Tell us a little about yourself!
I have been known as ‘Momo’ in my Bhumi circles. I am a software engineer by profession. In my free time you would probably find me lost on the Internet reacting to animal videos, if not cycling, hiking, travelling, or reading up on science.
How did volunteering with Bhumi happen? (including beginning, which project you volunteered for)?
When I was a fresher in my company and without any projects, I had free time. That was the time when my friend Keerthana, a Kanini volunteer suggested I spend my free time at Bhumi. I thought why not as I was always interested in teaching kids.So that led me to the orientation in Damien foundation where I chose Kanini. So ever since that, have been in Kanini for about 4 years now.
What change did these experiences bring in your life? How has Bhumi altered you, personally?
I was an extreme introvert, had a very small social circle and even in my first year at Bhumi, I had only gone to classes, did not go to any of the events or volunteer meet-ups. But that all changed when I was the project coordinator and definitely had to meet a lot of volunteers and from then on the tiny circle I had, grew so large I lost count. Now I am less of an introvert, am able to speak up boldly with new people, got great contacts, met a lot of great people who are not in Bhumi anymore but still stay as good friends. A whole new level of fun and so many stories got unlocked ever since I joined Bhumi.
One most memorable incident in your life as a Bhumian:
Been in Kanini long enough to have a lot of memories, but Kanini Quest’15 as a whole was very memorable as I found it special because the whole lot Kanini came together to get this done and made it a wonderful event for the kids and for the volunteers as well. A day that was satisfyingly a well spent one. We also introduced Scratch, a programming application for kids during Quest, which really engrossed the kids and 2 yrs later, we are teaching the same as a regular workshop program.
Tell us about one Bhumian, who has been an inspiration
All Bhumians have inspired me in one way or the other. I am just amazed at all the things we are capable as a team with each having unique qualities that have propelled us this far now. But to be specific, Paddhu, Arun from my first year at PBC-Arumbakkam who came ready to every class with props to make the class interesting, Kathambari who kept pushing and encouraging, inspiring all Kanini volunteers along the way,Supraja with her syllabus contributions, Ganesh and Ranjani with their volunteer engagement activities all inspired me. These are just a few but the list is too long that I could go on for days.
Any specific, special moment with kids or volunteers you would like to share with us?
We went trekking to Nagalapuram with around 60 volunteers from many projects. We headed back to the exit under complete darkness with just torches and all was us were holding each other hands finding our way through big stones, thorns etc. It was a wonderful one-time experience and best part is none of them complained about the whole thing.
A message to every volunteer at Bhumi:
I am sure all of you are already doing a great job. I need not say more. You are already best than the rest of the world if you have decided in spending your weekends helping the social community. Stay strong, stay united and be committed to the vision of serving the underprivileged.
– Monish U
Kanini Volunteer, Chennai, Bhumi