I have written about a couple of leading ladies from my country here and here. They reached their goals in their respective fields against all odds. There are many more such ‘leading ladies’ who have blown off the glass ceiling and shown that women can achieve anything they put their hearts to. But there are many other women who are doing their bit to make the world a little bit better place. They are not big names, and not many people know about them, but still they carry on their work to bring respite to the daily sufferings of the not so privileged.
Today I would like you all meet a friend of mine. Her name is Kavita Bhargava. She’s very much younger than me but I admire her- for many reasons.
How we met is an interesting story in itself. I first got to know her through my college page on a social networking site, where she regularly posted all the news about the college regarding functions, events, debates, tournaments etc. A few months later during the trip to my college for its Golden Jubilee function I got to meet her and came to know that she was a lecturer there. That surprised me because she looked barely out of college herself. But I was soon to know that looks can be deceptive. She came across as a warm, endearing person and we hit it off during that meeting. Since then we’ve stayed in touch on phone or by e-mails. Soon after, she started an NGO by the name ‘With Care’ at Ajmer, Rajasthan. My admiration for her grew because of the kind of the work she was doing, with total dedication and that too at an age when most youngsters wish for a dream job, neat pay-packages, etc.
Her journey in the field of HIV/AIDS began in 2004, when as a volunteer with the NSS, she participated in the National Students and Youth Parliament-Special Session on HIV/AIDS.In 2011, while teaching psychology at a college in Ajmer, she got an opportunity to join “Saksham, Tata Institute of Social Sciences” as a counseling supervisor and received training on HIV/AIDS counseling supervision. This was immediately after she had registered her NGO- ‘With Care Sanstha’ at Ajmer. ‘With Care’ was formed with the aim to help people with their emotional problems and other hardships of life. They have teams working in villages and basties of Ajmer, Jaipur and Bhilwara districts of Rajasthan. Their vision is to promote mental health, reaching out to people in need and spreading love for environment.Kavita with a village woman
Saksham’s trainings on HIV/AIDS counseling supervision, served a landmark in her journey and she began to train her NGO team along the same lines. She started organizing street plays in nearby villages and bastis of Ajmer. The local media propagated the news and they got in to a collaboration project with IHAT(India Health Action Trust) to disseminate information on HIV/AIDS by performing street plays in remote villages.
For the plays, they gather audience by going door-door in the village, using folk music and the local language for better outreach. The story in the play is of a villager who goes to the city for work and falls in bad company, after returning, takes a blood test and gets an HIV positive report. The doctor counsels him on HIV, telling him about referrals, linkages between HIV-TB, STIs, precautionary measures, etc. The plays are followed by distribution of informative materials and discussions with the audience.
Their NGO team has college students including those from the local Nursing College. Most of them put in time after work. Her work taught her the skills to build rapport, deal with high risk groups, keep aside personal views and respect their way of looking at things.
Besides this, her team also helps the village people by setting up blood donation camps, teaching the village children, organizing vocational courses for women, etc.
The main focus of the NGO now is providing Palliative Care to terminally ill Cancer patients and HIV positive people. Work is on to train her team of counselors and nurses for the same. They plan to have a Day Care Centre where the families of the patients will be taught relaxation therapies, Aura Therapies, Music Therapies along with emotional support.
In her own words :
People are into some kind of a race… knowing not as to where they want to reach and what they want to achieve…
Mine is a bit different perspective… Search your long term goals first and then shape everything accordingly… Life can be customized as well!
We must celebrate life rather than live it like a burden which most of us do…
Just don’t want to regret at age of 60 that I did nothing fruitful with my life… Each one should ask himself/ herself, “What is the purpose for this life?”, “Who am I?”, “What am I doing on this earth?” Once the answer is visible nothing else remains… We can go to any extent to follow our bliss and the Lord helps us in the same…
So.. nothing great from myself… Its just HIM who’s working through me, helping me in each and every step I take…
Research Scholar- Psychology @ Banasthali Vidyapith, Banasthali University
Director & Counselor @ With Care Sanstha – “It helps when you help others…’coz anyone can make a difference…
Counselling Supervisor @ Saksham- “Building Capacities…” (A NACO Project)
With Care Sansthan
Happy Women’s Day