Young People Must Combine Passion With Profession, To Find Their Purpose
Each person is born with a unique talent. However, only a few young people tend to identify their talent and passion, to work towards it. Those who follow passion are the ones using their full potential. Not only does connecting passion and profession lead to a meaningful and purposeful life, but also to a successful career, too.
However, as a young person, do you know enough about the world of work to make an informed career decision after college? And what factors should inform such decision-making? Our financial status, passions, and priorities are different as unique individuals, but our career choices rarely reflect these.
We recently conducted a Young Leaders’ Conclave, an open space for young leaders to come together, explore challenges in their communities, and support one another as they work towards solutions. The theme was “Driven by Passion.” The platform was to talk about challenges and the hardships that the youth faces when following their passions.
Young leaders joined us to share their journeys of building a career of passion and to discuss solutions for improving career-related awareness, as well as access to support systems that help youth sustainably plan to move towards their passion.
An Entrepreneur And A Community Leader
Our moderator for the session was Kulsoom, a Medha alumnus from Varanasi and a student of commerce at Banaras Hindu University. Kulsoom owns an e-commerce platform that aims to sell handmade products and oxidized jewelry in India. She shared how her family wanted her to pursue science after getting good marks in her 10th standard exams.
But, she resisted it and took commerce as she always wanted to be an entrepreneur. She knew that the subject would help her. “The theme, Driven by Passion, is very close to my heart. I know the challenges one faces while pursuing their passion are immense. I would love to hear how my fellow leaders were able to tackle it,” she shared.
Hayaat, a panelist from Delhi, is currently working with Pravah, a youth organization based in Delhi. She has a graduate degree in English literature. Besides being a young development professional, she is also a published writer.
Hayaat currently manages Samjho Toh, an experiential program that challenges intolerance, and supports young people in understanding others’ perspectives, thereby creating open spaces for dialogue.
“I wanted to be the driving force for the change. Working with young adolescents at Pravah to co-create systemic change, building and nurturing their leadership made me realize how vital the young community is,” she said.
Enabling Women, Girls And Rural Youth
The second panelist of the session was Preeti. She works at Sajhe Sapnewith with young women in rural areas, ensuring they have the opportunities they need for a thriving career. She chose the development sector as an experiment early on in her life (during her 12th standard).
She got selected as “Youth Girl Icon” by the Milaan Foundation, only to realize that she wanted to work with women and girls. She then joined Sajhe Sapne as a student. And now, she has been working to change the lives of rural women in the country.
When asked what motivates her about the work, she mentioned that she wanted to change the perspectives and the norms that society has set for women.
She laughingly mentioned how her relatives say to her that, “Jab se tum kaam karne lag gayi ho tab se tumhara dimaag kharaab ho gaya hai (you have not been thinking straight ever since you started working).” This is because she now questions the norms at home.
Born and bought up in a town in Uttar Pradesh, our third panelist, Rishabh, always wanted to work towards bringing solutions to challenges in rural India. He has done many community drives in different villages to support the livelihoods of young people by training them and making them aware of the local opportunities available to them.
A Radio Station Run By HIV+ve Folks
Rishabh is an engineering graduate from the mechanical branch but aspires to become a social entrepreneur. He wants to bring about change and make the world a better place to live in.
He is the founder of Anima-Drive, an organization that aims to utilize non-milking cattle properly. The Ashoka Young Changemakers program helped him widen his network and shape and structure his idea behind Anima-Drive.
Apoorva, a master’s student from Birmingham, was our fourth panelist in the conclave. She got introduced to the development sector by volunteering at a community radio station run by sex workers, transgender people, and others from the community.
Her job involved speaking to mental health professionals, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) positive people, domestic violence survivors etc. She would do this to collect their stories and then broadcast them on the community radio station.
One of her colleagues and friends introduced her to LEAD India, a youth organization that nurtures new generation professionals from diverse sectors to become leaders.
She mentioned that LEAD India had changed her entirely. From a girl doing multiple things to help people and the community, it helped her build perspective on how an individual can bring about “change” in society.
A commerce undergraduate student from Allahabad University, Manya, was our fifth and last panelist at the conclave. She always wanted to start something of her own and hated the idea of a 9-to-5 job. She decided to bake and has been doing so for three to four years now.
“During Covid-19, I realized that I could run a bakery of my own from home. I don’t sell cakes; I sell happiness,” said Manya about her business. She recalls being a timid girl who was hesitant to talk to strangers before her Medha training. She spoke about how she now handles multiple clients and customers daily.
Her bakery business is booming in Prayagraj, and she plans to take it to the next level. Apart from her entrepreneurial journey, Manya also volunteered in “Medha Ke Sipahi” (the soldiers of Medha), an initiative by Medha alumni to help communities by providing them with verified leads of resources during the peak of the second wave of Covid-19.