Volunteer Den – Shruti Poonia

Tell us a little about yourself!

I am a psychology student studying in Panjab University. I am an avid reader as well as an inquisitive soul by nature who loves to embark on new adventures – exploring new things and meeting different people.

How did volunteering with Bhumi happen? (including beginning, which project you volunteered for)?

Bhumi happened to me by chance. One day, I was randomly surfing net when I came across Bhumi’s website. Impressed by the various projects of Bhumi, I decided to volunteer for it. I am currently working as the HR Coordinator at Ignite-LEM Dhakauli centre as well as a Catalyse volunteer.

What change did these experiences bring in your life? How has Bhumi altered you, personally?

Volunteering with Bhumi has been a very enriching experience for me. It has offered me a platform to work with communities and individuals through the process of change. I have become a more active and compassionate member of the society. Also, teaching kids (under LEM) has taught me a great deal about being patient in everyday life situations. This learning has been mutual and has significantly enhanced my emotional intelligence at the same time. I am more responsible and a better person now.

Any specific, special moment with kids or volunteers you would like to share with us?

In the most modest way, I would like to tell you that the kids of my Ignite center simply love coming to the center on Sundays for studying. Sometimes, they get so excited for the class that they actually end up coming 30-40 minutes early at the center. These little souls are also very creative and enjoy making things using ‘best out of waste’ method.

What’s the most unexpected benefit you got out of volunteering at Bhumi? 

Since the day I have started doing social work, my understanding of life and human nature has grown deep like the rivers and has brought me one step closer to my dream. I want to open a non profit organization for empowerment of Indian girls (especially from poverty stricken areas) and an orphanage cum old age home where elderly people and children can live as small families, take care of one another and be loved. This way, the orphaned kids can find a nurturing guardian and in return, this will help older people in escaping the world of loneliness and despair. So yeah! I am more passionate towards my dreams now, thanks to Bhumi.

Why did you choose to volunteer at Bhumi?

The best thing about Bhumi is that it provides its volunteers with the freedom for expression of new ideas. Here, we exist together as a community, but still each one of us is given the liberty to work as independent units. Bhumi understands the dynamics of young generation.This is the reason why I chose Bhumi.

A message to every volunteer at Bhumi:

There is only one piece of advice that I would like to give to my fellow Bhumi friends and that is “to never give up”. There will be many times when things in this NGO will not go as per your expectations and you will feel that your efforts are going worthless but it’s okay. Just keep on finding new ways to improve. Like any other Ignite volunteer, I too have faced many challenges at the my centre, but in spite of all this, I am quite grateful to myself for never losing hope. And this has made all the difference.

Tell us about one Bhumian, who has been an inspiration

One of my greatest inspirations in this journey has been our City Coordinator as well as Ignite LEM project coordinator, Ankur Bhatia. He is a great mentor. He used to appreciate even the smallest of our efforts and this really worked as a great motivational factor. Since Bhumi is still new in Chandigarh, we have faced many problems, especially in running Ignite centres. But despite having a busy work life, he was always there to help and guide us and luckily, he still continues to do so.

– Shruti Poonia, H.R.Coordinator -LEM, Catalyse volunteer

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