Category: Personal

List of boxes I wish to tick in the near future!

Picture Location: Jal Mahal (Jaipur) : Circa 2016

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, It’s the life in your years.

Abraham Lincoln

Recently, I had this feeling of what next I should do. And then I decided to create a list of 50 things that I want to do before I die. When I was thinking about it, I had so many things in my mind and for a moment it felt like, life is like a -to do list.

Out of curiosity I also ask others. I got different answers from everyone but the interesting thing was that no one told me that they want to study or appear for some exams rather most of the people told me that they want to travel or do some adventure sports, create a small library, build their own home and do something for underprivileged. I don’t know what to feel about this. Here are my 50 things I want to do before I die:

  1. Want to work for the Government of India
  2. Help and guide 100 underprivileged students to appear for Civil Services Examination
  3. Want to write two books: one non-fiction and another fiction
  4. Want to work for GOOGLE and TWITTER
  5. Want to start my venture through which I can contribute to the society
  6. Start a small café where people can come and hang out or just read some books. The café should be green, full of art and beauty
  7. Do a degree from abroad
  8. Give a speech to an audience of a hundred people
  9. Visit all cities of India
  10. Travel whole India by Train
  11. Travel in a truck
  12. Want to go on a road trip from Kashmir to Kanya kumari and from Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh
  13. Travel solo without any planning; just start from anywhere and go anywhere
  14. Want to have a nice drink without any hesitation
  15. Sleep under the stars on a road or a mountain without any fear
  16. Build a small cottage home in Dharmashala (Himachal Pradesh) and also make it a homestay for tourists
  17. Climb Mount Everest
  18. Volunteer at Golden Temple, Amritsar
  19. Adopt a dog
  20. Adopt a girl and provide 100 % funding for her education
  21. Travel at least 100 countries of the world
  22. Ride a bike and go on a bike trip
  23. Learn a foreign language
  24. Go on an island and stay there for a month without any outward communication and internet connection
  25. Sleep on the Beach
  26. Spend a night in a Tree House
  27. Participate in Floating lantern activity in Thailand
  28. Want to go horseback riding
  29. Want to do zip-lining, sky-diving, scuba-diving and par-gliding
  30. Go on a hot-air balloon ride
  31. Want to participate in cycling
  32. Want to have a nice romantic dinner with my spouse on the Eiffel Tower
  33. Jump-off a cliff
  34. Visit a chocolate factory
  35. Make chocolate from scratch
  36. Buy a Mercedes
  37. Travel to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Bhutan
  38. Talk to a lot of strangers and write their stories
  39. Volunteer for ‘clean river campaign’
  40. Participate in road painting/road cleaning exercise
  41. Plant 1000 trees
  42. Do farming
  43. Do something for my village
  44. Ride a bullet
  45. Learn guitar
  46. Go on a girls’ trip with some of my close friends
  47. Create/Direct a documentary ( A difficult one)
  48. Write at least 10,000 blogs before I die (This is my 93rd blog)
  49. Read 10,000 books before I die
  50. Stay in Varanasi/Sikkim for sometime

Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go- T S Eliot

If you don’t mind, please also share in the comment what is that one thing you want to do before you die.

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My experiences with Sehgal Foundation

I got the opportunity to do an assignment with the Sehgal Foundation. During this assignment, I got the opportunity to visit some villages in Mewat(Nuh) district along with Crystal Harris. She has come from the State of Iowa, United States. She belongs to the World Food Prize organization. We both started the day with the celebration of womanhood on International Women’s Day. That day was full of celebration and enjoyment. Many Panchayat members, field workers, other staffs presented their views related to issues of women. We got the opportunity to listen to various success stories. Women and girls from villages were really enthusiastic about sharing their experiences. The topics were mostly related to the issues of women empowerment. The theme of the event was to change the mindset ( Nazariya) of everyone towards womenfolk. It was a wonderful day listening to the experiences of the grassroots workers.

EXPERIENCE AT COMMUNITY RADIO CENTER ( ALFAZ-E-MEWAT)

Community Radio Center is a really unique initiative by the Foundation in collaboration with the government of India. It has given voice to the people of the region. It has created a phenomenon of the community-led development process. We visited the community radio center at the ghaghas village in Mewat district. It was an amazing experience talking with those people who coordinate activities at the center. After talking to them, we can say that it has a created a platform for villagers not only discuss their problems but also their concerns about social issues. Many children also participated in various activities. They also discussed issues which are generally considered as taboo in our society. Not only this, as per one newspaper report, community radio has also helped people in the villages during the demonetization period.

I also had the opportunity to record a live show on the radio regarding exam fever. How not to be stressful during the examination. I recorded my voice first time on the radio. I told the children to be calm during the examination. They only need to revise things when exams are near. There is no need to read new things. Students should take proper sleep before going for examination.

TEACHING AT DIGITAL LITERACY CLASS

We both also got the opportunity to teach digital things to adolescent girls in Nangal village. It was a great experience talking to those girls. They were really excited to know more and more about digital things. Here, we talked about various apps as well as internet banking etc. For instance, BHIM App, USSD, Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter etc. After telling all these things, we both were really curious to know about their dreams so we gave them the assignment to write about their dreams. It was an interesting read to know about their dreams and aspirations. They want to study more. Some of them want to become a teacher. Most of them want to pursue their career in the medical field in the form of a nurse and doctor. They were also complaining about financial hardships as well as lack of availability of facilities.

We also talked about their strengths and weaknesses. Everyone was eagerly coming forward to discuss their strengths and weaknesses. One of the most important weaknesses was that all of them want to learn the English language. I request Sahgal Foundation to provide some facilities for the English language for those girls.

Visited a Primary School, Life Skills Center and the site of Check Dam

On the last day of our visit, we interacted with women of life skills center. They were learning to stitch. When we reached there, they were so much excited to show whatever they have made recently after learning to stitch. They were very enthusiastic about discussing their learning experiences.

We also visited a primary school. The renovation and coloring of the building were done by Sehgal Foundation in collaboration with Mosaic Fertilizers. The school was looking bright and in fact, it was really amazing to see all the graffiti on the wall of the school.

The most interesting thing was the see-saw machine. It was serving a dual purpose. Children can play on the see-saw as well as due to their playing activity the water will be pumped into the tank. It was really an innovative and skillful initiative by the Foundation. It needs to be adopted in all the schools of the country.

We visited a check dam in Firozpur-Zirka block of Mewat district. It was built by Mewat Development Authority in collaboration with Coca-Cola India and SM Sehgal Foundation in 2012. This check dam has turned out to be a boon for the villagers in this area. Before this check dam, they were facing severe water scarcity as well as drinking water problem. As per the report, it was found that the groundwater level has increased by about 100 meters in this area. Not only this, it has also provided facilities for irrigation for agricultural purposes.

These ten days were really amazing for me. I had a great learning experience of the works going on the villages by the Foundation. It needs to be replicated in other areas also. I also had a great engagement with Crystal Harris. She was a great human being. She was very much inclined to do whatever can be done for those girls in the villages. It’s really good to meet with the people who have concerns for others. I hope that this kind of good work will continue with a great vigor for the welfare of the people in rural areas of India.

I am happy to announce that SEHGAL FOUNDATION has published my blog to their newsletter(April 2017). Please find the article here: http://www.smsfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/MyexperienceswithSehgalFoundation_blogbyRitambharaClean1.pdf