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I will play again till I reach the century

Anchal Raj Srivastava

My story till now was like snake & ladder game. Every time I was about to go century, something would happen making me start all over again, as if I reach the 98th cube and the snake bites & makes me go zero. But the game never ends, to succeed I was certain to play again & again and will reach century.

I passed my 12th in 2012 and got selected in merit list of ‘ISABELLA THOBORN COLLEGE, LUCKNOW.’ It was my dream come true to study in this college. But I didn’t take admission because of a sudden bad turn that shook the whole family. In a medical report of my mother, it was declared that she is suffering from ovarian and uterus cancer along with the stone in gall bladder and hernia. I struggled a lot because being the eldest one in the family, responsibilities came on my shoulder. After a year, she recovered. As the time passed, I was about to complete my graduation. Beside I was selected in an audition of Radio Jockey, in Academy of Broadcasting, Lucknow. Certified as Professional Radio Jockey, it was an awesome experience.

For my masters, I filled application form of Banasthali University for MBA. My parents went to Mehendipur Balaji Temple, Rajasthan by car, while returning they met with an accident at mid-night 2:30 am. And mother and father got badly injured and they were not in their consciousness. A stranger helped my parents to take them to hospital, and it took around 4 months for their recovery. I stayed with my parents to take care of them, and took a year gap from education.

In 2016, I took admission in Banasthali. Started my career towards the field of entrepreneurship. As, I already had an idea but didn’t get the right platform. This university helped me a lot in the direction. My idea is about ‘maintaining the healthy practices of menstrual hygiene in India’. As I’ve seen many women suffer a lot due to this including my mother. This inspired me to solve this problem at a global level. After all it’s a matter of dignity for every woman.

Now, YIC has inspired me to step ahead towards my goal and transform the society, be a change maker, by launching my product soon into the market. Hence, I will play again and again till I reach the century.

Anchal Raj Srivastava
(YIC IIT Delhi 2017)

 

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I knew I had to Contribute to the Society

Shilpa Yadav

“Not all those who wander are lost.” (J.R.R. Tolkien)

 I started pondering on thoughts which provoked me to reflect about my existence on the planet Earth and purpose of my life after being into depression due to loss of one of my dearest family member, also I inclined more towards spirituality in search of the answers.  I am the second generation learner in my family so with limited guidance and resources the academic decisions were all my choice.

During my graduation days I realized I am not a kind of person who can spend rest of the life doing job mechanically just for the sake of survival. I was not sure about my purpose and passion but I knew I had to contribute to the society which has given me abundantly.

After my post graduation in Biotechnology, I was left very annoyed knowing the employability status in the society and started questioning the usefulness of time and energy invested to gain the degree after 15 years of education.

I started experimenting to find my true calling. Initially I worked as medical coder then lent my service as a Resource associate (education ) at Navnirmiti Eduquality. Also experienced the teaching phase at St. Xaviers High School and then got introduced to “Gandhi Fellowship” which spoke about the values and competencies I believed in and it’s been 8 months I am experiencing the on ground reality of Government schools and communities and trying to analyze the gaps.

During my community immersion, I lived one month in the community with 2 pairs of cloth and 1000 rupees to understand the real unit of India and for my deconditioning.

I have initiated “baatein karna zaruri hain” movement.  Soulvioces@gmail.com is an email initiative to reach out to the fellow human beings to show that we can make this world a better place to live only through communication which is an essential part of being human. As there are 7 billion people on this planet Earth, living in a era of high connectivity and still people are ending their lives due to depression and lonliness, thus #YOUmatter #baatkarnazarurihain.

Shilpa Yadav
(YIC IIT Delhi 2017)

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I Explored, Travelled, Read Voraciously and Found Out Who I Was

Nachiket Vaidya

My name’s Nachiket. I’m 18 – and on the verge of attending a third University in 2 years in a bid to do what I love.

You see, at first, I didn’t know what I wanted to do.

One day, sprawled across the sofa, after 4 hours of binge watching funny videos, I literally googled, “Purpose of my life”. I clicked on an article by Mark Manson. He posed to me a question I didn’t have an answer to – What kind of a shit-sandwich are you willing to eat to get to where you want? What trouble can you take to reach your destination?

I decided to answer this question. I explored, travelled, read voraciously and found out who I was. But I ate my shit-sandwich, I found out what I wanted to do – study Politics and International Relations.

The trouble is, I found that out when I was in the first year of pursuing B.Com.

Then, the 16 year old me recalled Gary Vaynerchuk’s seemingly quixotic words – When you get to do what you love, you win. Converting the quixotic into the astute and embracing victory as virtue, I dropped out.

Of course, I faced parental pressure – but my ineluctable desire to pursue my dream convinced them.

But, I made another mistake, I played it safe – I chose the wrong place from which to pursue my dreams. I didn’t find the intellectual environment that I needed.

The then 17 year old me recalled words of Mark Zuckerberg – not taking a risk is the only strategy that is designed to fail.

I believed I needed to switch my place of study one last time. As parental pressure and my inner skepticism rose to the occasion of questioning my life choices, I recalled the words of Peter Theil – what simple truth do very few people agree with you on?

Almost no one agreed with me, but I did apply to the place I needed to be at, and I’m on the verge of going there and fulfilling dreams.

I ate my shit sandwich, decided to risk my career, and answered the contrarian question – all to do what I love. And win at life.

Nachiket Vaidya
(YIC IIT Delhi 2017)

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Challenges in Life are Essential

Mehak Sharma

‘Challenges in life are essential because it is these challenges that act as a driving force in our life’

If I talk about the journey of my life till now then the above mentioned lines perfectly fits into it. I have faced  many challenges- challenge of challenging the status quo, challenge of proving others that I took the right decisions, challenge that my parents should not face any criticism because of the trust that they put upon me and the biggest challenge among all is the challenge that I can look into the mirror with a sense of satisfaction and if not satisfaction then at least without any regrets.

I would like to begin with my 10th standard exams. I have always been a very serious student as I belong to a lower middle class family having three younger siblings with cancer-survived mother and also a very conservative society where there is a kind of discriminatory attitude towards girls but now of course it has changed a lot. I got a rank in my state with hard work and blessings. The media was at our small home which was already filled with people. But then one lady said that it is easy to get rank in 10th. Those words hit me. I took the humanities by challenging the status quo that a bright student should take science. So, there were two challenges – one the challenge to prove that lady wrong and second challenge was to get a admission not only in “good girls college” of Delhi University but also in the hostel on the demand of my father which was very difficult by being in a govt. school lacking basic facilities and especially from the state board. But yes, I again got the rank in state and admission in to the top college of DU as well. This time my success was much bigger. Then I came here where all the people around me were mostly from good backgrounds speaking good English. I used to remain silent in class not because I was not getting anything but because I didn’t know how to exactly put myself in to proper words. I was thinking that I would fail. I worked hard, started asking questions even if not so correctly. Also at my home, my parents were facing criticism of sending girl outside. I wanted to put a big slap on all those faces by proving them wrong. To my surprise, I was not only able to pass but got the second rank among 60 colleges of the DU. After that, I never looked back. I cracked the entrance test for JNU; not once but twice. I completed my M.A. in Political Science from Jawaharlal Nehru University and right now I am pursuing M.Phil in Political Science.

In short, what is more important is to have  a belief  in yourself that what you are thinking about yourself is right and not what others are teaching you about yourself who don’t even know your limits. If one gets such a confidence then I think sky is the limit.

Mehak Sharma
(YIC IIT Delhi 2017)

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There Will Be Difficult Times But It Will Just Test Your Patience

Abhishek Saini

I am Abhishek Saini, co-founder of Lending Hands Foundation, a social entrepreneur, a published author and a biker. I belong to a middle class family and have seen all the hard-times during my childhood – be it limited resources, working with my dad, discrimination on the basis of income and English fluency. I was the class topper from 1st to 12th class in a government school but when I got admission in Kirori Mal College, Delhi University I realized the difference between a topper from government school and one from a private school. My mom used to say that I was a triton among the minnows.  I became aware of the major flaws in Indian government-run schools. I decided to prove my mom wrong and perform well. Not only I cleared my graduation with 1st Rank but I also got admission in Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University. This was the turning part of my life. During my first year at Delhi School of Economics, I chose to participate in a college based student-run social work society called “Prayaas-DSE” as a volunteer. I became the part of the Society’s education programme “Margdarshak Shikshya Yojana” (Education Guidance Programme) and started teaching students of my own school. I started working for the betterment of the society either through my study or working with different NGOs. I began to view my passion under the microscope of economics. I assisted one of the DSE professors in his European Union project “Dimensions and Dynamics of Indian Urban Poverty (Globally part of NO POOR)” during my 1st year at DSE, directed towards checking the current status of poverty in India and the effectiveness of government schemes to eradicate it. While collecting primary data in different slums of Delhi and understanding their problems forced me to think more deeply about the inequity and deprivation in the society, which helped me to develop a perspective on how various forms of deprivation take root and manifest themselves.

After my masters I got placed in a leading marketing company to manage their analytics department. Although, my pay cheque was like a dream for a person who belongs to a middle class family, I was determined to help those who were in need and started a small initiative Those In Need in 2014 along with my regular 9 to 6 job. Over the period I managed to create a network of 80+ NGOs and 500+ volunteers around India. My idea was to reduce the search cost of volunteership and increase the participation of youngster in social activities. After 2 years I left my job and started working with an international NGO which talked about love, sex and relationship with an open, honest, and non-judgmental attitude. Over the time I have organized many international social events in Delhi and worked with more than 6,000 youngsters. Finally I registered my NGO, Lending Hands Foundation, with my friend (Shreya Bhatia), which aims at bringing a strong base for volunteer support by civil society engagement, organizing resources to support an effective response, promoting community development and to work for the welfare of the society, Those In Need and Humans of Society being the active projects under Lending Hands Foundation.

Meeting new people, encountering interesting stories and undertaking adventurous road trips on my beloved bullet 350 shapes my prime interests. This year I have completed 7000 KM bike ride from Delhi – Kanayakumari – Delhi. The next destination on my wish list is the Mecca of all trips- road trip to the icy Ladakh.

Last thing: do what you love and there will be difficult times but it will just test your patience. “Apne Sapne Pure Karne Chahiye Nahi Toh Wo Sapne Reh Jate Hai”

Abhishek Saini
(YIC IIT Delhi 2017)

 

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I Have Gained The Trust Of My Parents To Do What I Love

Sanyam Jain

Being good at studies in school everyone believed that I would either pursue CA or MBA, however I decided to stride on the road not taken. Due to society and family I took admission in B.Com. (Hons) in Hans Raj College and not in an event management course as they thought there is no scope in it. However, after entering college I made sure to learn the art of managing events, handling stages, dealing with ambiguity and with limited time, money and resources.

Still pressurised about future I did give CA and MBA exams but didn’t succeed. It was then that the feeling of doing what I really like and being an entrepreneur grew stronger. And so my liking for baking made me start Cake O’ Frost, a small venture of cakes and cupcakes with my sister in my second year. This gave my parents confidence that I’m capable of making future in things apart from studies.

Then to further make them realise that I have the necessary capabilities of being a good event planner, I took the opportunity to manage full fledged family events. After seeing my work at two events, now for any family event I’m the one who is contacted to manage it.

Today, I have gained the trust of my parents to do what I love and pursue it as my career. It has been 1.5 years to Cake O’ Frost and now I’m planning to start event management also professionally.

Sanyam Jain
(YIC IIT Delhi 2017)