Youth Speak

Youth Meet 2k18

The 4th Youth Meet 2018 concluded with the presence of 58 members including 15 new ones. This youth meet can be defined in one word as “Motivation”. The virtual campaign was indeed successful as 15 new youngsters were part of this meet. The beauty of this meet lies in giving importance to democracy in youngsters present. It was done by giving equal opportunity to all members present even if they were not part of the core team.

The meet was started by a YFD member Shreyas Marathe. He focused on the need for such youth meets and why it has become crucial especially in 2018. As he said the year 2017 was a year of self-realization in multiple destructive ways, which indicates that now constructive change needs to happen. He stressed upon our tradition of being divided into groups in terms of castes, languages, religions etc. But it’s time to work on one idea which will be progressive in nature. In this way by mentioning all previous themes of youth meets he introduced the purpose behind this meet which was to nurture “An idea called YFD” by being carelessly careful.

Gargi Joshi, a member of YFD continued with this idea and explained it in further details. She also touched upon various activities which YFD conducted till now. Another member Atharva Bhide shared his personal experience which disturbed him and motivated him to work on same. He described one incidence when he was in a hurry to reach office at the time of punching and he ignored an old lady beggar on the same road. As soon as he realized this IGNORANCE is possibly INSENSITIVITY he went back to help her and provided her food. That one moment of ignorance, he turned into an opportunity and helped himself nurture his sensitivity.

Dinesh Rajput tried to shift focus from problem focused thinking to solution-focused approach. He said that sensitivity is important for solving any issue but that is not sufficient and hence action is needed, backed by that sensitivity. He also tried to answer as many questions possible to him during the meet. Question about population was answered by saying that we have a certain number of population but we also have the double number of hands to work on it, in the right direction by imbibing right education. Importance and limitation of starting work alone were also addressed. For explaining the same he gave various relevant, inspirational and specific examples to give a realistic, motivational boost-

1. Girish Bharadwaj- Bridgeman of India – He is an Indian social worker often referred as “Sethu Bandhu” and “Bridgeman of India” for building around 127 low cost and eco-friendly bridges in remote villages across India. He has conferred the Padma Shri award in 2017.

2. Jadav Payeng – He is a Mishing tribe environmental activist and forestry worker from Jorhat, India. Over the course of several decades, he planted and tended trees and turned it into a forest reserve. The forest called Molai forest named after him, it is located near Kokilamukh of Jorhat, Assam, India and encompasses an area of about 1,360 acres / 550 hectares. In 2015, he was honored with Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India. Payeng said “The education system should be like this, every kid should be asked to plant two trees,”

3. Omkar Nath – “Medicine Baba” – He is a retired blood bank technician from a hospital in New Delhi, who voluntarily collects unused medicines from people and distributes them to the poor, free of charge.

4. Karimul Haque-Bike-Ambulance-dada – He is a worker in the tea gardens of North India. He has received the Padma Shri award for his work supporting the villagers in and around Dhalabari by bringing sick people to the hospital in his motorcycle ambulance. Karimul said “I could not save my mother because I did not have a vehicle. I had no option but to see her die in the wee hours of a night, 15 years ago,” He added, “Initially people laughed at me, but when help came their way in times of crisis, they started taking my work seriously,”.

5. Chewang Norphel- Ice Man – He is an Indian civil engineer from Ladakh, who has built 15 artificial glaciers. Today, he is called the “Ice Man of India” and has created 10 artificial glaciers in Ladakh to help people deal with water scarcity in this cold, mountainous region. Norphel said “As you sow, so you reap. There is no doubt that if one has strong determination and dedication, there is nothing impossible in the world. That is what I believe,”

6. Aabid Surti – Septuagenarian writer and artist Aabid Surti is the founder of Drop Dead Foundation, an NGO (Non-Government Organization) that repairs minor plumbing problems such as leaks in the households of Mumbai, India for free.

7. Harekala Hajabba – He is an orange vendor in the city of Mangalore, Karnataka, India, and a well-known social reformer. He kept a part of his savings from selling oranges, to start a school in the region he came from so that the children there could get educated. Today, the school, which has grown with government support and donations from private individuals, is known as Hajabba School.

8. Vijaylaxmi Sharma – Rajasthan’s child sex ratio stands sixth lowest among all states and UTs. Vijaylaxmi is fighting the depraved custom of child marriage, single-handedly. Sharma is from Jhorinda Bhojpura village of Phagi district, Rajasthan. Till date, Sharma has prevented more than 25 child marriages in her village and vicinity.

9. Prof. Sandeep Desai – He goes around begging on the crowded local trains to raise funds for running English medium schools for underprivileged children in rural Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Desai has been doing this for more than two years and has raised more than 50 lakh rupees which were used to run four schools.

10. Dadarao Bilhore -On July 28, 2015, He lost his 16-year-old son to a road accident that occurred because of a pothole. Since then, every time this Mumbai resident sees potholes on the streets, he fills them up with his bare hands – as a tribute to his son.

11. Afroz Shah – He is a young Indian lawyer from Mumbai, is synonymous with the world’s largest beach clean-up project. The 108-week of clean-up went well as he said the ocean and the beach were cleaner and healthier than before. 40 tonnes of waste was pulled out by volunteers from 12 countries.

12. Anand Kumar – He is an Indian mathematician and a columnist for various national and international mathematical journals and magazines. Under his Super 30 programme, he coaches economically backward students for IIT-JEE, the entrance examination for the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). By 2017, 396 out of the 450 had made it to the IITs and Discovery Channel showcased his work in a documentary.

13. Dr. Rajendra Singh- waterman of India – He is a well-known water conservationist from Alwar district, Rajasthan in India. He received an award known as “the Nobel Prize for water”, in 2015. Starting from a single village in 1985, over the years TBS helped build over 8,600 johads and other water conservation structures to collect rainwater for the dry seasons, has brought water back to over 1,000 villages and revived five rivers in Rajasthan, Arvari, Ruparel, Sarsa, Bhagani, and Jahajwali.

14. Sonam Wangchuk- He is a Ladakhi engineer, innovator, and education reformist. He is the founding director of the Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL) which was founded in 1988 by a group of students who had been in his own words, the ‘victims’ of an alien education system foisted on Ladakh. He is also known for designing the SECMOL campus that runs on solar energy and uses no fossil fuels for cooking, lighting or heating.

All these examples were filled with inspiration and enthusiasm. These motivating elements will help us to understand how a single person can also make a difference and if all the single people come together for an IDEA, they can make a bigger change. Thanks YFD for inspiring me and motivating me to go ahead and read further about these exceptional human beings. More than “thinking”, “doing” was encouraged by declaring YFD activity calendar of 2018. The meet concluded with Vande Mataram, thus, making the Republic day fruitful.

-Netra Kher

DISCLAIMER: Views expressed above are the author’s own.