Why I am happy about making this old woman cry?
Aarti Ma, as she is fondly called, is a widow who was left to wander homeless by her own children and family after the demise of her husband.
She now stays in group housing for widows in Vrindavan where food, clothing and medical needs are provided for through donations.
An initiative launched in the pandemic allowed me to volunteer and serve not by money alone but by giving my time, energy, care and love.
The Yogananda Trust serves destitute, abandoned, and helpless elderly women especially widows, above the age of 60 years, in Vrindavan by attempting to provide these mothers with love, care, and compassion for the betterment of their physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
I started volunteering in August 2021 and have been spending about 10–15 minutes once a week over a video call.
I usually talk about day to day things like what is cooking in meals, introducing my family especially my 3 year old daughter, singing together some known Bengali songs like ‘Ekla chalo re’, other Krishna chants; basically, sharing my life with her.
In conversations, she always asks about me and my family’s wellbeing and is always giving blessings.
The initiative aptly called the ‘Circle of Love’ allowed me to receive love manifold and I am ever so grateful for getting this opportunity.
As I gave a surprise visit to her a few days back when I was able to visit Vrindavan, I found the greatest blessing — the love of a mother.
Tears of joy followed and I am happy to be a part of them.
To get more information about the initiative or making a donation, visit https://yoganandatrust.org
Last year, apart from above, I facilitated workshops on health and happiness with another NGO, worked with students through VEmpower Coaching at Shoolini University, did pro bono coaching and mentoring, volunteered with ICF INDIA COACHING AWARDS and have taken a recent position as Director — Marketing & Partnerships at the ICF Delhi NCR Charter Chapter Delhi.
Giving my time as a volunteer rather than only donating money has given me immense joy.
In 2023, I plan to continue to devote my time actively for volunteering.
What are some of your stories of giving back to the communities you like?