Pushing my boundaries

I started volunteering with Dharohar a few years ago. Before I started, volunteering just seemed like a task to get done, but my nature is to give my best in whatever I do. This volunteering has brought a tsunami of thoughts; how a transformation has happened and is going on. Let me tell you a story straight from my heart.

When I volunteered in KMM and took motivational sessions in schools, each small story and incident in the live sessions became like precious raindrops of thought, tenderness, passion and determination, teaching me many things. I learnt how anger is generated from a triggering cause in the past, and how to manage it- the improvement continues.

Whilst going to take a session in MMPS in 2015, a sand truck got stuck and I had to stop behind it. A scooter banged into my car.  My anger rose sharply and I would have been reacted differently, but a “KMM trigger” worked and by the time I turned back, my anger changed to smile a and instead of saying few different words, I asked “are you ok?”. My anger had been replaced with a smile. The other driver was apologetic. I felt the change in me had begun; it has to go on.

I always thought I took things in positive way; don’t we all feel this way? And yet, three years ago, in a discussion with seniors, I shared this thought and my senior told me the opposite; the soft skill I considered a strength was mentioned otherwise. At that time, I was disappointed, but I soon got a chance to volunteer in KMM.

During our mocks, we focused really strongly on communication, coordination and delivery to make the session effective. I wanted prove to them that I could live those words- that I could take things positively. Whilst they hurt at the time, but those words sparked me to improve. Now I feel blessed and grateful for those words.

I have earned many friends through volunteering.  Before we started, I only knew half of of my 70 KMM teammates. Now we are all members of a single large family. What teamwork it was! I learnt the about unique talents in our team, be it singing, drawing or handicraft.

Creating a comfort zone in sessions is always a challenge and yet it is so important if we want to inspire students. For example, a girl in 9th class always sat on the last row and last chair. She had been a shy and diffident girl, always silent but very attentive listener. That day, we shared a story about a gas balloon; whether it is white or black, it is the inner strength which takes the balloon high. She got the message and then she turned into the best speaker in her class. Earlier, she worried that she was dark and fat. The balloon story restored her self-esteem and confidence. What a powerful impact with a small story!

When we know our efforts change lives we feel satisfied; this feeling is too good. My work life has also improved. I can see myself in the mirror of the books and stories I tell the children. I found, the more time I put into KMM, the more time for my office work and even for my family. My senior has told, “You have become happier than before”.  This is the power of volunteering when we get connected by heart to it. I deeply feel “No wealth can be bigger than bringing smile on a face by touching heart, only volunteering can do it”.  I express my deepest gratitude to team Dharohar, colleagues, family and all who helped in this journey. 

Vinod Vaya

Shivani Singhal