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Aashini Goyal - Primary Short-listed Nominee - Social Volunteer Awards 2021

Aashini is passionate about reducing inequalities and socio-economic barriers and creating a just and kind society. Primarily focused on the fields of mental health and education, she has worked extensively with a range of organisations to add value and create impact. Most notably, her experiences at _Spining Wheel Leadership Foundation, SANG -Youth Collective and Muktha Foundation have provided her with the opportunity to understand how significantly social context influences the interventions one implements at the grassroot level, and more importantly, have grounded and humbled her. She also completed the Young India Fellowship which strengthened her commitment towards the social sector. She strongly believes that society, and in particular, people with privilege, must use our skills to combat inequalities and make the world kinder and better.


Through volunteering I try to fill the gap in spaces which bothers me, it helps me to use my skills and time for something where I can add value and meaning. It is a reminder that we all are a part of a community, and we should contribute our time and skills in the way we can. It should not be seen as a grand work but only human. I believe that when people come together to volunteer for a cause, then gradually things change for the good.


It's been more than 5 years since I am volunteering. Education and mental health, two major areas where I wanted to contribute, and I could do it through volunteering. When I started working with children to teach, it was for a really short period, but it made me feel really good about sharing my skills as well as kept me grounded. It reminded me of my privileges, which otherwise get ignored. Also, I realized each one of us has immense potential, but lack of resources makes this world a broken place. The progress which I threw my little efforts of volunteering is something which motivates and inspires me to continue to do so. It also gives me a hope that if all of us give our bit to the things which creates inequalities and suffering in this world, then this world would get better.


I started working in personal capacity at the age of 16 with four students studying in primary classes on improving reading and numeracy skills. All of them came from underprivileged households and were studying low income private schools. I started teaching them at home and I enjoyed teaching them. I could also see the results of my efforts through their progress. When I shifted to Pune for my higher studies, I was keen on looking for a place where I can work with children in teaching capacity. Through my college I got to know about Mitra Foundation and I joined them as a dance and English teacher for children of construction workers. I was preparing them to perform at a fundraising event. These funds could bring a lot of difference in their standard of living and quality of education. This volunteering period was really short, but it made me feel really good about sharing my skills as well as kept me grounded. During my internship with centre for mental health and services in teach for India schools, I worked on spreading awareness around menstrual hygiene, prevention of child sexual abuse and substance abuse. These interactions with children made me feel close to them, and I continued working in the spaces where I could teach them something useful. Later, I worked on a campaign to promote awareness around child sexual abuse in bangalore and taboos attached with mental health. While pursuing my young india fellowship I got to work as well as interact with Govt. Collaborated non-pofits to structurally address the issues in education system. One of the most valuable experiences of volunteering for me would be at Sang-youth collective to come together with batchmates in the toughest of times and provide ration kits and listening aid to most vulnerable communities. It taught me the power of volunteering and then further motivated me to work in tribal/rural areas of Udaipur to provide life skills education. A right set of education has the power to help these children to move upwards in social mobility ladder.


Spreading awareness about menstrual hygiene among young adolescent girls of tribal areas and creating a community library spaces for all govt. School students