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Happy Greatful Blessed by Devashree Bodas

By Volunteer Devashree Bodas, FHI Pune

An architect by profession, a writer by passion, a shy introvert by nature is how I would have described myself initially. Being a millennial and having access to the best possible things just “at a click” , being non-complacent were some of the perks I strongly possessed. Five years in architecture school gave me an opportunity to understand, comprehend and design spaces for various sections of the society keeping their needs into consideration. I was introduced to a whole new world where people were struggling for basic rights and essentials be it education for children or poor infrastructure for the masses. The notions I got to see created an impulse and desire to contribute my share towards the society and that’s how I got associated with FHI two years prior.

My first event of FHI was at Sumati Balwan, an ashram where young girls who were the victims of drug trafficking or single parent children were provided with education, commando training to make themselves financially independent. We volunteers had decided on a theme based on origami which instills qualities like team work, accountability, communication among others. We made small groups with the kids and each volunteer was assigned a specific task. I got an opportunity to teach various crafts which were fun and unknowingly taught various skill sets to them. The children were enthusiastic, eager to learn new things and were taking keen interest in learning all the activities. At the end of the event, the little girls made a personalized card for me which literally made my day! I realised that it’s the smallest things that take up the most room in your heart. On our next visit to the ashram, the girls welcomed us with happy excited faces and they even remembered the names of us volunteers!

Being a shy person myself, I got an opportunity to put myself out there, get out of my comfort zone and interact with people from different social backgrounds be it the kids or my fellow volunteers! Interacting with the kids, seeing them happy and playful made me realize that happiness is not a destination but a journey. I discovered that there is joy in the very small things which is highly underestimated. Now I’m aware of the fact that I’m privileged to have a home I call family, food on the table and a source of income which many people are deprived of. Instead of cribbing for anything and everything, today I focus more on the positive aspects in my life. I’m grateful and blessed for all the kindness God has showered upon me and now I don’t take anything for granted. From a shy, reserved person to a confident and grateful person, this shift in perspective is sure the blessing of FHI. Through various events, blogs, live sessions, fun activities, volunteering FHI has instilled life skills in us volunteers as well 🙂 Blessed , grateful and happy is what i would describe myself now..!

Last but not the least, here’s sharing a quote I resonate with the most….

“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is YOU. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live only as you can!”

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