Couple of months ago, i got a mail from a guy in 2nd year college enquiring about opportunities to volunteer at Deepam. He was coming back to india on a 2 month vacation from NUS Singapore and wanted to volunteer ‘full time’ during the 2 months. Archana and I met up with him at a coffee shop and discussed undergraduate studies in India / Singapore mainly and Deepam, on the side. He offered to contribute to the curriculum team and ensure all our class’ had a structure to it. He said he would start the next day and visit the deepam centres. On my way back, i was thinking how could a young guy who topped academics all his life, who lived in another country for sometime relate to Deepam and the kids we teach and offer meaning contribution.
And i didn’t have to wait too long to know the answer – in a week, he pinged Archana and me, so regularly on Gtalk, that i had to run away !!! ( to earn my living!! ). Not that he was ‘time wasting’ in any way – he was always bouncing ideas on improving curriculum , fund raising , PR and many more. And on most days during his stay in Chennai, he would work on the ideas he suggested and action them. He worked along with Archana and structured the computer curriculum for Deepam, in no time. He also turned up to teach at Olcott School / KC centres and started to interact with the kids. Slowly, he found new areas to contribute and was contributing everywhere!!! He , on his own initiative, got in touch with NDTV Hindu / local newspapers , to do a story on Deepam. He never discussed getting in touch with NDTV with anyone, till he brought them to do a story on us. He was more ‘action’ and less ‘talk’ in areas where he didn’t need support.
He didn’t stop there. He worked with the ‘web team’ to do a new website for us ( which will be ready soon ), worked along with Meera to publish a ‘Deepam newsletter’ and many many more. It was such a pleasant experience for all of us at Deepam, to work with him. He had some fantastic ideas and more importantly ‘Executed’ them as well. All of his ideas are ‘do-able’ and was ‘rooted’ in reality. It was amazing to see this coming from a 20 year old.
Deepam surely benefited through Abhinav and in a lot ways, he exhibits a quality that Deepam aims to follow – More ‘action’ / ‘execution’ / ‘doing’ than just discussing ideas. He is our volunteer of the month 🙂