Volunteer Den: Sudeep Naik

Tell us a little about yourself!

I am currently working at Bajaj Auto, Pune. At Bhumi, I am part of the City Support Team for 2018-19. I pursued a degree in Mechanical Engineering from College of Engineering Pune. Watching movies, trekking and photography are my hobbies. I am the recipient of United Nations’ Volunteer – V Award.

How did volunteering with Bhumi happen? 

The joy and satisfaction of being with children pulled me towards doing something for them, that’s how my journey with Bhumi and children started. One of my friends had taken me to its orientations, after which there was no looking back. From a Little Einsteins (Mathematics) volunteer at one of the centres in a Pune to CST, it has been a joyous ride. Beating the Monday blues were never an issue for me after spending the weekend with kids. Every weekend felt like a mini vacation! 

It was after one of the All-Volunteers Meet that I realised the mammoth scale of Bhumi. I got to know real situations and how much more was needed to be done. Hence, in 2016, to contribute more, I applied for a position in the organisation. I was given the responsibility to handle Operations at six centres; additionally, I also took up initiatives in Catalyse and Refresh activities. These experiences encouraged me to apply for the post of City Lead, which I am currently doing.

Share your experience in the event that you have been actively participating in.

My journey in Bhumi has been like a series of activities that I would call an event as a whole. Throughout this journey, I have experienced drastic changes in people, peer volunteers, the kids and a lot of things around me.  It has helped me grow emotionally and mentally to what I am today. Being here and helping in whatever small way I can, has made me a better individual.

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

Three words to express what changes Bhumi brought in me would be – Calm, Composed and Confident. Things which have helped me are the three beliefs:

  1. You either do it or keep giving excuses – this strengthens me as an individual, and with the platform that Bhumi provides, I am confident that each one can excel in life.
  2. If you want to learn something new, you need to push yourself – I have always had stage fright when it came to public speaking. After Bhumi, I realised I was more than just a shy soul, I was capable of handling so many people, I had the abilities to inspire people and most importantly I could manage time. All of this was possible because I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and walked that extra mile. Everyone needs to push themselves to continuously improve themselves and things associated to you.
  3. Everything is in your head – Most of the time we tend to think that we’re incapable of doing something and that is when you have lost the battle. I believe everything is in our mind. For example – If we think there are 48 hours in a day, you will have plenty of time to manage anything and everything.

Tell us about one Bhumian, who has been an inspiration.

Every day I get inspired by someone, it might be a volunteer or a child. But if I had to give one name, then it would be Tarun Rawal, our Math Coordinator in 2015. He was the one who triggered the fire in me and who made me realise my capabilities. I had just started leading projects, and that’s when he gave me the most important lesson in life: ‘volunteers will manage kids, you should put your energy on managing volunteers’. If a volunteer is investing two hours of his time a week, just ensure that not even a second of his is wasted. He helped me overcome my initial nervousness by saying “you will have plenty of resources. You just try and utilize those at right place and right time and your work will be done”.

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

I am a person who lives in the moment. There have been countless moments in Bhumi. One that has been very special to me is with the Bholagiri kids. I would like to narrate this in a short story – Bholagiri, a centre where kids are so notorious, that it was very difficult teaching them. While I was teaching there, they used to cause so much trouble, I hardly managed to teach the in the initial stages. Gradually I started understanding them and they reciprocated the an understanding too. There were times when I wouldn’t be in a good mood or in a condition unsuitable for teaching, due to personal reasons but being with them would just make things right. Once I had been in such a bad state of mind and I started teaching, it was after 2 hours that I realised how calmly they heard me. It was when the class ended and a kid said Bhaiyya, you don’t seem to be in a good mood today, what happened? Can we go you with anything? It just rejuvenated me. It was in that moment, I felt the kind of warmth that I’ve never experienced, and I realised that teaching is a two way process. That day I felt  as if  I was given a life long salary to help in whatever way I can. This is one thing that keeps me inspired.

A message to every volunteer at Bhumi

We are here to contribute something to society by working for the upliftment of the underprivileged, and every hand contributes to change.  I urge you to find what is meant for you here. Bhumi is a place where learning is unlimited with plenteous resources. Even at this stage, at times I feel I know just 10%. So, grab this opportunity to do something not just for yourself but for society, for the people who dream of becoming like you but couldn’t get all those that you have. While investing those two hours of your week, ensure that you make the most of it and absorb everything out of it.

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