JSW Foundation Fellowship

Love you Zindagi!

Everything is possible.. अगर किसी चीज को दिल से चाहो तो पुरी कायनात उसे तुमसे मिलाने की कोशिश मे लग जाती हैं.. You will get what you want, be patient.. I used to think that these are all just dialogues used in movies or to motivate people. But now when I see my journey for the last one year and especially the last month… It is incredible! These last 30 days have made me believe in these dialogues. 

This is a journey from being an over-thinker to कर के देखो; from being in a protected and comfortable environment to exploring and living on my own in a totally different culture and geography with all new people. This journey has a lot of “first time” moments. From my first experience of a face to face interview, taking a firm stand for myself and being rebellious for that, experiencing corporate culture, and now being in a totally new place, searching for a place to live and settling on my own. A lot of new people turned into friends in this journey, some for lifetime too! 

I remember the time when I submitted the written application for this fellowship.. It was the last day of application submission and I submitted my application in the evening. In this full process I never felt that I would be here as a fellow due to differing opinions of me and my family. I had decided to enjoy, explore and learn from this process. जो होगा देखा जाएगा.. 

When I received the mail that I got selected, my first reaction was more of tension; that how I will convince my family for this. But now I am completely satisfied about my decision to join this Fellowship. 

This one month gave a great opportunity to interact and learn from various experienced persons coming from different backgrounds. We interacted with various dignitaries from the corporate sector, development sector and bureaucracy. To know more about ground realities, challenges while working at ground level and how to handle challenging situations; we interacted with people who have done fellowships and right now they have their own initiatives to contribute for our society. 

I always feel there is so much to learn from each and every person. Because each individual understands and processes information and experiences in his/her unique way and this provides us different dimensions to look at events. So these interactions were like a treasure trove for me to learn and understand new things. 

Ever since I came to know about fellowships, I wanted to be a fellow. This is because of the structure of fellowships and the challenges and opportunities that fellowships provide to learn and grow. 

Now I have this wonderful learning opportunity through the JSW Foundation Fellowship. My project location is Jawhar taluka in Palghar district. Jawhar taluka has a tribal population around 90%. So first I have the task to understand their culture, lifestyle, traditions and socio-economic condition, geography of this region. Definitely I have a challenge here as there are many hamlets in the interior region where there is no connectivity. Infrastructure development is needed here. But one more question comes here as what does development mean for people here? So right now I am observing the situation here, interacting with people to understand their lives. 

Also it is the first time I am living alone, outside my hometown. So the difficult task is to find and make a place as “home”. I know it will take some time to settle down. But this is a great learning opportunity. Here I have met some good people who will be helping me to understand more about this place. As they have been working here as a part of an organization named AROEHAN for the last 15 years. So I am getting a lot of insights from these people.

Till now it has been a good start to this two year long journey of fellowship. Right now I  have a mixture of emotions – nervousness, confusion, a lot of excitement to try and learn new things, adventurous, content and a lot more with a touch of magic. There is also a sense of responsibility to make these two years fruitful for me and everybody associated with my journey. 

This one month has given me a sense to trust and enjoy the process. It has taught me to be patient. Everything will happen but you have to give it time. It taught me to never lose hope. Trust yourself. 

And here I am all set.. Ready for an exploratory journey of mine with a bunch of new friends and with a happy, smiling heart saying Love You Zindagi….!

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