Sometimes when we hear stories about today’s youth, which make us wonder how the world will survive when that generation grows up. But more often lately we have been hearing stories that make us realize that there are just few bad ones around and the majority of youth today are good. What is even better is that many youth today have a great heart and a giving spirit!
An engineering graduate from Sapthagiri College of Engineering, Namratha Ramakrishna, 24, had some free time before she joined Cognizant Technology Solutions as a programmer analyst. In 2009, Times of India, a leading English newspaper had started a campaign called ‘Teach India’. Teach India is a social initiative from Times group that brings together children in need of education and people who can contribute a little time towards teaching them. Namratha joined ‘Teach India’ campaign just to kill her boredom. And this is where she was connected to Youth for Seva.
YFS seva fellowship program was meant for volunteers who could spare 3-6 months, and Namratha had that time as she was in her waiting period to join her company. She jumped at that opportunity and joined YFS. She then volunteered full time with YFS for six months.
Namratha started off as the zonal coordinator for Malleshwaram. The zone was then totally dormant. Soon, a very active volunteer’s team was formed in Malleshwaram and many projects clicked well!! Volunteers were teaching Spoken English, Maths, Art and Computers. YFS team conducted some games and drawing competitions at schools in Malleshwaram. Also, few dental checkups were arranged in association with Narain Oral & Dental clinic.
When asked what was her biggest challenge, Namratha says, “The most challenging thing I did in the beginning is to take on the task of teaching Mathematics for Kannada medium children studying in standard 8th, which I was compelled to do due to the unavailability of volunteers. There began my own studies!! Every day before I went to school I would keep a Kannada Mathematics book along with an English one and learn the Kannada terms and prepare myself. It took me some time to get the hang of it, but eventually I did!! I continued this for close to 6 months until I got my joining date.”
She recalls. “Frankly speaking, the main reason I got involved in volunteering was out of boredom. But very soon, I really became passionate about everything I was doing. I realized that very small efforts from my side were enough to bring about a change, irrespective of the scale of significance it brought about. Also, I started enjoying working with the children and didn’t see it as doing any social service to anybody.”
– YFS Team