I lost my father early on. I watched my mother take over the responsibility of the household and bring us up. She sold vegetables every day and worked night and day to educate us. She wanted us to make something of ourselves so we’d never have to struggle.
Here’s a graffiti that celebrates an idea that cares for the less privileged children and the environment. This artwork is a result of days of hard work. Let’s add our bit to this valuable effort by depositing our used Tetra Pak cartons in the various depositing centres around Mumbai.
My parents are social workers. They’ve dedicated their lives to underprivileged kids––they run a school for them. When I was a child, many of my father’s students would stay with us at home, and my mom would feed them. I grew up watching them take care of people…they nurtured these kids and helped them grow in life. I wanted to carry their values forward.
I was 13 when I started teaching my friends Math in school. I realised then that I really enjoyed it and wanted to do more, so I started volunteering with an NGO in Dharavi. Every week, I would go teach underprivileged kids. But, I started noticing that my students were skipping out on their classes more and more because they were falling sick. On asking them about it, I learnt that they spent most of their days working in landfills and it was affecting their health. It was heart-breaking.
“I’m from a Navy family, so we moved around a lot. But my favourite places so far have been Ooty and the Naval residence in Mumbai. Ooty has been beautiful because of its lush valleys, waterfalls, witnessing wild elephants in the neighbouring hills; but even in Mumbai I was always around nature. I lived in a residential area that was beautiful and cared for by the community.
When I was a kid, my dad used to take my sister and I to his ancestral village in Haryana in our summer vacations. We would uproot carrots from the ground, pluck sugarcanes, swim with buffaloes in the little ponds there and even ride on tractors. Honestly, exploring so many different parts of India was the best thing about my childhood.