If not for the good mind of many people, including the MLA and MP who arranged train tickets one day before the trip, a friend booking ticket online, my journey to Delhi to be part of the UNV program would not have been possible. For me it was a pilgrimage through the heart of my nation, mingling and mixing with villagers and experiencing the incredible diversity of India. By the time I reached back I realized who I am, what I am and what I could be!!
I was determined to attend the function for two reasons. The first one was I got a great lifetime opportunity to represent my people and tell our stories to whoever I meet; secondly I personally wanted to meet Amita Dahiya as I always found her very understanding and easily approachable through the e mail communication we had had. I was sure I would be very foolish if I refused to accept the invitation, especially as I remembered my school days when as a child listening avidly to my Social Science teacher Parameswaran Sir teaching me about United Nations and the role it played in building our world more peaceful and safer.
I am not used to travelling much but my team after knowing my deep wish to be present at UNV program gave me all support. My brother Basheer and my colleague`s sister Anjana helped in raising funds for the journey and I sold a piece of my gold too (of course with no regrets!) and my colleague Anil volunteered to accompany me.
I have observed that whenever I attended seminars and conferences, I could connect with a few very good persons who later played a significant role in my social, professional and personal life. My hopes didn`t betray me as I met a few great personalities including Amita, Vedabhyas, Anuradha, T.K Mathew, Dr. Gopinath and Chandermohan. I would like add that while engaged with a rural educational initiative, with a group of children I have met and talked to Smt. Vandana Shiva at a meeting in a remote village in Wayanad. It was great to meet her again though I could`nt talk to her.
Though a program with international significance, I was totally bowled over by the simplicity with which it was organized. It was great to listen to the words of Minister Jithendra Sing and other dignitaries. The flagship publication on volunteerism was a true eye opener for all of us. For the first time in my life I realized that there are people who are as passionately as I am, or more, engaged in various elements of social development. From the book we excitedly browsed through many initiatives and people including `Shishu Panchayaths`, Ram Sundher, and Rahul. Somewhere down the line I`ve read about `Peace Gong` and I consider myself providential to be connected with this unique initiative through UNV. I also realized the spot on meaning of `volunteerism` and the true role a committed volunteer can play in nation building.