and I am supporting them through and through as I have too slowly progressed in my career. They say a good deed never goes in vain and I have seen that multiple times in my own life when someone out of nowhere came to help me in my hour of need. All I have to say is that, as long as we can learn to give without any expectations, we can live a rewarding and a fulfilling life. Because life is much more meaningful when we can learn to give with love. All of us owe that much to this world; more than seeing it as a voluntary thing, I would like to call it a responsibility.”
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