My Story: Journey of Indian technocrat becoming Social Activist
Mine was family of four, myself, younger brother and parents. My dad was in Indian Airforce, and with him we travelled a lot because of his transferable job, lived in almost all states of India and imbibed bits of every cultures. So now when somebody ask me a simple question where are you from? I am unable to name a state or city because my childhood memories becomes fresh, I can feel the warmth of those places, cultures and people and I feel everyone belongs to me and I belong to all of them. Thanks to the Defence environment which made me a believer of equality & inclusion, giving every human, every right that I claim for myself.
I did Phd in computer science and joined ETH (Education to Home) Research Lab , worked with Dr Vijay Bhatkar. He is best known as the Father of Super computers in India. I learnt lot from him and in my initial days itself we started working on a project on virtual classroom. In year 2002 we created a software system with which we can take education to doorsteps of remote and poor students. With our software system by just using desktop webcam of those days we could impart virtual live sessions for students.President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam visited us and guided further. He told me one thing which I still remember, the real content is not in success or wealth, you can get that by giving and helping others.
Thanks to the Defence environment which made me a believer of equality & inclusion, giving every human, every right that I claim for myself.
Later, I moved to US for better prospects and worked there for 9 years as software Architect. Job and Career wise this was best which could ever happen to anyone but I always had keen interest in public service, even when I was working for multinational companies, social issues were always in my mind.
In November 2016, I came on long vacation to India and I happen to meet lot of people and realised India has developed only for few people rest other people have same hardships, nothing much has changed. Then I heard about an incident in Shikoabad, a small village in Uttar Pradesh where a woman of 42 years died because she used a blouse as a sanitary napkin. She died of tetanus when the metal hook of the blouse entered her body. It was shocking for me and immediately I thought I should do something about it and live in India.
Finally, I took the call, left my job in US, came back, started my NGO Spherule and now I am a full-fledged social activist.
I work for Women Empowerment, Menstrual Health and Hygiene, Sexual Harassment at workplace, Gender Equality and Inclusion and Malnourishment. People should have a right to life and security, to a sustainable livelihood, to be heard, to have an identity and I believe that with the necessary action this world is possible. in developing countries like ours women and children are often the most oppressed, their needs and rights must be central to eliminating it. So we are currently focusing more on issues related to them and outlining our social initiatives accordingly.
Currently we have 700+ Volunteers across India, we are also motivating colleges to make community service an integral part of their courses. We have collaborated with many colleges and youths around the country has joined us and helping us to make this society much better place to live and in turn this work is making them a good human being. Youth can change the face of this country provided we channelize their energy in positive direction.
Every 1 out of 5 girls drop out of school when her periods starts. They don’t even know that menstruation is a biological and natural process
I also authored a book Moon Time for girls, it’s a comic book on Periods (Menstruation). People Questioned me Comic for Periods ?? Who will read it?? But now this book is not only read in India but also read in US, UK, Scotland and many other countries.
Every 1 out of 5 girls drop out of school when her periods starts. They don’t even know that menstruation is a biological and natural process so I came up with idea of writing a kids and teenager friendly book that will aware our young girls who are just keeping their steps in puberty or already reached to that age about all the facts they should know about Periods.
My ultimate wish is that in my lifetime a day come when someone tells me, Please shut your shop as now the issues on which you were working no more exist and this is very much possible because let it be any issue poverty , malnourishment, illetracy , sexual abuse etc etc.. all are man made and something which is not natural and man made definitely humans can find solution for that.