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From the City of Dreams to Making Dreams Come True

Piramal Foundation
August 14, 2019

When I started my journey with Gandhi Fellowship, it felt like a new adventure, an altered way of life. For 2 years, I was shifting base from my home in the urban metropolis Mumbai to a rural district in Gujarat - Kheda. I embraced the change with a mission in mind - I was joining this programme to strive towards making a difference and empower the backward sections of our country. Our project was ‘Rural Education’. I started my journey not with learning, but with unlearning, which made all the difference. Letting go of behavioural patterns that followed me my whole life and adopting a new set of values allowed me to open my mind, gain new perspectives and see the system objectively.    

What changed me?

The Village Immersion Program, also known as Community Immersion: Living in rural reality made me realize that being rich is just a state of mind.

Vipassana: Being silent for 10 days taught me that happiness can only be found within oneself.

Classroom Immersion and Field Support: These gave me an understanding of the system at a grass-root level and the role I would eventually play.

Monthly Workshops: I learnt how to deal with people who have different mindsets.

LJ Trip: I explored an aspirational district and met change-makers who have been dedicatedly working for the betterment of the underprivileged. 

An amalgamation of these experiences has created something different - Jazreen 2.0. 

Jazreen 2.0 has a better hold of fellowship competencies than she had before. She finds it easier to approach stakeholders and strike conversations. She practices the values of Non-Violent Communication and Influence Without Authority. She is a listener, storyteller, facilitator, roommate, teammate, leader, and friend. She washes her own plate and clothes and rides a scooter in the rain. She speaks fluent Hindi and almost-fluent Gujarati. She has lived in a village and made a new family. Something she never thought she could do. 

Where has the delicate girl from South Bombay gone?

My journey has only just begun and I have a long way ahead of me. Looking forward to the next year!