MILAAN – BE THE CHANGE

The-first-classroom-at-SLRC-Oct-20073

 

At his age most guys are running around girls, but this guy is running around trying to make his country a better place for girls and boys alike, striving to give them education and creating awareness.

At an age when most youngsters are not even sure of the directions their lives need to take, he’s sure of his dreams for a better world for hapless and destitute kids, who he doesn’t even know.

At an age when most guys are sporting hip branded clothes, he’s cool in a kurta and jeans. Whenever I see something from him, I am awed at how he manages to be straight forward in his thoughts and goals, on how this desire to make things good for some little children out there in a remote village of Uttarakhand. I amaze at how he managed to build a remarkable school brick by brick! I remember his donate a brick campaign.

I have watched him silently, unable to comprehend his passion, and sometimes I have even blurted out stupid things to make him feel good when he was low.

He has walked through the journey of building a school, dejected when a parent stopped sending a kid to school, as much as he would feel for for his own. It would really break his heart and he would think of ways he could pursue the parents to send the child again.

He is extraordinary and unconventional to be sitting in a remote village trying to train teachers to teach children the right way, encouraging families to send their young girls to study, teaching them the impact of educated girls. He is rare to understand the need of a hungry stomach which is unable to concentrate in class because of hunger pangs, and try and work on providing them a mid-day meal. To buoy the spirits of families living in abysmal poverty and push them to send kids to school is a herculean task, not to mention the persuasion he needs, and the rejection he faces. I could never understand where and why this zest comes from, but lately I have – it comes from a deeper mission, somewhere deep within his heart. It is not born of fancy cars, a big pay package or dreams of a plush cabin in office complexes that reach the zenith, but comes in a package of dirt, gravel, long tiring walks, hours on end without electricity, a not so comfy bed and meager meals to eat.

He is bold enough to take up a Mission like “Azadi” – creating an awareness and trying to liberate the “village girl” from a taboo like menstruation. I was speechless that day. It takes something beyond courage to take up an issue like that and be vocal about it, in a country where concerns like this were “hush-hush”.

If India had just a handful more of youngsters who were driven by humanity and self-denial, and a focus on building a better country, then India would be totally different. For those who do not know him – he is my wonderful friend – Dhirendra Pratap Singh – aka – Dhiru. I feel so proud every time he puts up an achievement that I cant help but give him a pat on his back and say “I am glad I know you”.

Today, I would like to urge all of my friends and readers to visit his site www.milaan.in and read more details about his Vision and Mission. Please support him in any which way you can – donate your money, your time as a volunteer. If you are adventurous enough, tie up with him and visit the school once when the Team goes. If you don’t wish to give cash, do it in kind – books, stationary – anything that can be used in schools. Please share this ahead and do your bit in supporting Dhiren in his efforts to build a better world for underprivileged children – something that most of us sigh about but seldom get involved with.

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