We are the World Blogfest (#WATWB) focuses on positive stories no matter where they’re found. It is all about spreading peace and humanity on social media.
I missed it last weekend, because my life is a beautiful mess at the moment (I’m keeping it PG13 here, folks!). So today, in the spirit of WATWB, In darkness be the light, I’m sharing the story of Haimanti Sen, a 22-yr old who has taken it upon herself to educate children whose parents are unable/ unwilling to do so.
“Often when they refuse to beg, they are hit. Sometimes their parents even blow masala in their eyes. Can you imagine the courage it takes for these kids to let go of all this so that they can study or partake in an extracurricular activity for one hour a day?”
But a lot has changed since Haimanti, and her team started teaching them. Looking at the teachers, the children make more of an effort to maintain hygiene, comb their hair and look presentable.
Their grasping power has improved, and many of them can easily write their names too.
“It’s been a difficult journey. But now, I can guarantee that of the 15 kids I have worked with, at least five of them can be enrolled in school this year itself. Slowly, I hope I can help the others ease into the formal education system too.”
Stories like Haimanti’s give me hope in the future of humanity, but personally, they also fill me with anxiety, and a sense of not doing enough. I volunteer when I can, but for the last few weeks, personal and work situations have taken me away from everything–I’ve withdrawn from my volunteering roles, and that makes me sad.
Every once in a while I spiral into a sense of futility. Volunteering gives as much chance at self-abnegation as fiction, but I put in so much time into my writing. What if the work I do for organisations like Project WHY and Chaanv are more important? There are so many writers in this world, why do I need my voice? Isn’t it much better used in advocating and fundraising for those who need it?
A youngster like Haimanti–teaching kids no one would want to– inspires me to do more. Maybe writing is not all that useful–maybe I should make more time for volunteering? I know writing changes the world–but I guess I’m not sure if mine would change anything for the better.
What about you? If you’re a writer, do you think your writing is important to this world? Do you spend any time volunteering–how do you balance both? If you’re a reader but not a writer, have you felt that a writer’s time is better spent elsewhere? What has volunteering taught you? What positive stories would you like to share?
This post was the 24th installment of the monthly We Are the World Blogfest: I’d like to invite you to join, if you haven’t as yet, to post the last Friday of each month a snippet of positive news that shows our essential, beautiful humanity.
The co-hosts for the June 5 posting of the IWSG are Erika Beebe, Natalie Aguirre, Jennifer Lane, MJ Fifield, Lisa Buie-Collard, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor! Go to the site to see the other participants. In this group we writers share tips, self-doubt, insecurities, and of course, discuss the act of writing. If you’re a writer and a blogger, go join rightaway!
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