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Announcement – YIC 2017 (Mumbai) Application is now open! #DoWhatYouLove

Announcement – You can apply now for the 9th Young India Challenge (YIC) 2017 #DoWhatYouLove.
9th YIC (Impact Edition) – October 2017 in Mumbai.
Click here to apply – http://youngindiachallenge.com/apply-now/
Limited Spots! Top 10% of the applicants will be selected and invited from across the country through an application process. #FollowYourPassion
Any student, recent graduate or young professional from any city can apply.  YIC is a Human Circle creation for young people to explore, discover and follow their passion with amazing students, entrepreneurs, social change makers, artists, authors and business people. This is the best place to be if you want to create a life by your choice and not what the world tells you. Check out the agenda, speakers, partners and all that happened during the first 8 YICs here – http://youngindiachallenge.com/
Any questions? Feel free to write to info@humancircle.in
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5 Secrets to Happiness from a Dark Knight!

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
– Herman Cain

People spend their life chasing happiness and yet don’t realize that it lies in the simplest things and in moments they generally oversee. I have been fortunate to be tested with some interesting trials of life and I choose to be happy no matter what. Here are 5 things I have discovered so far…

  1. Jokers will always be there
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Life is a paradox. There would be no hero or dark knight unless there was a joker because he would serve no purpose. Life is like a game of cards and the jokers are placed at random positions in the deck to make the game more interesting. It is inevitable so might as well enjoy their presence. Trust that all challenges in life are given for a very good reason and overcoming them with happiness leads to the ultimate joy.

  1. Do what you love and do it often
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Ever heard of John Lennon? Yes, he is the guy who created one of the most epic songs- Imagine. Hear it asap, in case you still haven’t. When he was 5 years old, his teacher asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up and he said – happy. They told him, he didn’t understand the question and he replied – You don’t understand life. Doing what we love is the greatest skill we have, to achieve no matter. The challenge lies in being persistent and married with that inner voice because you know it is right. Do not make your life choices only based on what your teachers, parents, guru ji or neighbors tell you. Listen to your mind but follow your heart. It knows exactly what is good for you. Keep searching, don’t settle! The dark knight ‘loves’ beating the joker every time because it pushes him to play at his ultimate best.

  1. The Dark Knight rises every time
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If you ever manage to speak to the dark knight in person, you might get an impression that he is a very stubborn guy and yet you like him. The truth is that he lives his life in a way that ‘not rising’ after a fall is equivalent to death. The more challenges he overcomes, the stronger his self-believe becomes and he loves it. He might not show it to you but he is always smiling from within when a joker strikes his grand plan. He says, ‘bring it on’! So it is very simple. If you want to accomplish great things, know that they will not come easy. The more you fail, the more you succeed. If you haven’t failed, you haven’t lived. Rise every time you fall and you will experience the strength of the dark knight within.

  1. Why so serious?
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As far as we know so far, we have only one life. So let’s have fun along the way. Don’t take yourself too seriously no matter what you choose to do. Laugh at your failures but don’t forget to take the lesson or it will repeat again and again. Laugh at yourself when you make a fool of yourself. Show your vulnerability because no one can be or is expected to be a masterpiece worth putting in a museum. People like honesty without layers of makeup that the joker puts on his face. But remember to laugh like him no matter what life does to you. Be you, be real and have fun.

  1. Celebrate your success
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Very often we get so busy being busy that we miss the simple moments in life. Spend time with people you love. Don’t take them for granted. Go on a random drive with them and eat whatever you want, wherever you want. Have real friends and not just facebook friends. They say we become the average of the five people we spend most of our time with. So choose your people wisely. Let your friends know how much they mean to you and build relationships based on honesty and love. There is no point reaching your goals and having no one to celebrate it with. The dark knight suggests you identify your most recent success and whatsapp your favorite five people for a chill-out.

If you wish to meet some dark knights and discover more secrets, apply now for Young India Challenge

KAMAL SETH
Founder and Chief Happiness Officer
Human Circle

Founder & Chief Happiness Officer Human Circle

Founder & Chief Happiness Officer
Human Circle

Kamal is a life enthusiast and loves connecting enlightened minds. Having been in more than twenty countries, he loves sharing his stories about love, life and happiness.

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Defining Doing What One Loves

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I go out to mentor some juniors from school and college, so when I tell them that I do this because I love doing this. What generally one tends to assume is that ‘Doing What One Loves’ is merely merrymaking with a silver lining to it and one has to be too cool to do that. But as I have tried, failed, struggled and won at various fights for it, I can very well tell you that, ‘Doing What I Love’ is about fighting for what you are passionate the most about. Constantly grind and struggle, endure pain, get tired, face failure, fall down, get hurt but don’t stop, don’t stop until you reach where you desire to be.

In simple terms what normally one thinks of doing what one loves is to sit in a comfortable couch, sipping hot chocolate and reading harry potter at peace, which to their disappointment is not even 0.0000001% of the real deal.

So let’s break it down in a systematic way, how I pursue what I love:

  • A good effort has to be applied in sorting what is that one thing we are very passionate about.
  • Prepare a vision that inspires us to achieve all our targets and fulfil our dreams. The fundamental rule of having a vision is that it has to be totally unachievable.
  • The vision should always appear to be achievable at all times but still should not be achieved at any cost. That way it keeps one inspired and motivated to keep on going.
  • Then next, we have to fixate on one goal which has to be characterised to be specific and focussed, measurable and quantifiable as per various pre-determined parameters, achievable and target/milestone based, relevant and vision centric and most importantly it has to be divided on scale of time.
  • The scalability has to be evaluated per milestone per pre-decided unit of time and regular validation has to be practiced.

Though all of this may sound too bookish or technical, it is very important to look at one’s passion systematically and technically so that it no longer remains a mere interest or hobby. Once we take it seriously, we realise that one has to undergo a whole revolution in order to be able to pursue what one loves and make a living out of it.

 

Contributed by:

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Mahadevan B Iyer

Mahadevan loves to try everything to satiate his ever – curious mind..!! He is deeply inflicted by CHANDLER BING. He questions everything and loves to talk. He is completely straight forward and is a traveller, author, poet, researcher, entrepreneur, event manager, teacher, learner, story teller, entertainer, chef & food lover, blogger and a few more things and is looking for his calling. A masters in engineering student by day, a lazy lame dreamer by night and crazy during the weekend, he lives by the thought of making the most of every single second of life.

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FOLLOW YOUR PASSION

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Let me start off with a simple question: What does Passion mean?

In literal sense the word passion has various meanings, but all of them contain one thing, and that is emotion. Emotions play a vital role in our lives; they define who we truly are. Now, add to this a career, a job opportunity that gives us a way to express these emotions in the best of ways. Yes, I mean Doing What We Love.

We all have a certain purpose towards life and our whole life we keep on working towards, and for, it, but most of us end up doing something else which doesn’t rekindle the passion with which we had started. I am going through certain circumstances on similar grounds. I have always wanted to pen down my ideas and help people realise their unsaid words, and thoughts, but couldn’t pursue it. Now, I’m working, but my passion remains the same. I am still willing to work towards it because that is something which gives my life meaning and character.

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Not all of us get lucky enough as to get another chance to follow our heart’s desire. All I want to say is whenever you see that little ray of hope, a sliver of an opportunity, grab it. Doing something that you love, and making a career out of it is the best gift you can give yourself. Don’t let a few moments of anxiety about the future extinguish the fire of that passion within you.

 

Contributed By: 

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Diksha Gaba

Hi, I am Diksha Gaba, and I reside in New Delhi. I chose medical in school, and did B.Tech in college.  Just like any other person out there, I too wanted to do something meaningful with my life, and am still working towards it. I am a girl who believes in one’s heart’s desire, and is willing to work for it. I have always wanted to write, to bring forth my ideas through the medium of writing, helping people to understand things which they might be unable to decipher. I believe one’s true potential lies in things that they love, and this is what I’m working for.

 

 

 

 

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The Story of Human Circle and #DoWhatYouLove by Kamal Seth

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Kamal Seth, Founder and Chief Happiness Officer, Human Circle

The idea for the #DoWhatYouLove movement took some shape in my head during my college years in 2005-08 at Delhi University. I noticed that a lot of my friends were studying what they were not because they were passionate about those subjects but mainly because they cleared the cut-off for those subjects. This also meant that after their graduation, they did a job or a MBA to get a good salary and not because they would truly enjoy what they would do. Before founding Human Circle, I worked as a recruiter for large organisations like Nestle, Philips, Mindvalley, AIESEC etc and ended up doing 2000+ interviews in aprox. 8-10 years. The pattern was very disturbing for me to interact with people from across different age groups and realise that they were doing something that they didn’t love. In many cases, they were unproductive, unhappy and not content with their career and life in general. In 2014, we founded Human Circle to ‘connect enlightened minds’ and drive the #DoWhatYouLove movement.

In 2014, when we opened applications for the first YIC at IIT Delhi, we surprisingly got 700+ applications within 2 months for just 100 delegate positions. Even we were curious to know what made so many people apply. When we asked them the same during the interviews, they shared with us that, YIC’s theme of #DoWhatYouLove connected with them at a deeper level. They wanted to experience something that no other event was offering in Delhi at that point of time. The biggest challenge we faced during the event is that, the room which we had booked to start the first session, was occupied by a Professor, who apparently was not informed about YIC. We gathered the 100 delegates of the first ever YIC in the lawns and started the first workshop ‘Turn Your Passion into a Career’ there itself. After 3 hours, we finally got another room to continue the event. This experience made us even more determined to never give up. But the support from the delegates was amazing. They did not complaint at all and fully participated in the session, even though it was done without any projector, mikes etc. Since then we have never looked back.

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Kamal at the 8th Young India Challenge

So far, close to 1500 people have attended the 8 YICs that we have organised. 7 in Delhi and 1 in Mumbai. We are self-funded and therefore have limited resources to invest in building a sophisticated online system to connect people. It is a challenge to keep a track of each and everyone’s experience but many of them stay connected through our online group on Facebook and Whatsapp and physical meet-ups that we have started organising recently. The YIC alumni often share with us how YIC was kind of a push they needed to finally do something about what they love doing. Many have started new societies in their colleges, start-ups, clubs, and projects or went back to a passion area that they had left behind due to academic, parental or other pressures. Many alumni also continue to get guidance by us, our mentors and life coaches. Many pursue their career in the organisation of our mentors, speakers and eco-system partners. We offer recommendation letters to the most deserving candidates and this helps them in receiving admissions and/or scholarships to pursue their higher studies/jobs. More than 150 individuals have also gone through the ‘Happiness Team’ program of Human Circle, where they work as interns and volunteers for the #DoWhatYouLove movement.

It is true that we don’t focus on big brands and names for our programs and events. We believe that people should engage with the #DoWhatYouLove movement not because some big shot is telling them but because they connect with the idea at a personal level. We want the experience of YIC to be unique for every individual. Everyone has their own needs and expectations. We believe that not everyone is ready to follow their passion for different reasons. Generally they do not get selected for YICs. Our target audience comprises of people who are action oriented, early adopters of a new idea and are willing to take risks at an early stage of their life.  Very often we see that if big sponsors are involved with an event, they inevitably influence the focus of the agenda and it becomes very commercial in a wrong way. It’s not that we have a policy to not work with big brands, but we are selective in our choice. For example, in the past, we have invited speakers and mentors from companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Hindustan Unilever, KPMG, Techstars etc. but they came in an individual capacity. YIC is a not for profit, self-sustainable initiative and we want to keep it this way to stay focused on our mission of engaging the young people of India with the #DoWhatYouLove movement. Delegates pay a basic fee which helps us to keep it going. Any surplus that we make gets invested in building our organisational capacity and investing in new cities where YIC should be organised.

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For the record, Human Circle is a community of people driving the #DoWhatYouLove movement. Students, artists, freelancers, entrepreneurs, young professionals, authors, speakers, trainers, coaches, mentors and everybody else who believes that the only way to be truly successful, rich and happy in life is by doing what we love. This simple wisdom is translated by our ‘happiness team’ into experiential physical/virtual platforms and programs like hangouts, seminars, workshops, conferences, retreats, masterminds and festivals.

By the end of 2017, we would have connected atleast 2 million people with the #DoWhatYouLove movement one way or another.

 

A version of this article first appeared here.

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In Conversation with Onkar K Khullar a.k.a Digital Gandhi

 

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Onkar K Khullar popularly know as ‘Digital Gandhi’ started his first company, I Impact India Partners at the age of 21 and later Presentation Ink, creating a niche for himself as the youngest consultant in the ‘Cause Branding  & Marketing’ industry internationally. He is a 3 time drop-out and has recently spoken at a couple of TEDx events in Delhi.

His core areas of expertise and passion are – social impact, branding, marketing and social innovation. He is well renowned for introducing a new way of life called 5-year-old Philosophy through his book ‘5 Year Old Billionaire’. He is a Blogger with Cause Artist. In 2016, he has pledged to spearhead India’s Social Entrepreneurship Movement among the youth called ‘Gandhi with a Laptop’ through his workshops across the nation.

We got a chance to interact with him recently and he happily answered a few questions for us.

Here’s a snippet of our conversation:

Q1. You’re a social entrepreneur, author, blogger, philosopher, have 3 companies, written 3 books and you’re not even 30. How have you managed to do so many things and be successful in them?
Ans. When you start living each day as your last suddenly you start doing more of things you wanted instead of things others want. You have this tight bubble focus on what you wish to achieve.

Q2. You’ve been driving the Digital Gandhi movement for a while now. How have the people responded to it?
Ans. I wanted to make changing the world or should I say the act of doing good cool for the youth. Why should people line up just for a Beiber concert? Why can’t social work get the same response?
It has been more than a year and Corporates, Schools & Colleges are now taking this movement seriously.

Q3. How has your experience been being associated with the #DoWhatYouLove Movement?
Ans. It has been so amazing that the next event I will be standing there with a Flag which has a heart on it.

Q4.  What was your first thought when you heard about #DoWhatYouLove?
Ans. I so wanted to be a participant.

Q5. What inspires you to be a part of #DoWhatYouLove?
Ans.  I live by this motto every single day now. I believe this motto fits perfectly in every scenario of life.

Listen to Onkar’s Talk at the 8th Young India Challenge Here

Subscribe to Digital Gandhi: Life Changing Ideas on Youtube

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In Conversation With Nehha Bhatnagar, Founder – Sarvam Foundation

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Nehha Bhatnagar has been a force for change in Performing Arts in India. A renowned Bharatanatyam exponent, Nehha performs in festivals in India and abroad. She is the youngest Arts Impresario in India, and runs her foundation, Sarvam Foundation. It organizes unique classical arts festivals and collaborations including international exhibitions, international calendars, residencies and other endeavours. It also runs free classes for the underprivileged girls in Delhi, who then perform frequently in India and abroad.

Nehha is also a frequent speaker in the TEDx circuit and is the Licensee and Curator of one of India’s largest TEDx events – TEDx TughlaqRd. She is a mentor for arts and a speaker on creativity and entrepreneurship.

We got a chance to interact with her recently and she happily answered a few questions for us.

Here’s a snippet of our conversation:

Q1. With Sarvam Foundation, you scout for talent at the grassroot level in the slums of Delhi and your main focus is the underprivileged girl child. What significant change do you see in the lives of these girls who are associated with you?
Ans. Changes – where do I even begin!!! From their overall health improving to their confidence levels, their self empowerment to empower their siblings, the respect for the girl child by the male members in their community; it has been one amazing journey of ripple effects. They are not just learning a skill, but an entire personality development course- leadership and empowerment course.

Q2. These days we can see kinds more inclined towards western dance forms and music. Not many kids are taking up Indian dance forms or music as an extra-curricular activity. Why do you think this is happening and what can be done to engage more people towards Indian performing arts? 
Ans. The influx of cable TV in every household and the massive money spent on Cinema songs dances and reality TV- basically everything to do with instant gratification. Classical takes years of learning patiently before even a single show is showcased. How will it withstand the onslaught of mass consumption? However, the West is generating a huge interest in our ancient arts and practices and so the demand for artistes abroad has grown. Our Indian expatriates abroad as well are bolstering the interest in their roots for their children to be connected to their culture. People who are sort of tired of materialistic bombardment also are increasingly finding solace in the traditional and the spiritual and all of this will lead to the growth of these forms. We can never compete with quicker to learn forms or even Bollywood dancing- but yes we need to keep up with the relative pace of growth. Governments and corporates need to step up their game to help this aspiration–because our true wealth is our ‘soft power.’ India will always be way ahead in that wealth!

Nehha Bhatnagar

Nehha at the 7th Young India Challenge

Q3. How has your experience been being associated with the #DoWhatYouLove Movement?
Ans. Brilliant!! So inspiring to meet the youth with such passion – I have learnt a lot from the Movement myself.

Q4.  What was your first thought when you heard about #DoWhatYouLove?
Ans. What a great line – why would u do anything you don’t love right?

Q5. What inspires you to be a part of #DoWhatYouLove?
Ans. The feeling that “Hey I too can help people do what they love” – even if not full time then as a part time hobby or passion. Because truly when you do what you love to do – life will not lead you astray. It will give you such fulfilment!

 

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In Conversation With Darius Chinoy, Director-JETRO and Actor, Screenwriter/Director

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Darius Chinoy works as a Director with Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) , New Delhi and manages the ‘Invest Japan’ program and communications for Chief Director General and agency in India with the Government of India. Darius follows an alternate career in Directing/Screenwriting in English and Hindi. He has done a few TV commercials and Print Ads for Adidas, Eicher Trucks, Patanjali etc. He believes in staying healthy and has run a few half marathons over the past decade.

Darius is a Post Graduate in HR from XLRI Jamshedpur and does teach there occasionally as a visiting professor.

We got a chance to interact with him recently and he happily answered a few questions for us.

Here’s a snippet of our conversation:

Q1. You kind of lead a dual life as the Director with Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) and a Director/Screenwriter for short-films and TV Commercials. How have you managed to find a balance between these two highly contrasting roles?
Ans. It is a question I get asked a million times. Firstly, not everyone in this world is lucky enough to end up doing what they love. If everyone could do what they love, planet earth would be Utopia. I took up employment and slowly built a sound financial base to fund my desire to pursue my love for writing and later directing. This is an expensive passion and hence it did take time, but the delay, made me study the finer points and hone my skills through learning from others. We should never look at our basic jobs as imprisonment and try to find happiness in doing the simplest things.

Q2. You have run a few half marathons over the past decade. What is your mantra to stay fit and healthy?
Ans. My mantra is simple, prepare and learn like the soldiers of the Indian Army. The tougher challenges you give yourself the stronger you get in overcoming them and the victory is sweeter.

Q3. How has your experience been being associated with the #DoWhatYouLove Movement?
Ans. It’s always better to start early in life and realise ‘I will do what I love’ now rather than later. Today’s generation values experiential learning more than books and hence I personally stopped talking and believed in showing ‘Do what you love’

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Q4.  What was your first thought when you heard about #DoWhatYouLove?
Ans. The Three Idiots is what came to my mind. What a wonderful film with such a strong message. That is why I just thought I should contribute in a small way whichever possible.

Q5. What inspires you to be a part of #DoWhatYouLove?
Ans. I learn from the youth as much as they can hope to learn from me. Many of them come with an illogical belief that ‘The sky is the limit’ and for all us who have reached a certain stage in life, harsh reality has killed that belief. Hence it may be wise for all the experienced ones to learn from the youth to recharge their batteries in self-belief.

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In Conversation With Aashish Beergi, Co-Founder & CEO, MASH Global

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Aashish is a youth activist and a pasionate social entrepreneur based out of New Delhi, India. He has been a British Council’s Global Changemaker and founded MASH Global. A graduate from Jamia Millia Islamia, he represented India at the International Youth Forum 2011 in Seliger, Russia and the Global Youth Summit in the UK, 2009. Recently, he was invited at a high-level Experts Meeting on Youth Mobile initiative by UNESCO in Paris, France.

Aashish also consults businesses in Media and Waste Management. He has also been a part of Young India Challenge since it’s inception in 2014, first as a Happiness Team member and also as a mentor.

We got a chance to interact with him recently and he happily answered a few questions for us.

Here’s a snippet of our conversation:

Q1. What drove you to come up with the idea for MASH Project?
Ans. I had been volunteering with various youth organisation during my school and college time. During this period, I realised that many of my friends also wanted to volunteer and work with various cause based organisations but, due to time constraints and challenge of travelling from one-point to another, it would be difficult for them along with their ongoing studies and other extra-curricular.

On the other hand, I saw many grassroots development organisations facing major challenge with basic tech-based requirements like a decent website, good quality content for blog and active social media engagement. Many of them also required a mobile-app based intervention to scale their impact.

MASH Project started as an idea while I was attending UNESCO Youth Forum in Paris in 2013 where one of the workshops focused on how young people can use the mobile apps as a platform to make a social impact. This got me excited and I started thinking about various ways how young people can remotely/virtually volunteer to create mobile apps which requires not only tech-based expertise but also other areas like research, designing, content writing and social media marketing among others.

Q2. Being a Social Entrepreneur is tough and a lot of struggle is involved. How difficult was it for you to convince yourself and your family that this is what you want to do?
Ans. I believe anything that you do which is not a conventional or a mainstream career choice, it’s difficult to convince your family & friends when you start. Most important thing in this journey is yourself belief. I’ve had many challenges during this course and it’s the self confidence which has kept me going! I think once you’re confident about what you want to do and do it regardless of all the challenges, people around you, and start believing in you. One must know that it will take time, and you need to have strong perseverance.

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Q3. You were a part of the 1st Happiness Team at the 1st Young India Challenge and have been associated with Human Circle and YIC since then. How has your experience been being associated with the #DoWhatYouLove Movement?

Ans. It has been a real pleasure working with Human Circle since its early days, the energy and zeal Kamal, Wioleta and the whole team brings together is amazing! I have learnt a lot while working with Human Circle and it has also been a great partnership with MASH Project.

I have some great memories as a member of the Happiness Team during the first Young India Challenge. I made some very good friends and really happy to see the community and #DoWhatYouLove movement getting bigger! 🙂

Q4.  What was your first thought when you heard about #DoWhatYouLove?
Ans. I was like Wow! We really needed something like this. In a country of a billion, with over trillion dreams, we need passionate young people who are committed to turn their dreams into realities. We need platforms where these young people can come together, meet like-minded people, get inspired and work together to create a community that continues to empower many more. I draw a lot of inspiration from #DoWhatYouLove movement and very excited to see it growing and touching lives of so many people.

Q5. What inspires you to be a part of #DoWhatYouLove?
Ans. I think the biggest inspiration to be a part of #DoWhatYouLove has been the cause and intent behind it. I personally have gone through an experience where I felt the need to be a part of community which believes in you and supports in your journey to follow your dreams and turn your passion into profession! Another reason is the people behind the movement and people you meet during this movement, I have personally learnt so much being part of the various programmes and look ahead of greater involvement with it.

A version of this article appeared here