Big dreams from a small town…

I am Rajbhushan Awadhiya coming from a dreamy small town-Jhumri Talaiya- mostly heard in radios and nowadays in films too. Even today, a lot of people think it does not exist in real life.

Back at home, I have three younger brothers. My father is a government employee and a social worker.  For the last 10 years, I have seen him offering tuition and even providing scholarship, from a part of his salary, in Sainik School. As a kid, I remember telling people how I want to be able to help people when I grow up.

May be it was for this dream that I had to answer my true calling and leave my Engineering. I went to Banaras Hindu University and completed my masters in Social Work. It was after my graduation that I got an opportunity to work with CRY as an intern. I was thrilled that I will learn so much but I had no idea that this experience would also change me as person.

For the the first time for me, I was living in a metropolis and everyday extraordinary sights, smells and sounds of this city have left me spellbound. Soon, I had my first field visit in Dhakuria-a volunteer intervention area. I met some really exuberant kids, not equipped with the basic necessities of life but they are full of dreams.  I took part in a program-“Community Calling” where we raised awareness about health, education and different scholarships that are available to the underprivileged children. I was also a part of a road show for World Day Against Child Labour. Before this I could not imagine myself shouting out slogans on the road, facing commuters. What buzz it created!

I could see myself changing. There is a common belief in CRY that has got imbibed in me “What I can do, I must do”. One day while having lunch from a roadside dhaba, I saw a kid not more than 10 years, doing the dishes.  I wanted to stop it. I talked to him and his father who ran the shop. I counseled him. The father informed me, due to extreme poverty, he had to employ his child and promised he will enroll him to the local Govt. school. However, I was not sure if he would keep his word.

After about 10 days in the evening, I was walking past the same street and I heard someone calling me “bhaiya!” I was surprised when two small hands hugged me tight and a wide smile greeted me. The child told me he has been enrolled to school. I sensed a feeling I had never felt.

I did what I had to.

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