Volunteer Den: Abhishek Ramesh Kolhe

Tell us a little about yourself!

Hi, I am Abhishek Ramesh Kolhe. I am a BSC student at Fergusson College Pune (Maharashtra) currently pursuing my graduation in Geology. I have joined Bhumi 3 years back.

About your work profile in Bhumi

Currently, I am an ‘Ignite City Coordinator’ for Pune. I was volunteering in the LEM project for almost 8-9 months, after which I volunteered for Nakshatra and it was there for the first time I felt like I can do something more than just weekend volunteering for Bhumi. I had a very good interaction with Sudeep and Hitesh, the stalwarts of Bhumi in Pune, and after that, I decided to lead and take my volunteering to the next level. I applied for becoming the coordinator of the Mathematics project in Pune. This was a completely new experience and an adventurous journey for me. Not being a very social person, suddenly becoming an HR Coordinator and having to interact with 90 active volunteers in the project was a huge challenge personally for me. Nevertheless, it all turned out well and I learned a lot in this role. It made me realise the importance of leading both yourself and others. It also helped me understand that inspiration and motivation are the best ways to lead. It helped me empathise more with our cause and here I am leading my city and enjoying every bit of it!

What did Bhumi teach you? What is the one thing that Bhumi taught you in life? 

One distinct memory I have is of the day of my orientation at Bhumi. All the attendees were asked to ponder on the difference between sympathy and empathy. I was dumbfounded, I had never reflected on this ever until this moment. I went back with a lot of questions in my mind, but now with my journey in my Bhumi, the answers keep unfolding at every moment, whether it’s my classes with the children or my role as a leader, I am reminded every time to empathise, to feel one with the cause and inspire many more. This is the biggest lesson Bhumi has taught me.

Any memorable experience in Bhumi?

I’ll talk about my very first experience which may not be inspiring but it is a very funny incident, makes me laugh every time I think about it but also reminds me how as a leader it’s important to be responsible for your actions and also for the actions of others.

When you’re an overall lead for a particular event, it is your responsibility to ensure that all the work is done. There was an event and I was standing on the stage with my friends. In front of 120 volunteers. Suddenly, Hitesh asked me ‘Please hand over the mic’. I asked him to wait for two minutes as I searched for it; suddenly I realised that I had forgotten to book the speaker and mic for the event. At that moment I thought no one will ever forgive me for this, but luckily my seniors were very supportive and told me to take this as a learning lesson.

Any achievements / remarkable footprints in your life?

I have always been among the merit students, but have found English as a subject where I have struggled a lot. Today, when I can represent my thoughts in English, I consider this to be my biggest personal achievement. 

Any specific, special moment with kids or volunteer you would like to share with us? / Any shoutout for your friends or fellow volunteers? 

I believe, every single person, child, or even simple things can inspire us. It is for us to know how we want to get inspired and start working on it. I want to give a huge shoutout to my friends, Hitesh, Sudeep, and every volunteer who supported and helped me. 

How did volunteering with Bhumi happen?

It was all very sudden for me. Three years back, I wanted to interact with people and I was searching for an organisation where there are a lot of volunteers who all are motivated to take different roles. I came across Bhumi and everything thereafter just changed my life.

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