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I am not a bystander

The story of my life has many beginnings. It began the day my mother conceived me. It began the day I lost my father. It began the day my mother was thrown out by my father’s family. It began the day I promised to my brother that we won’t be poor. It began the day when 35 women, old and very young, walked miles from their village in Manipur to meet ‘an English speaking and travelling with men, madam’. My story, truly in my heart, began on that day. It gave a purpose and direction to my life. I thought I was a very ordinary person doing ordinary things, but the awe in their eyes, and the hope in their smiles, transformed me, so to speak, into an earnest individual. I was not doing anything great; I was only performing my job of a Communications Officer to a poverty alleviation project, which reached to the poorest of the poor in the remotest part of the northeastern region of India. But for them it mattered. I was the link which will help bring change, small or big into their lives.

From that night onwards, an unthinkable passion gripped my heart, the passion to fight for the rights of children and woman, be it for their education, health, participation or as basic as being able to choose and decide for themselves. Since then I have never looked back into my past. I have forgiven and forgotten all my mistakes, all the deep anger and regrets. Life brought its many sweet turns and churning twists, yet I only advanced forward. At times I was hurled back, it hurt. Yet, an unspeakable mental strength made me face all those challenges.

I am fortunate that in the 8 years of my journey as a communication person in the nonprofit sector has led me be a part of others stories, some good, some bad and some really ugly. I met women who in spite of the society’s attitude sent their daughters to school; young girls and women, who were sold off, then raped by 7 men in a night, misguided youths struggling with druge abuse and HIV and AIDS and small children whose hands were disfigured because of cutting stones in a quarry.

But it had a flip side. I became increasingly restless; I knew that if I wanted to bring change, then I have to learn, connect with the world outside, listen to others intently and feel inspired. This attitude helped me in reaching out to people, first I met them in meetings, conferences, through friends, and then the boom of Web 2.0 took place. I began to expand my reach and networks. And one such network shared a link about Pulsewire saying that this is a great resource for emerging change makers like me. I clicked the link and became a part of this incredible community, where women like me have fire in their bellies and the passion to do something extraordinary.

South and Central Asia
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