Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Story of a bus journey..

Jagdish Joshi, program co-ordinator and a very popular figure with all the trainees coming to Initiatives of Change, Asia Plateau, panchgani recalls his younger days at college in the true spirit of India I Care tenets.

I found his story very inspiring, and I thought it will inspire all our members/ visitors to this blogpost.

Jagdish Joshi writes--

This incident happened in my college days.

I was travelling on an overnight bus going on a long and inevitable journey. It was an ordinary bus full of people with all seats occupied and many people standing in the isle. The hot and humid climate was an extra addition to the discomfort. I was having the student concession pass; therefore I was not entitled for seat reservation. Hence, I had no option but to stand uncomfortably in the crowded bus. Anyway, I had mentally prepared myself for this long, inevitable and treacherous journey.

The bus started its journey little late than scheduled. The people seated comfortably near the windows wore happy faces while looking at the outside world. The people seated near the isle, were cursing the standing persons who had no option but to occasionally lean on the seat corners. The air was hot and filled with strange unpleasant smells. Some people were trying to talk in loud voices in spite of the noise and din. The people who were standing had no option but to stare blankly at anything that is ahead of them.

Those were the days when gadgets like the mobile phones were not invented. However, some enthusiastic travelers in this bus had carried the small transistor radio with the futile hope that they would be able to hear some mundane music on the way.

After about two very long hours, I was already feeling exhausted and completely bored. I was trying to balance myself and shifting the body weight from one leg to other trying to bear the discomfort. I was also cursing these persons in the state transport bus office, who made the rule that the students who travel on the concession pass are not allowed to reserve the seat like other passengers.

Another long hour drenched in the noise and shaky rhythm of bus passed by.

I suddenly sensed a soft hand tapping my elbow asking for attention. I thought this person sitting in the isle must be getting upset that my body is touching his shoulder. I turned around and looked at him with questioning glance. He was a middle aged man with kind smile on his face looking up at me. It looked like he was travelling alone and getting bored in spite of having a seat to sit on.

He stood up and whispered to me that I can take his seat for few minutes. I was very pleasantly surprised and immediately sat down without wasting a second. My entire body heaved a sigh of relief.

Now, this person was happily standing in my place and looking around in amusement.

Another 20 minutes passed and I tapped at his elbow. I stood up and signaled him to take his seat. This time the magic happened. One other person who was seating near the window on the other side was watching us. He spontaneously stood up and offered his seat to another standing man.

The chain reaction had stared. Suddenly this game of sharing spread around and almost all standing people got relief for few minutes by rotation. Some similar minded persons formed a group and started talking to each other while exchanging the seats. It went on for the rest of the journey. By the end of this long journey, all the people were sharing jokes and someone actually started to sing. More people joined in the chorus. Needless to say, the rest of the journey became enjoyable.

Finally the bus stopped in the early morning at the destination. The group quickly melted  away in the crowded final bus stop.

Now, when I remember this experience which has stayed with me after so many years, I think it is very important to know that we all can share the burden and help the co-passengers in our journey of LIFE.

Thank you Joshiji for sharing this cute story of your bus journey. Such courtesy, concern and kindness has perhaps vanished from our today's life. India I Care beckons to bring back this kind of character. Will we rise to the call?

Please do leave behind your comments, similar experiences, and stories of hope. This blog is driven by such stories.

D I L I P   P A T E L 
Team IIC

Friday, 9 August 2013

Yogo I Care!...

I have heard, and been associated with formation of some of the many versions of ' xxxx I Care' as subsets of India I Care. For example - Coimbatore I Care, Nanded I Care, Jamshedpur I Care, Meghalaya I Care, Mizoram I Care,Raja Rajeshwari Nagar I Care etc. People have mulled over initiating the concept in their organisations such as 'Siemens I Care', 'Kirloskars I Care' etc. The concept has gone even beyond India to initiate 'Afghanistan I Care', Egypt I Care, Kenya I Care, Malaysia I Care etc. And all these thoughts are valid, and valuable.

But I was truly surprised when I received a mail from Helen Yogo, a very talented young lady from Camaroon ( a country in North-West Africa), who was at Asia Plateau for a few months as an intern. She went back to her country, and initiated an initiative called Yogo I Care. Yogo being their family name!

Amazing, isn't it? Participants at most of the training programs at Asia Plateau, Initiatives of Change, do get influenced by the Relationship sessions, and go back with some resolutions about mending relationships, but going back with a conviction to begin the change process with one's family as Yogo is proposing is certainly a very new dimension in 'xxxx I Care' series, and a very interesting one!.

Here are a few paragraphs from the mails I have received from her on the subject, in her own words.

Yogo is an excellent singer, dancer, thinker and a great human being. She spreads the voice of the voiceless through songs written and sung by herself, and some day she dreams to be able to rule over her country. All power to Yogo!

Yogo writes-

I wish to informed you that, I arrived Cameroon safely by the grace of God. My family and I started YOGO I CARE in the light that real democracy and change must begin from within with oneself. Starting with us, our family then community.

Helen Yogo with her father

Our first activity was FAMILY QUIET TIME which we have been doing now since I arrived on 15th june.

We invited some others for a family lunch and we share our stories of change beginning from me, where i asked my parents to forgive me for haven lied to them and collect money to help a friend in 2009. My parents saw this as the words of God in action and they shared too their wrongs and you wont believe what my other siblings shared. Apologies have been said, calls have been made, hugs and kisses and sincere sharings et cetera..

We are a one big family again first of its kind in the history of Yogo, all thanks to AP( Asia Plateau) for creating the space for me to change my attitude towards others.

Other activities of ours include, visiting neighbours and engaging in common community cleaning to prevent more mosquitoes bites and other diseases.

There are so much to say Uncle, again, i shared my experiences in yaounde on wednesday during the farmers dialogue meeting here and everyone is craving to come to AP even the iofc (Initiatives of Change) president for Cameroon says, " I must go to AP to experience what my daughter Helen Yogo has experienced.

Uncle, my inner peace is here, i now care more for others and now i know I can be use as a solution to so many challenges here as long as I keep measuring myself to PHUL and having quiet time.

Further to my reply and few queries she writes,

Thank you so much, I will send a picture of the family lunch we had which was the first activity we initiated to get more with other people. This was a quiet time thought shared by my dad who said, we need to care more, commune and share with others out of the house.

So far, there are other activities and vision(monthly community cleaning, visitation, sharing and understanding others, listening to them, common projects and many others) but for now what we have done is this togetherness and having quiet time every morning and writing down thoughts based on PHUL.( Purity, Honesty, Unselfishness, Love). I gave them the quiet time yellow books and have asked them to buy when it get finished other note books.

I am sending you pictures of the family lunch after our quiet time...

Yogo is my family name... you remember during the national meeting in India, I had the thought of  MY NEIGHBOR AND I... so am letting god guide me just like to said for my yearning is to be more passionate towards the needs of other more than myself.

Yogo then went to Caux, Switzerland, IofC's International HQ. She writes from there--

I am writing to you from Caux...I arrived in the early hours of yesterday but had my first performance last night and it was so wonderful...

Uncle please keep praying for me to be used more... for my conviction is THE WORLD NEEDS LOVE NOT PITY...and I am humbly and socially willing to use my voice as God directs to share this love with every soul I meet beginning from home like we have started... I had my first walk with my dad as i went back home...the smiles on his face says a lot of things..

Well, there are more to say.. but I thank God for AP and you all who gave me the opt to be a change myself..learning how to sincerely serve others and exercise a sense of peaceful humor which is what has been added to my skills...

You know, when I got here to Caux yesterday, I went straight and said  HAPPY AND WILLING TO HELP ....every one was amazed and this I picked during the MDR (Making Democracy Real) in AP where us the interns were given badges reading, happy to help...

May all your efforts in making the world a better place come to pass amen

Humbly and Socially yours daughter and product,
Helen Yogo

Helen describes all the members of her family in the picture-

You know we are 15 children I inclusive, spread around so not all were present but in the pictures that is my father(Chief Yogo Simon Peter), Mother(Princess Suefeu Esther Yogo,, elder sister(Justina Yogo), Bernard Yogo seated with me on the same table while eating, step junior brothers( Elimond Yogo, LeniYogo and junior sister(Madalene Yogo, special visually impaired Peter Ngong with the dark sun glasses, Emmanuel, Junior who were all invited...

I hope you all find a passion for change in Yogo's story above. Can we all pick up a leaf from her book and create our own 'family I Care' initiatives? Please do share your thoughts in the comments section below.

IIC Team