Social Entrepreneurship was one of the unconventional courses I had taken during my MBA. One of the requirements of this course is that we go and study a social organization. Even though interacting with the cooperates to study their organization is not a new concept to us, but never was there any emotional connect, like we had during the duration of this course. We had selected "Desire Society", a social organization which helps kids who are infected and affected due to HIV/AIDS. Infected were those who are actually infected with the virus. Affected are those who are not necessarily infected with it, but some of their near ones especially parents might have contracted it. Hence this leads to the stigma, even though they are perfectly normal. The organization focuses on disadvantaged HIV+ victims, especially children abandoned by one or both parents, children of sex workers, truck drivers and children who have been abused and belong to poor socio economic conditions.
One of the major issue faced by such an organization is awareness. This issue of awareness is not just prevalent in the lower strata of the society where the reach of this disease is much higher, but even among the highly educated class. When we were short listing organizations for the social entrepreneurship project there was a sense of uneasiness in dealing with an organization such as Desire Society. The first day we went to meet the founder to ask for permission and I must confess that we were not at all comfortable visiting the premises. We were constantly surrounded and bitten by mosquitoes and this freaked us out , later we found mosquitoes can't transmit HIV virus. Then we realized when people like us who can have information at the tip of the fingers cannot differentiate between facts and fiction, then what could be the state of ignorance among the common masses.
We had visited the Bangalore unit almost 3 times, which has 34 students and it is really humbling and a truly enriching experience seeing those kids all upbeat about their future. They had so many full time volunteers and frankly speaking they are an inspiration to people like us. There was one electrician from Tumkur, who travels to this center on weekends and does voluntary work without any pay !!!! It is kinda sad that people like us(at-least majority of us) always expect monetary compensation for any work done. After this experience there is a call from within that I should give something back to the society, at-least on a part time basis if not on full time. And finding a cause for which someone has a soft corner is not at all a problem here in India :P. But the problem with me right now is the time... but that is gonna last only for another 3 months, till I will complete my MBA. After that I suppose I will have the time to indulge in such sort of social activities. This brings me to the introduction of the "Nithin's Framework for the Soul". Being an MBA I couldnt resist creating a framework :P.
Nithin's Framework for the Soul:
According to me the soul is like a platform which needs to be supported by multiple pillars in order to lead a happy life. These pillars are some entities which in a way define your life. And obviously more the pillars, more stable will the "21 grams" of weight will be (Interesting theory abt soul weight :P). Right now I could identify 4 pillars in no particular order:
3. Family and friends
4. Interests and Hobbies (like travel, movies, endurance sports, reading, blogging etc)
Hence having 4 pillars is kinda stabilizing my soul I presume, but in a few months with my MBA completed, the pillar count would be reduced to 3. Now 3 is not a stable number (of course much much better than 1 and 2 :P ), kinda similar to an Indian autorickshaw which can topple any time. With the weekends completely freed up, there is something which needs to take its place. And I can think nothing other than some social service. The least I could do is to spend a couple of hours every week to teach some of the less fortunate kids (can end up in Desire Society itself :) ) and no more will I spend my weekends just lazing around. This is one promise I am hoping I would be able to keep.
Desire Society Website: http://www.desiresociety.org
My 100th post. And coincidentally this month signifies 4th anniversary since I started blogging :).