This month we got in touch with Youth for Seva volunteer Rashmi Udayraju, a final year engineering student at R.V College of engineering, Bangalore to share her experience and inspiration to volunteer…
” Being a follower of Swami Vivekananda, I always wanted to stand up for a cause. I got to a platform to do something when I know about YFS in my first year of engineering, it was the vacation time when i got to know from a local newspaper where volunteers were required for teaching students in the government school nearby. I was very enthusiastic to be with children and wanted to do something for them. Therefore i started teaching the Hosahalli Government model primary school in 2011, I went to the school everyday in my vacation for almost 3 months and taught them spoken English (trained by Sinu joseph) and soft skills. I used to teach for 6th, 7th and 8th grades for one hour each everyday. I started to develop a sense of attachment with the students and the teachers who were very supportive and always encouraged me.
I used to find myself in every student in the class and more than everything I loved being with the children. Quite often I used to teach them computers but since the school wasn’t provided with computer facilities I took my laptop to show them some educational videos.
I gave them tests often and reward the student who got good marks with a pen or a chocolate. I observed improvement as the time passed on with the tests.
Since the school was near my home many students came home asking me to teach them English and other subjects too.
The students started to converse to me in English with some mistakes but I could see they were exited to learn. In the month of august we conducted medical screening to children and also created awareness regarding cleanliness and it’s importance.
In the second year vacation I volunteered for a partner NGO of YFS, Maatru deeksha Center in Kodihalli, a remote village in Malur taluk, Kolar district. It was a tuition center where Mr. Lakshmi prasad was helping all the rural kids there. It was a mesmerizing experience. Even though i could not volunteer for long, it was a learning session where I found out a lot of things.
‘Lose yourself in the service of others’, Service itself has motivated me to volunteer and children have kept me intact to see the smile on thier face.
I was extremely happy when I could see a batch of children more confident in the way they speak in English and face the world with out fear.
Volunteering with YFS is an amazing experience as I get to meet and greet the like minded, from the Annual days to Chiguru ; from Vivekananda Jayanthi to the workshops and everything else that happens. This gives meaning to life. Volunteering during college days is a bit difficult to manage but I always had the weekends to give.
My most memorable time in volunteering was during Polio Drive. That was the most satisfactory moment. I have volunteered in almost 6 six schools with various activities like the vivekananda jayanthi, DFS etc., and i long for the love and attachment.
Any place sustainability is very important. The new volunteers must be proactive in planning and executing events so that they get an exposure to the problems and can have good cognition skills. That moment of satisfaction and smile is what we long for at the end of the day.
-- Received from Rashmi Udayraju