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Meet the Change Makers: Shreya Sanji

Written by - Krithika Vijayakumar and Saniya Rao

 "You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you're not passionate enough from the start, you'll never stick it out.” - Steve Jobs

Meet the Change Makersis a section of our blog that focuses on the amazing U&I volunteers who spend time at our various centres across India. The interviews are conducted by our social media updaters, who teach at the centres and bring us these amazing stories. So without further ado, let’s introduce you to this week’s Change Maker, Shreya Sanji, who volunteers with The Home for Boys with Special Needs.

It is often said that passion and purpose goes hand in hand. Shreya continues to inspire us by being a true example of how purpose points us towards the right direction but it is passion that propels us to strive for more. Her kind-hearted nature and enthusiasm is evident every time you talk to her.

“Shreya acts as the live wire of the group. She is enthusiastic and does not step back when put in the spotlight. It is always motivating for a leader when you have a bold volunteer like her in your group. I think she is the kind of volunteer each of every group should have.” - Santosh Alagudurai, co-leader of The Humanitizers (Group 3) at the Boys Home.

Q 1. When did you join the Boys Home? What motivated you to do so?
Shreya: I joined the Boys Home in July 2015. My brother and his friends had supported an orphanage in the past and they decided to take me there one day. After meeting the kids there, I decided that I wanted to make a difference in society. Around the same time, one of my classmates was selling tickets for U&I fundraisers. On speaking to him, I learnt more about the organisation and knew that it was what I have been searching for all this while.

Q 2. What makes the Boys Home tick?
Shreya: Pretty much everything does! Every single volunteer, every single kid, every moment, big or small, makes the Boys Home tick. The dedication and zeal each volunteer has is infectious and just makes me want to work harder to help the kids in any way possible.

Q 3. From the start till now, have you noticed any change in yourself? If yes, what and how?
Shreya: Definitely yes. I have this new sense of responsibility towards everything I do. These kids have taught me what real strength is. I have learnt to value each and every thing - materialistic or otherwise - a lot more than before. I have started understanding their worth not just their value.

Q 4. Who acts as your inspiration in Boys Home?
Shreya: The smile on each kid's face when they see us walk in, the eagerness they show for the next week and the expression they show when they say bye to us is what acts as my inspiration at the Boys Home. When a kids enjoys his activity it pushes me to work harder, understand his needs better and come up with something even better for him to learn from. Gerald, Akshay and each and every volunteer acts as my inspiration. The way they put in the effort to make Boys Home a better place for the kids as well as the volunteers is amazing. They actually make you feel like we are all a family. In short, my family at Boys Home, which includes the kids, acts as my inspiration.

Q 5. What is your special moment at the Boys Home?
Shreya: Each moment spent at theBoys Home is priceless. One moment that stands out for me would be when Saddam (a child from Group 3) walked up to me, held my hand and called me by my name. He remembered it after trying for 3 weeks. For those 3 weeks, he would come to me and ask me my name and I would reply, telling him to remember it the next week. He would agree but wouldn't be able to recollect it the following week. Suddenly, in the 4th week things changed. I instantly looked at him and I could see that he was trying to tell me ‘See I remembered’. That was just one such special moment, there are many more!’'

As Ferdinand Fock said, "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” Shreya, we at the Boys Home are glad that you decided to volunteer with us. Hope you continue being a strong force of nature and never step back from being the change!

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