I was introduced to VYF through The NSS Unit of my college. Despite being actively involved in various activities with NSS; I was still in search of a platform where I could reach out to the unprivileged section of society and do my bit for uplifting and developing society. Vivekananda Youth Forum, proved to be the perfect platform for me.
It wouldn't be wrong to say that I've learned more than all I've taught.
Since the first day of volunteering at VYF, I've been attached to all children as well as fellow volunteers. VYF is a place where I learn't how to adjust to various situations. It has also helped me overcome certain hurdles.
For instance, being a non-Maharashtrian, I wasn't comfortable teaching students from Marathi medium schools but I soon realised this wasn't really a hindrance. One day a student came up to me and asked me to teach him Maths. Maths being my favourite subject I couldn't say no to him and I tried my best to teach him and give him whatever knowledge I could with the help of diagrams and tables.
The next week the same student came up to me and asked me to teach him Maths again. I was so happy that I was successful in transferring the little knowledge to him in spite of the language barrier. Although I think it was also because the child's willingness to learn and his determination. The kids at VYF have curiosity to learn and that is what keeps me going. I like teaching them in new and innovative ways.
We celebrate all festivals together and kids learn the importance of festivals through beautifully illustrated power point presentations. We even visit Chembur Children's Home (An orphanage in Mankhurd) every Diwali and Christmas and decorate their premises, play games with them and distribute food.
VYF taught me a very valuable lesson in life that when we indulge ourselves in positive activities, our environment and life eventually becomes positive.
VYF is family now. All the Didi's, Bhaiya's and kids are in a constant process of development and growth.
Rishabh Khaneja is a first year student of Mumbai's Mithibai College Of Arts. He is pursuing Bachelor of Arts with the subjects: Economics, Psychology and Sociology. He loves all the three subjects and wants to major in either Economics or Sociology. After his graduation, Rishabh wants to apply for Teach for India's 2 year fellowship and prepare for MBA as well. He is fond of reading, travelling and music. Rishabh wishes to travel to all the states of India on a bike and then write about his experiences in a travel blog of his own. He is learning how to play the guitar and he loves to listen to rock and classical rock music. He is optimistic in life and always deals problem with a positive mindset. Rishabh believes that a happy life is a successful life.