From the horse’s mouth

Tooo many things special about this post!  This is the first guest post on my blog. It is from a very special person, who has done what most of us would not have even thought about. And more importantly, the special person is a very dear friend of mine [Say yes :evil:]

So, please welcome Shobhit – a smart 28-yr old, who left his IIT degree, his MS, his job in Seattle, everything behind to start a  chapter of Youth For Seva in Hyderabad (it was founded in Bengaluru).  Since I write so much about this one platform – I can’t imagine my life without it [and I know Su agrees too!] , I thought it would be nice to have him write about what made him take this decision and what YFS is all about, in his own words 🙂

Long post, but worth reading I would say 🙂 Thanks Shobhit,  for giving in to my tantrums and threats requests and gracing my blog with your presence 😉


In many ways, we are the most comfortable generation born on this planet. The technologies we have engineered have provided us the best in health care, education and transportation, something unimaginable by the previous generation. Just think of the Internet and the Cell Phone and you get the idea. Though we are the most comfortable generation, are we by any means the happiest?  Maybe not. After all, we are doing what we are doing  to get happier, right? So this should make us think, are we just sweating it out on a treadmill, imagining fancy dreams and yet moving nowhere? Ok, let us just analyze this for a while.

Think of the happiest person you have met in your life, I mean truly happy from within. What were the life choices (s)he made? What was his/her lifestyle? Think some more. Certainly the person you have thought of, chose a lifestyle which was inclusive rather than exclusive. That is a key point we miss. Let me elaborate.

Imagine a school kid driving a bicycle and you see him being hit by a car. Your first reaction is to feel pain for the child. This is natural in every human being. Whether we act on it or not, is the choice, what we feel is natural. We are all interconnected. This concept of oneness has been elaborated in all Eastern traditions since time immemorial. The root cause of our unhappiness is the lack of this inclusive consciousness. We are defying who we naturally are, and we are bound to be unhappy because of that.  This is one part of the story, let me talk of the other.

India today is one of the world’s youngest countries. 66% of India today is under the age of 35. Since this age group is the most productive, India must harness this power now. We are fortunate to be born at this very critical moment in the Nation’s history. In many ways the future of the country is in our hands. If we collectively decide to work for its development, we reap the benefits and this time will be etched in the Nation’s history. If we lose this opportunity, this very force alive today, in 20 years time becomes a burden on the country.

So can we bring this force of Youth together, develop a sense of inclusive consciousness, and harness it for National development?

Youth for Seva (YFS), is a platform which uses Seva as a tool for developing inclusive consciousness among the Youth of India. Personal and National development are natural outcomes of the process. It aims to mobilize the several billion youth of the country towards National development by involving them in service projects of their interest and requiring a time commitment which is comfortable to them. ‘Promoting Volunteerism’ and ‘Service as a Movement’ are some of the taglines often associated with YFS. Though still in its early years, it has evolved into a powerful force, which is drawing youth from all sections of the society. Starting from Bangalore in 2007, it has spread to Pune, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bhopal and Mysore, with several thousand volunteers involved overall. YFS acts as bridge between these volunteers and NGOs. Several hundred projects have been adopted by YFS to date. These vary from Education, Health, Environmental to Rural development, Women Empowerment, Helping the Differently-Abled etc.

YFS has opened the door for several youth who always wanted to give back to society, but never knew where to start and what they could do. The movement grows organically, primarily driven by the ideas and of course the energy of its volunteers. The backbone of the movement are volunteers who have dedicated their lives completely to make this a success. These include young college graduates who have decided to dedicate their energies full time to YFS instead of taking up jobs, young professionals who decided to quit their MNC  jobs and help in building the Nation and senior professionals who have quit their companies and decided to give their experience and wisdom to shape the movement. What is common in all the volunteers of YFS is that by giving whatever they could,  they have evolved into someone more beautiful. Their smiles are infectious and draw more people with them.

YFS is a people’s movement and open to everyone, the question is how willing are we?

***************************************************************************
Aah! Now I have some news to share with you all. I have quit my job, or rather the corporate world itself! Yes ppl, I have decided to go full time with YFS in sometime from now 🙂  I always wanted to start some such initiative, but had no idea when I would be doing it.  May be I thought I was too young to leave my nice Corporate job and take the plunge 😉
 
But thanks to Su, who helped me see through myself and realize what would actually make Me, actually ‘Us’ happy.  Must say I thought about many things – my career, all those positions I had dreamt of, that joy of earning my own money – but now I know they mean nothing in front of those smiling faces I get to see at the end of the day. Sounds very lofty I know, but still I wanted to put this down here, because I can come back and see what all I went through before I took the decision. The guilt of not earning for our family gripped me too – silly, no!? Am glad I am over all of it now and we took a collective decision – that makes me happier 🙂
 
Su said just one thing on the night of Jan 26th  – ‘When you have the urge, do it. What gives us good sleep at night is not that money we are earning, but the satisfaction that we get out of the fact that we are trying to do our bit for the society’ And that did it – the first thing I did on the 27th morning was to send my resignation mail 😀  Did u know u r my greatest source of strength Su?
 
A senior personality in the field of  ‘Sewa’ while talking to us a few months before, said this one thing: ‘ India will shine in a few years from now. You choose whether you want to be the spectator or the player. Ofcourse, a spectator derives a lot of joy with what he has been seeing too; but a player gets more – that satisfaction is unbeaten!’  Loved it 🙂
 
Phew! Am so glad to get it out of my system 🙂  Wish me luck and must say all your support and encouragement mattered a lot too 🙂  God bless!
 
ETA: Submitting this to the TBTC contest at BlogAdda.

Am too busy to care, but want to do something. Jaago Re and BlogAdda.com are helping me do my bit for the society.

182 Comments

  1. OMG, Swar, I’m feeling very choked reading this post. You actually gave up your job? God bless you, and I hope we have more people like you gracing the earth 🙂 Congrats, and Kudos..Take a bow… and now I’m at a loss for words…

    Like

  2. *clap* *clap* *clap* to Swar and Sushobhit who have dared to follow their dreams and decided to make choices beyond the conventionally acceptable choices of the generation we belong to 😛 😛
    You guys are doing a fabulous job and I wish you the very best of luck as you work towards wonderful goals of adding smiles to innocent faces 😀 😀

    Like

  3. Wow, Swaram, firstly congrats on the move…I admire you and really think its a great thing..Su supporting you in this is really nice and I loved Shobit’s write up too….way to go babes 🙂

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  4. God.. Swaram, you left your job, for YFS.. I am so proud of you Swaram.. I dont know if I would have been in your position, I dont think I would have ever thought. You are seriously doing a wonderful job. I am feeling very guilty about not doing anything for the society. From this post, I can make out that YFS operate in Mumbai, also. Can you please let me know the details and what kind of help I can render for them? I will be very happy to do that.

    All the best for your new venture. May you get the opportunity to enlighten many lives. I seriously not getting any words to explain. Hats off to you 🙂 Also, I appreciate Su’s effort, because if you dont have support from your partner, I dont think we will be ever be able to take such a big step. All the best for both of you..

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  5. Wow Swaram.
    Brave Girl. I’m shocked at the courage that people like you have shown.
    The country needs more people like you.
    Things will go great. 🙂
    All the best and God bless. 🙂

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  6. “they mean nothing in front of those smiling faces I get to see at the end of the day” – sounds lofty? yes. But sounds really good 🙂
    Wish you good luck

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  7. Dear Swaram

    Appreciate your bold decision. The first step has been taken…the rest of the journey would be covered well.

    🙂

    Have regular talks with some people who have taken similar initiatives in Vanavasi and Seva kshetras to keep the tempo on.
    Thanks AyushJi. Must do that.

    I am reminded of Smt. Jahgirdar of Aruna Chetana ( in Blr). In the first year of our marriage, Parimala ( my wife ) and myself met her. Till that time, Parimala did want to take up a career in journalism..but after meeting them, she was convinced that the mission that all of us have taken up must be taken up with more vigour and decided that she would write…but for the cause of the nation.
    We always look up to you people.

    You are truly blessed to have a supportive husband like Sumanth ( Su ) 🙂 …just as he is to have a Sahadharmacharini like you.
    😛 😛

    All the best and may the Paramatma shower blessings on both of you
    Thank u so much 🙂

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  8. Whoa!!
    Congrats girl, for having the clarity of thought to do your bit.
    Three cheers to you and Su for standing up for something you believe in (and him for supporting you for it )
    You guys rock!
    May you succeed and make this India shine once again 🙂

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  9. I am so glad for you and so proud of you, ((((hugs)))), my dear!

    You made me feel so guilty also, something like this has been on mind for quite some time, but somehow scared to take that big plunge. Gathering courage, to really really focus on only on those matters that are really important to me and my dear ones, and then, maybe….

    I have to tell you again, you are such an inspiration to many, my dear Swaram!

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  10. Swaram – I feel extremely proud of the fact that I Know you. All the very best ! We really dont need to worry too much about our country as long as people like you and Shobhit are around !

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  11. I generally don’t comment online. But, I had to shoot myself if I didn’t comment on this one. Actually, I would like to personally congratulate you and boss when you come down to . I am sure boss would have said that to you?.

    Words won’t suffice the sacrifice and contribution you are(would be) making to the society. Bravo girl, well done. Also, a big shout out to you(also boss for the support) for taking this plunge. I am very sure you are making lot of people around you very proud. I feel quite proud myself that a friend of mine is doing something really quite significant to the society.

    Since you are personally involved. How can I(we)(not from Cyber-bad :D) involve and contribute?. Like books, scribble pads, pencils, school fees and other stuff. Please educate me(us).

    Again, wonderful work and very proud of you and Su. *clap*.

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  12. All the best! I don’t fall under the youth category anymore. But I love it when the youth now become aware of their responsibilities towards the nation. Kudos to you on making the choice! Not everyone can do this!

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    1. Thanks Jyothi and welcome here 🙂 🙂
      Err bcoz u said that, I wanted to share one interesting definition of youth I heard from a person who is into such activities 😛 He is 40+ and said ‘Anybody who gives to the society more than they take from it, are the ones who can be called youth’ 🙂 🙂

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  13. Hey Swar, Unbelievable .. your urge to do something like this always shone through but you left the job !!! Commendable, hats off to you for such determination and zest.. love you and HUGS ((())))

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  14. HATS off to you and all that you do .. I am speechless and as you know I ma seldom speechless..

    I am happy and THANKFUL that I know such a lovely person who has a heart of GOLD.. we need a lots of people like you and the world will be a lovley place ot live in ..

    Please let me take this oppurtunity to say THANK YOU to you…

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  15. so proud of you for following what you want to do Swar. not mny people would have to guts to quit job to follow their dream. best wishes dear. again, very proud to know you!

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  16. all the very best Swaru… proud of you.. no words can do justice to the emotions I am holding for you now… May god shower all his blessings to you and your family.. you are one of a kind..

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  17. wowwww kudos to you girl for going after your passion
    you are such a kind and selfless person… its just amazing …
    my best’est’ wishes for everything you do 🙂

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  18. I can speak for myself that it would take a lot of guts, going back and forth and most probably I would back out, if it was me in your place.
    Words don’t do justice to how much respect I have for you because of this one decision of yours. May you continue to follow where you heart takes you. May only happiness follow you around.

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  19. I got acquainted with you lately, but I am totally glad that I did that! So proud about it, about you Swar! And how nice of Su to inspire you!
    Shobith’s write up is really good and inspiring! More than that, your act is a real motivating factor for us to stop doing what we do, and think about what we should do for India! WTG girl! I’m sure this gives you much more satisfaction than working with computers 🙂
    God bless, and wishing you all success in this new responsibility!!

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  20. wow..you quit your job? That’s simply superb girl.. not everyone would do that.. we need many more people to realize it.. I recently met a girl who after her BE is associated with an NGO and dint go for a job.. many people are doing such things.. I wish I could also contribute more to the society! People like Shobhit and you are really inspiring to others.. sooo proud of you Swaram!!!! Good luck with everything in life…

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  21. Congrats lady!! Thats a brilliant thing to do. I was shocked, reading those lines where you say you quit the corporate world and chose what you are passionate about!!! So truly inspiring!!!!! Hugs!!!

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  22. woooooooooooooo!! Lady am i proud to know u or what!!! God!! U r just soo fab sweets!! AM sure few years odown the line am ginna preen n tell everybidy “Ha the lady there u c in newspapers\TV was ma blog frnd” :-D. Way to go dear!!

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  23. OMG !!! I am just totally overwhelmed !!!! Swaru, it takes a great deal of conviction and courage to do this and I am glad u stood by that. And more than that, am so glad of your husband’s support in whatever u try to do. 🙂

    U have just become a star and a great inspiration to fellow bloggers. Even if they are unable to quit jobs, it’ll surely make them spend some time towards helping others. Bravo, my girl. 🙂 🙂

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    1. Like I always say, u always hv sweet things to say 😉
      Thanks Ums and def. this would not have been possible, but for Su 🙂
      Thank u soo much and hugs 🙂

      Like

  24. Proud of you girl!!!
    I’ll be ready soon too, for this, only in a few more years’ time. But I know who to get in touch with, now 😉

    Su deserves special applause for being so supportive!!

    And of course, Shobit, for setting the best example ever!

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  25. You’ve take a courageous step Swaram.
    It takes a lot to walk out of a career and commit urself to a cause. So many of us keep thinking of it-but only some like you go ahead and to it. Keep Going!
    All the best

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  26. In a lot of ways, I used to think that you live the life I always wanted to, with all your trips to beautiful villages, experiencing the wonderful people and all.

    But now, with this I’m sure that you ARE living the life that I always wanted to live. Though, I possibly do not have the courage to let go of a nice career, and the perks that come with it. I don’t think I ever will…

    But hats off to you Swaram, You’re amazing.

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  27. Wow, thats a very bold decision, Swaram and u took it! All the best and am feeling proud of knowing u too. And ur Su is indeed an inspiration. Wishing u both all the best.

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  28. That really needs a determination to take such a wonderful decision to do your bit to children of the villages.U remind me of Sudha murthy.Glad that i came across u in the blog world and met you.Hugs to you….

    All the best in what ever you take up and god bless you and su with more love and understanding…..

    Like

  29. That’s a very courageous decision sweetheart…. 🙂 We shall be following it up wtih you closely…. good luck! ANd keep us posted….
    Hugsssssssssss!! 🙂

    And of course, you have a gem of a husband….but u already know that ! 🙂

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  30. 😀
    {{{hugs}}}
    What Shobit has said is very true! Loved his write up about YFS! Thank you for the tantrums and making sure he writes!! :mrgreen:

    About the job – you know I’m happy for you right? For the courage to follow your heart and to make yourself smile thru the smiles of those children! 🙂 🙂
    All the very best Swaram! 😀 I know you’ll rock the kids’ world as well!

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    1. LOL, I will def. throw some more tantrums then Pix 😛 😛

      I knew that, but I thot u wud kill me for not telling u before 😛 😛

      HUgssss 🙂

      Like

  31. wow! i know it needs a special person to give up a job to take up a social service initiative like this. i don’t know if i would have done that myself, to be honest.

    wish you all the very best in your new endeavour! and that was a lovely guest post 🙂

    Like

  32. Thats a wonderful decision Swaram!!! many will have in mind to run out of their jobs to do something they love but very few have the courage to do that.. AND U R ONE!!! Very happy for you and proud of U 🙂

    My respects to U, Su and Shobhit…. very difficult re… to put the things in action, we say…

    Hats off!!!

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  33. Wow!! Kudos to you Swaru 🙂
    Heres wishing you the best while on your dream journey thats so close to your heart!! May success and contentment be yours 🙂

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  34. It takes sh!t load of courage to leave a cushy, comfortable and well paid job. Have been wanting to do it since ages but never had the courage so girl I salute you for teh step u have taken only because u have dreams & u wanna chase them!!!

    Good luck my dear!!

    And to Shobhit the country needs many more like you because for ppl like me u r an example of what we can do for the nation. I hope one day I have the courage of crossing the line & being on ur side!!! 🙂

    Like

  35. Shobit’s account is so very inspiring, Swaram!

    And congratulations again to you ! You are just as inspiring 🙂 If I haven’t told you that enough:) Hugs!!!!!!

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  36. Hi Swaram…
    we need more people like you , Shobhit and Su in this world , and definitely in our own country. Wonderful work all of you are doing.
    liked very much what Shobhit wrote , it reflects his conviction to the cause ..

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  37. There are very few people on earth who think like that. Who choose to think otherwise, a little differently, and walk on a path like this, leaving the comfort zone. I have always admired you Swaram for; you are such a wonderful human being, for your humility, and like I said before; for all the happiness you share around. Touchwood!

    I only wish that you excel in whatever you choose to do always & all-ways! 🙂

    Like

  38. In this I, me ,myself materialistic world, It’s really nice to hear abut a person quitting her corporate job and taking up such work! More happy to read that you have a supporting family too! With more people like you, India would be in safer hands, may your tribe increase.! Gob be with you all through your work.BTW first timer on your blog.

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  39. Hi Swaram..

    First of all congratualions on this great initiative.
    I also have all the thoughts that you had gone through but really couldn’t decide whether to quit my job or not.. what about my future carreer.. what abut my parents?. will i be able to convince them? They might think this as a silly & foolish adventures act.
    All these thought daily come across my mind..
    May be one day i would be able to overcome them…

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  40. Am so happy reading this post girl.. wish you all the best and hope you derive a lot of satisfaction and touch many lives thru your work like you did already with this post of yours 🙂 ..
    Cheers!

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  41. Hey Girl ….

    just a bit curious .. wasnt there any way you could retain your job but still wory for YFS ?? Did it have to be this or that ??

    Girl, I take online classes for children … if you need someone to help, let me know.

    Like

    1. Am not sure I got what u r asking exactly, but eh there was every way 🙂 Bcoz neither did my company ask me to resign nor did anybody at YFS 🙂 I just wanted to give it more time 🙂 🙂

      Sure, thank u so much 🙂

      Like

      1. i was just wondering when i read
        ” have quit my job, or rather the corporate world itself! Yes ppl, I have decided to go full time with YFS in sometime from now” …

        was wondering if it was not possible to retain your job and work with YFS.

        Let me know if there is any way I could help. If there is something I can help with (currently thru online means), please let me know …

        Like

  42. Shobit, ur story is very inspiring….reminding me of Ramesh Ramanathan of Janaagraha in B’lore. Kudos!!!!

    Wishing U all the best Swaram….honestly I have no words to express what I want to say…just this hindi phrase comes to mind “jo hum sochthe hi rahe gaye, aapne karke dekhaya” :-).
    U r very fortunate to have a partner who is with u every step of the way.

    Not the least, Swaram I’m very glad I know u!!!!!!

    Like

  43. Oh I love your attitude..Only very few people do really follow their dream ,and you really gave up your comfort zone and going.. its a big waw..I just came to ur blog today and I became and instant fan of yours..great work..

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  44. I am so ashamed of myself for not reading this post before .Congratulations and Kudos to you Swaram ….you are one remarkable woman.May God bless you and people like you .

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  45. Ohhh I knew..I was missing something..I started reading this post..and then something came up,so had to stop!!
    Glad I came back today.. first off-congrats on taking the plunge..its a big step..and I am glad,you are going to do,something you are so passionate about.All the best for all the future endeavors!

    Like

  46. Swaram, That was wonderful!!! Two thumbs up. You seem to have found your calling and you will definitely have a great time. Wishing you the best in your new role and hope this ‘Akka’ will be a beacon to those who need it the most. 🙂

    Keep us posted regularly.

    Like

  47. Oh Swaru, your post brought tears to my eyes! I have been meaning to sponsor a child at YFS, let me go on FB and find your link and do it today itself. I am so honored to know you and thanks for reminding all of us that there is more to life than our own small world – family, work and enjoyment! Hugs to you 🙂

    Like

  48. Delurking: I’ve been a regular here but this called for delurking… You are an inspiration for many of us who only think of doing something but never get around to actually doing it…

    All the very best!!

    Like

  49. I’m commenting 3 years after the event and the post, but it’s never too late to express admiration and respect for you and for your Su for his wonderful support!

    You are an inspiration! Best wishes to you in your endeavour! Have you posted any ‘progress report(s)’?

    Like

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