*This Volunteer Den Series is specially curated as a part of our 15 Year Celebration #15YearsofBhumi and features the first 15 Torchbearer awardees of Bhumi Volunteers Awards 

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF

Hi, My name is Bhargav. I currently head the Marketing Technology department at FreshWorks, Chennai. My area of work relates to Global Marketing. Prior to this, I worked at InMobi in Bangalore.

 A SUMMARY OF YOUR JOURNEY AT BHUMI

My journey with Bhumi started in 2008. In fact, I was a part of the very first batch of volunteers who attended the first official orientation that ever took place in Bhumi.

I started by teaching in the English project (Speak Out) in RA Puram, Chennai. Following that, I managed certain parts of Bhumi’s mentoring project Lakshya that involves the overall personality development of the students. I also taught students from classes 8-10 during this period.

 I regularly volunteered for 4 years till 2012 when I found more time and joined Bhumi as a full-time employee. 

During my two years as a Bhumi employee, I handled marketing and operations for various events, especially DaanUtsav.

In 2014, I decided to pursue my Master’s degree and move into the corporate world. I still try my best to volunteer at Bhumi events that are happening in Chennai or Bangalore.

HOW DID VOLUNTEERING WITH BHUMI HAPPEN?

This is actually an interesting story. Back in those days, Orkut a social media platform like Facebook and Instagram now was extremely popular.

I was just scrolling through on Orkut and came across this form of Bhumi, which was a new initiative at that time. I was looking for something productive to do on the weekends but I did not exactly know what I wanted to do.

I just filled the form out of curiosity without any hope of things moving forward. Surprisingly, I got a call back around 2 weeks later and was asked to attend an orientation. That is how everything started.

WHAT HAS BHUMI TAUGHT YOU AND HOW HAS IT IMPACTED YOUR PERSONAL LIFE?

I was in the third year of college when I joined Bhumi. That means that I started out very young. I understood early on that I would be doing good for society and it has made me a lot more aware and considerate, I believe.

Moreover, I picked up a lot of skills. I learned how to talk in professional spheres, how to manage resources and time and most importantly, I also learned how to work on myself while being socially responsible.

 ANY MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE IN BHUMI THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE

Honestly, it is really hard to pick one. But one of the memories that have been with me and kept me grounded,  is from a time when I was working in rural and backward areas of Chennai  (I was an employee of  Bhumi at the time).

During this period, I was responsible for conducting surveys with poor families to understand the impact of education in the more secluded rural regions. I was pleasantly surprised to see how passionate most parents were to send their children to private schools and to provide them with quality education even when they faced difficulties in making ends meet.

Their enthusiasm and willingness to change the lives of their children and provide opportunities that they themselves were deprived of, made me realise that we are on the right path. 

ANY MEMORIES AT BHUMI YOUR FRIENDS OR FELLOW VOLUNTEERS

I believe that Bhumi gives you family-like friends for a lifetime. If you ask me to pinpoint out one specific memory, it would be from Nakshatra in 2009.

To experience an environment where all the volunteers come together to make this event successful was surreal. The immense passion of the volunteers to be there for the children, in whatever way possible cannot be described in words, it can only be felt. The shortage of food seemed like the most trivial of problems when all volunteers decide to go hungry even for long hours in the interest of our children enjoying the food and sharing smiles. 

I made friends for a lifetime here in Bhumi, even today we keep planning to take a short trip somewhere, go out for dinner, or in this situation, have a small potluck at someone’s house. I hope the restrictions ease out soon so that we carry forward the plan!

ANY SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR LIFE THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO MENTION

Daan Utsav has been my greatest achievement. Like I mentioned before, I was a part of the pilot batch of volunteers at Bhumi. Hence, like other events, when Daan Utsav started, it wasn’t huge. 

However, I believe that within 2-3 years along with the support of my fellow volunteers, we were able to garner interested people and spread the word across. That was the first time that Daan Utsav took place on such a massive scale. It makes me proud every time I think of it. 

Wordsmith: Krisha Chandnani, Intern-Bhumi

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