Arpita Chowdhury is a BA (Hons) English student of Lady Shri Ram College For Women, Delhi University who has been continuously involved in beyond the classroom activities.
Here, Arpita is sharing her experience being the founder of Jazbaat Foundation at a very young age. Her hard work has the potential to propel her ahead of the curve.
Go ahead and know what her story has to offer so that you can easily find a path of self-growth.
What was your role? Briefly list the responsibilities associated with it.
With the support and encouragement of my family and friends, I embarked upon a journey to start my own NGO, Jazbaat Foundation at the young age of 19. The process was not a cakewalk.
As the founder of a project which is working to uplift the less-resourced students in society, I’m working with various students, from arranging resources and funds to ensuring quality education everything has to be looked upon by me.
However, nothing is possible without my incredible team who are working relentlessly for the cause. Apart from this, I’m also working in the field of public speaking.
What’s it like to juggle between leadership roles and academics? Pen down the challenges you faced.
During my schooling, I have always balanced academics and extracurricular activities. Hence, I learnt the art of multitasking at a very young age. Being a former NCC cadet, discipline and leadership skills are instilled in my personality. I believe that my desire to always do something different keeps me going.
Women are often restrained in the barriers of the societal construct which negates their opportunity to come out and represent themselves.
I feel fortunate enough to have gotten a reinforcing environment wherein I’m encouraged to achieve my dreams. While at certain points, things can be extremely overwhelming.
Along with my NGO work, I’m also holding positions in my department and college societies. The time clashes and workload can make someone feel exhausted however, a little relaxation is never harmful. Organising and pre-planning all the work to be done in a certain span of time has helped me a lot.
Did you also get a chance to connect with any other activity while working on this post?
I feel there is no boundation on the number of things you can accomplish and learn. We just need to push our boundaries. While this should not be pressure on anyone, I feel everyone should do what they love. I’m also working as a Girl Up community lead which is a UN FOUNDATION initiative. I have been a part of the Delhi MUN circuit for the last four years and have also been part of various executive boards.
I strongly believe that youths are the changemakers and the ability to put forth one’s opinion is the ultimate manifestation of freedom. I have worked as a V-force volunteer under United Nations Volunteers India. I have had the opportunity to be invited to speak at various sessions conducted by Girl Up clubs/ NGOs across India. On an international level, I was recently invited to speak at the Future Girls Summit 2020, Uzbekistan. Recently got published on FEMINISM IN INDIA.
What are the top learnings, skills and values that you acquired here?
In the present, times the need to develop a opinion of own is of utmost importance. With huge amount of information bombardment, the young minds need to develop a vision. Time-management, team work, working for the society, understanding socio-political issues more closely are the majors skills and values I have learnt.
I believe that women have the power to achieve what they want, we all need to stand for what we believe, not to prove others wrong but to recognize our inner strength.
Do you feel your current role fills you with pride and gratitude? Illustrate how the experience gained will help you going forward?
I feel I’m extremely thankful for having this opportunity to express myself and also contribute to society. It fills me with immense gratitude. I acknowledge the fact that not everyone has access to enough resources to do pursue what they desire therefore, I much for conscious about ensuring that students get to complete their education and are able to embark upon their unique journey.
While working on the ground, I have closely watched the realities of society and this pushed me a lot to keep doing the work I’m doing. A lot of questions were raised as to “How will a young girl run her own NGO? How will she tackle the problem, She will not receive the support” and many more. No matter what came by I believed in my dream to ensure education for all so that each child is able to achieve their dreams and is able to express themselves fearlessly.
As when we talk about leadership we have a whole team with us. How do you persuade others to accept your ideas/ways?
I feel leadership is not about a single person, it’s about the team. Without a group of dedicated individuals, a person can hardly do anything. When working in a team, different opinions are bound to come up and I make sure to create a space that is always open for different ideas.
Even if someone else comes up with a brilliant idea, I make sure that we think upon it and execute it properly. It’s not that always things work according to what I plan but I think as long as positive synergy is maintained everything falls into place.
What is your message to students, aspiring the same or a similar role to do?
Take risks and have the courage to be responsible for your action. No one can stop you from achieving what you want. Have positivity and the energy to pursue your dream. You shall fly high. Sticking to your idea is of utmost importance because if you are not confident about it you’ll not be able to convince anyone else. Have faith in yourself. I feel everyone is capable of being a leader. A little hard work and a lot of love can do wonders.
How can we (Friends, Family, YI Fraternity) encourage young students such as yourself to engage with co-curricular or extra-curricular activities?
I feel support from friends and family is extremely essential. They provide you with correct advice and the right path to start your work on. I think apart from internal faith, external encouragement makes one feel capable.
Rather than being worried about what will the child do? Or how will she/he manage, one should provide them with a free space to explore and decide for themselves. We can provide them with the resources or the opportunities but the rest should be left to them.
We at Young Influx would take this opportunity to thank Arpita for taking a leap of faith and sharing her impeccable story. We are humbled and grateful, your efforts mean a lot for the youth seeking growth and development.
And hello, dear readers, we welcome you to explore the platform with an open mind. Help yourself gain the most out of the experiences and opportunities listed here.
And before you bid us adieu, we would like you to know that you can read more such student stories here.