Tag: Manavar Illam

Interview with vivek rajan

Interview with vivek rajan

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Hi; first of all congrats for your married life. Since your life is so full of Bhumi volunteering; with your partner also being a Bhumi volunteer; can you tell us; how and when you joined Bhumi? And a few words about you?

Thank you!!I was born in the sceni district of Kanyakumari, as the only son to my parents. I soon shifted my base to Chennai where I had my Schooling. It was in 6th standard at my school I met the future Mrs.Vivek. After school I joined A GOVT COLLEGE at Chennai (CEG, Anna University) and did my B.E, Mechanical there. My destiny pushed me to Trichy despite job offers at ASCENDAS & TIDEL PARK; Then I joined the typical SARKARI-BABU company; “BHEL” like any other Indian in 2009. To a lot of people, a “turning point” would be an incident which leads to something better or bad in their lives. I too had one such incident on the night of June 09 of 2011 at Trichy, when I met with an accident. But i had no idea while I was literally being turned inside out on a hospital’s operating table.

After that harrowing experience, I had loads of time to introspect. A lot of questions popped up in my mind, like, “Will my death create any loss to someone; other than my family & friends?”

The answer was “no” and It really put me down. As always; I turned to the one with answers to all my problems, my best half- Rumana; she then explained about Bhumi and told that it would really be an up-lifting experience if I engaged myself in it. I was like “why not?” and registered myself for the orientation on june-13 after getting my feet back, (literally: p) been a Bhumian from then!!

 That’s inspiring and romantic too; 😉 Hearing so much on your choice of Bhumi there has to be a lot of moments; which are close to your heart… Can you share a few with us?  

 After starting this year’s Lakshya session, I had to visit the center; alone; for some follow-up work; I met with a champ to ask about the whereabouts of the warden. Since I had forgotten his name; I asked him “What is your name?”
He replied ‘”Vivek Anna, My name is Arjun. You and other annas & akkas have visited us only once but we will never forget your names, just try not to forget ours”
From that day I tried my best to be regular to my sessions and remember the kids ‘by name’.
After my marriage I visited the kids accompanied with my wife. They immediately swarmed around us and started congratulating. They also sang some songs in Tamil wishing both of us.
My wife’s only question was what did you do for these kids? The answer was “I am yet to start.”

You have started so much inside us; can you share a few words on how much being a mentor cum volunteer in Bhumi helped you in your life?

As i told you before, being the only child of working parents, I used to find solitude as my best companion. It made me a bit of an introvert. Being a mentor, is a chance to open up and test my latent communication skills. And being with mentors of my age group or older (pun intended 🙂 ) it also helped build my social skills

What are the things that you love and despise in Bhumi?

In Bhumi: I love the informal way of working; having seriousness where it is needed and the sense of belonging among all volunteers. Most of all the high level of maturity of all volunteers; who are in their teens. As in Despise; I despise the fact that there is nothing to hate.

What is your view and perspective on volunteering? And finally anything you want to share to us to enhance our volunteering experience?

Volunteering was something innate in the Indian Culture; it is slowly being eroded in this modern era. Very few people get to say that “I am back” in Billa Ajith style after facing a round and then get to realize the need to better oneself  in version 2.0 like I did.
So as youngsters we should embrace this gift of life & always remember the words of Frost

“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Group Activity Session@Manavar Illam

Group Activity Session@Manavar Illam

Lakshya GA sessions-an insider’s recount

Lakshya – a name which few months back would have made me think about Hrithik Roshan’s dance moves in the blockbuster movie with the same name. But now it is synonymous with a warm glow that swells in my heart when a kid explains what he has learnt through a Group Activity session.
Talking about the sessions we started off Lakshya 2013 at manavar illam on 30-06-2013 with a handful of volunteers and a heart full of hope and confidence. The slight jitter that one may have had about interacting with kids who were complete strangers was dispelled the moment the kids assembled in the hall. Without any prodding, the kids started interacting with the volunteers pulling their legs with puns.
By the second session, the kids had gelled well with the volunteers and they responded enthusiastically to the volunteer’s requests. They even nicknamed a few volunteers (self was named “comedy piece”). The kids also started opening up beautifully at the post group activity (GA) discussions. Soon, the theme of the GA activities was correctly understood and expressed by the kids themselves without any push from the volunteers. Now the kids and volunteers are part of the same team i.e., LAKSHYA working towards the same goal –“a developed INDIA”

~ Vivek Rajan

Manavar Illam, Trichy

Design For Change-2013

Design For Change-2013

A Dream For Change (DFC)

A Design-for-change from a dream for change..!!

The complete change of the Maanavar Illam, Trichy, was felt after the tremendous process with kids in two days with a theme of “cleanliness” . As a Tamil proverb states “sutham soru podum”, we made the kids start something for a clean and a green environment. Cleaning the ground, planting saplings in available spaces, and allocating spaces for playing, better washing area, etc. were the phases of the change. At first, it was a little bit of a challenge to imagine the environment from sick old to a healthy new one. But later, we jumped into the field with each and every volunteer managing a team of 4-5 kids namely inventory, space management, waste management, planting saplings and cleaning.
The kids showed a lot of interest and played every role to enhance their existing surroundings to a clean area despite their exams the following day. The plan was discussed and meticulously carried out. Creating pathways for the waste water to prevent its stagnancy was the first step in our DFC. Simultaneously, the other teams started their respective work like planting seeds and fencing. Gardening was a great process and led to a success with the help of all the kids. And the day ended with a little clean and green look with some work still pending in the list.

Our DFC went on a second week voyage and we planned for half-a-day to finish all those pending works. The kids never ceased to inspire us. They chlorinated the wash area of the home without our help that just awed us more. They chose the places for planting vegetables and cleaned a stage filled with wooden logs on that day with us lending a few hands. And at last we made a volley ball court for the kids to put their skills on the ground for test. DFC ended successfully with things getting captured across devices and with our idea of having National Anthem to show the patriotism after the project getting through. It was really awesome to be a part of DFC at Maanavar Illam.

I hope each volunteer enjoyed a lot even while blending their sweat with blood during the project. They were very well aware of all the things and experienced in creating a plan and to establish it successfully by thinking out of the box. We learnt a lot from each kid like how to use the tools like stone and a simple iron wire for fencing. Finally, a clean and green environment was made for the kids and by the kids. DFC went with more than just satisfaction in our hearts.

~ Srinivasavan

Manavar Illam, Trichy