Volunteer Den: Akhila Hari

  1. Get to know me!

I co-manage an educational institute with my husband. We provide coaching for the CBSE curriculum to students and train them for external/competitive examinations.

  1. Your work profile at Bhumi:

Becoming a volunteer at Bhumi was actually my first volunteering experience. I completed a tenure of 6 years with Bhumi which was stupendous. I was one of the very first people who joined the NGO and I have had a very satisfactory experience. Teaching students and training volunteers were some of the tasks I performed at Bhumi. 

Since I had to relocate to Bangalore, I had to quit the Chennai unit of Bhumi. But the good thing which happened was that I was able to join the Bangalore chapter of Bhumi and I volunteered with them for about a year.  

  1. How did Bhumi help u in your social life or personal life?

I made a lot of friends at Bhumi. I always felt so connected to these diverse people because we all were there for a common cause. I have learned different life lessons from all these individuals which have been printed on my mind. Even with the presence of such a major diversity of people, we all had a sense of unity amongst us. It’s very important for us to know the reality of life because we might not face the problems other people face. I have established- being grounded as the fundamental principle of my life and it’s because of Bhumi I was able to learn this principle. 

  1. Your interesting experiences while working at Bhumi:

Siragugal (Annual event) now called Nakshatra was the most fascinating event at Bhumi. We all used to practice with the students for hours and had fun doing the same. The practice and preparation were indeed tiresome and fatiguing but it left us ecstatic at the end. Siragusa helped us display our fun sides while volunteering.

I would describe one incident where I was teaching a class and I was new to the NGO at that time and didn’t know Tamil. I was a bit hesitant about teaching as I didn’t know Tamil. One day, while I was teaching, a student got angry and threw a paper at me. I didn’t do anything and simply walked out of the class and didn’t turn up next week to the school deliberately because of this incident. The class eventually understood this and took my number from the principal of the school and called me. They said, “Sorry Akka” to me, they basically learned English from a fellow volunteer and apologized to me and asked me to come back and teach them. So, the next time I went to teach them they had made a card for me and apologized for their behavior. This is the incident that I will never forget

5. Any shoutout for your friends and volunteers:

First of all, a big hey and a wave from my side to everyone at Bhumi. I know some people from the early batch of volunteers at Bhumi and keep seeing updates on their social media profiles. I would give a big shoutout to Vaishnavi for having me on board. I congratulate the entire team for such tremendous work and the difference they create in society is worth the appreciation, it’s just euphoric. Finally, I wish you all best of luck in the future. 

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