Our actions play out to be an important part of who we are. But when you are a teacher, actions help in building a lot more people. Dedicating time and effort to such actions, amidst an occupied life of a student, is a task that many of us find to be difficult. Yet, against all such odds, this changemaker has dedicated her weekends to volunteer at the Children’s Home for Hope in Chennai. Meet volunteer and mentor, Sandhya Ravindran.
1) Why did you join U&I? What motivated you to do so?
"What motivated me to join U&I was my passion for teaching. Even as a child, I would 'tutor' my stuffed toys, holding classes in my makeshift 'classroom'. As I grew up, I realised that teaching is more than just about me, it’s the fulfillment that comes along with it, and the lives that are impacted. The feeling that I would be able to give to a child the education that they are unable to receive otherwise, was motivation enough for me to be a part of U&I."
2) How would you say volunteering affected you, if it did, at all?
"Interacting with the kids at Children's Home of Hope has been an eye-opener for me. These girls are ambitious and do not have the fear of failure. They make complete use of every resource given to them and work hard to realize their dreams. The biggest change that I notice in myself since I started out at U&I is in my approach to tackling problems in life. I have developed a stronger and positive mindset towards solving them."
3) What makes you come back to class, week after week?
"I find that both my co-volunteers and mentors inspire me to do that. They take time out of their personal life for U&I with the dream of being the change in the lives of these children. Above that though, my primary inspiration is derived from the children. Their attitude towards life, their never-ending curiosity and mischief, and their acceptance of people, making everyone feel like family - all of it inspires me to be a better person."
4) Share something memorable from your volunteering experience? A moment you value?
"During the orientation session, we interacted with all the children in the orphanage, and not just the students we were to teach. During this, there was a shy little child, Trisha, who simply wanted to hold my hand. I have never before been in an environment, where there has been such a pure exchange of love. That really was a very special moment, one I will always cherish and hold dear to me."
Self-doubt gets us nowhere. Stop doubting yourself, work hard and make it happen, says Sandhya Ravindran, a philosophy that she lives her life by.