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Basila Sherin CB - Champion - Social Volunteer Awards 2020

I’m a person who is always self motivated and tries to be energetic to do everything that happen around me. I believe that I could achieve my goals and implement solutions for needy people who are in difficulties through my hard work and optimism. I always make some time to help those who are ill and needy. I have been the first leader of Pink initiative project. Have done lot of projects like Pink initiative and Sneha santhwanam. I had wonderful experiences with those people in different organizations like We smile youth, Athani students wing & Shikharangal. I have gained the courage and confidence to face many difficulties through the Kerala Volunteering Youth Action Force and Punarjani camp. I was the Volunteer Secretary of my college NSS unit 203. I was also nominated for the Best NSS volunteer award also got Best Unit Award, SAGY award etc. I consider this an immense pleasure to be selected and to have plenty of experiences that can lead me to a better human being and more than that a promising individual for the nation.


VOLUNTEERING STORY I started my volunteering career in my secondary education as a member of ‘Thanalkoott', an organisation for students for social service. In 2016, starting of my college life, I started my journey as a volunteer in a palliative care unit named Ashraya in my village, which I am continuing and also go to plenty of campaigns. I joined in Blood Donors Kerala as blood donation coordinator and have led so many blood donations campaigns and still fulfilling the blood requirements. In 2017, I joined the National Service Scheme and became part of various activities, like home care, communicative English education for backward students and programmes that was related to old age people and so on. In association with BDK, I used to go to Kuthiravattam Mental Health Care for helping them to make food in most of the weekends. We have conducted so many programs in our panchayat to make it pollution and plastic-free. I took part in a 10-day camp named as " Punnarjani " in Calicut medical College, Dental college and Chest Hospital as well as Government Women and Child Hospital for the renovation of government hospitals under NSS technical cell , and created a huge amount of asset for the state. The turning point of my volunteer life was in 2017, at that time MVR Cancer Centre and Research Institute gave us a project and seek help from us for organising. The project aimed to spread awareness about breast cancer among people. To bring this issue forward to the society, a group of fifty students have formed a wing, known as Pink Army and named the project as Pink Initiative. We got training from one of the most popular oncologists in India, Dr Narayana Kutty Warrier for our pink army.

I took the leadership and coordinated the project very well. Due to this project, I got an opportunity to handle more than fifty sessions throughout Kerala, mostly in Calicut district, in which I was able to save the lives of three individuals. In 2018, I got a golden opportunity to lead my NSS unit as the volunteer secretary of that unit in my college. We have conducted abundant programs for the well-being of society like flood relief activity, disaster management, miss a meal( give food for the needy by skipping our food), homecare, English education for tribal school, election support for district administration, programs to promote civil service among students, where all these lead our unit to the best NSS unit award. I have been selected as the volunteer of Kerala Voluntary Youth Action Force and got the opportunity to attend the camp at Munnar with a passing out parade in Trivandrum. During the flood, my team contributed a major role in flood relief activities in different places. I also coordinated flood relief works in my district, Palakkad. I have conducted a 7-day camp for the mission of cancer-free panchayat under my leadership along with this I was able to continue my pink initiative journey till now. I am continuing the journey of volunteering in almost all the above-mentioned areas.

VOLUNTEERING JOURNEY Volunteering is at the very beginning of being a human.I have been volunteering for the past 6 year. From my secondary education onwards, I have been volunteering in different areas, like in the field of awareness, palliative care and so on.The inspiration for being a volunteer came from empathy in my mind. I had many motivations and individual reasons for being a volunteer. During my school education, I had heard about a large number of people around us suffering for food, shelter and other necessities. Then I decided to help at least one person to see their smile on their face and iam working for the same. VOLUNTEERING FOR ME Volunteering is something which makes you a better person, by motivating us to think about others than ourselves. It is a great act of kindness which involves caring, loving, and sharing of our time, our heart, and our soul. I believe volunteering makes a person feel empowered because we made someone else 's life better or we helped our community in some way. It also teaches us to serve people without any selfish motive, without any expectation in return and not for any monetary rewards

PROJECT PINK INITIATIVE ORGANISATION KMCT COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING FOR WOMEN, NATIONAL SERVICE SCHEME UNIT 203 MISSION & VISSION Mission: To create awareness about breast cancer and saving their lives through early detection and to cure all the people across the state. To form an extension of the pink army all over the district, with those persons who can develop knowledge regarding breast cancer for the early detection and prevention among women in our society.

Vision: To spread understanding among people thereby reducing the impact of the disease on them through early detection along with lessening the mortality rate." PROJECT DESCRIPTION " PINK INITIATIVE" is a project to bring awareness about breast cancer and its early detection to increase medication and decrease death rate. The name was originated from the idea of Pink October, i.e.., breast cancer awareness month. The mission of this project is to create awareness about Breast Cancer and self-examination techniques in public. The idea of this project was born, when the MVR Cancer Centre and Research Institute, Mukkam approached our NSS unit to gain support with the project. We were indeed happy to accept the proposal and started the project. A branch of doctors headed by Dr Narayana Kutty Warrier trained our pink army, a group of 50 students formed to educate these people, in their institute and in our college. Pink Army was symbolised by the pink t-shirt which was donated by the MVR centre. After the training, we started to spread awareness at different levels. I was given the duty to lead my group as the coordinator as I was extremely talented in handling sessions and to communicate with others with compassion and care. I had a core committee to assist me to make decisions and to plan events. Our aim was achieved with the conduction of more than fifty sessions along with performing awareness programmes in the beach, streets with theme dance, street plays and so on. In my 4 years of experience, I have handled different cases of patients with different stages of cancer. I conducted all these sessions without any fees, so that more people will be able to attend these classes. If I were not able to clear the doubts, I would discuss it with the doctors and will bring a solution for that. In associations with MVR, we have done arrangements for patients from the low financial background at a low cost. I have spent more than 268 hours on this project Pink Initiative. I was able to save the life of 3 persons and that was the greatest achievement in my life. Due to the Covid-19 situation, we were not able to conduct the medical camp for mammography check-up that was planned earlier. In these sessions, we have motivated people to spread this information to others, which helped us to reach the society through which our aim will be fulfilled. The network of the Pink Army can be expanded by training others, which would be possible by organising medical campaigns associating with NGO and other hospitals for free medical check-up. As we always say Prevention is better than cure, we have been trying to prevent this and it impacts since the past four years. All the sessions we were conducted was face to face, and none of them lose their interest till the end. The people clarified their doubts, shared their worries and thoughts, and we were able to provide cent percent effort. I became successful and skilled to communicate with different kinds of people. Through this project, I was able to improve myself in several ways, was whole-heartedly satisfied with my achievements.

LENGTH OF SERVICE Our Pink Initiative project has been a successful venture since 10th August 2017 . I have conducted more than 268 hours of awareness programmes in the form of classes, live awareness sessions, theme dances, and street plays. However, I have not planned to windup our project until we achieve our goal. ROLE IN PROJECT I have played many roles in the project like coordinating, conducting interactive sessions along with questionnaires and clarifications. As a leader, I have coordinated the project from its initial days and continuing that till now. I have handled most of the sessions in the form of direct classes as well as online sessions, under different organisations, institutions panchayat and so on. In all my sessions, I interacted with them freely as a sister or as a daughter and i enjoyed it. I communicated with them by sharing my experience, clearing their doubts with the training that I have got from professionals and during my studies. In case, if I was not able to clear them, I would discuss it with doctors and explain to them. The most important reward I have got or the greatest achievement in my life was I could save the lives of 3 people. They are currently undergoing treatment. The main advantage that I gained through this project was that I could enhance my skills in presentations, communication and so on. Communicating with people pleasantly made people seek more help from me without any hesitation. This attitude of mine also helped this project. People who refused to ask doubts in public call me privately and tell their concerns which I will clear maximum at that moment itself. All these enhanced my confidence, strength and positivity.My contacts with different kinds of people also helped this project to spread into more people, helping to solve their financial crisis.

IMPACT OF PROJECT Pink Initiative is a project aimed to spread awareness on breast cancer and it's early detection. And it has a huge impact on the community that we can reduce the number of cases increasing daily and the mortality rate itself. The project is mainly focused on the well being of women and saving their lives. I am explaining them every detail about the causes of risk factors, symptoms, self-examination test, and treatments.And my freely interaction helps them to ask me and clear every minute doubts without any hesitation . I had given my contact number during sessions to those people who were uncomfortable to clear their doubts in public. Proper examination of our body can reduce the impact of the disease, by its early detection. Also by creating awareness, I am trying to arouse a realisation of the value of their health among them. In addition to this, we will help them for diagnosing the disease at low cost, in association with some organisations, also with funds raised for patients with financial difficulties. I have a plan to expand our network to more people, to broaden our pink army all over the district, as well as the state, those who can create awareness regarding breast cancer for the early detection. We are also planning to conduct free medical checkup ( mammography, ultrasound snd so on) in low cost under Pink Initiative by linking with different organisations and also intend to expand this network to other states if we can get a good platform for that.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

  • GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • I was able to save 3 lives of people and i considered it as my major achievement.

  • We got Best Unit Award, Sansad Adharsh Grama Yojana Award, Campuses of Calicut Award, lot of appreciation awards from different organisations like BDK.

  • Also I got special appreciation award from district administration for flood releif activities. All these happened in my tenure of leadership and It is a great pleasure for me


FUTURE PLANS Volunteerism is something priceless. There is no better exercise for your heart than reaching down and helping to lift someone. For a person, who had felt the happiness of being a volunteer once, then they couldn't stop to help anyone. Volunteerism had created a great impact on me. It helped me to make new friends, learn new skills, advance my career, and even feel happier and healthier. I am believing that nothing could make me happier than this. I have several plans to do for the community, to enhance them, to give them a better living, to do something for the education of backward students and so on. I believe that my aim could help me with this. I want to adopt at least 5 children who are from the backward community, orphans or whoever need our support to grow. And have to provide better education, better living, nutrient-rich food, to take care as my children and want to mould them as a better human being. Those who help others can understand their feelings of others. And this is my dream. In addition to this, I have also a plan to expand my territories of volunteering, to expand my pink initiative network to most of the people and save their lives. Also, I want to do something to enhance the lives of rural people, education, health as well as tribals. To make a better living for them as others. I believe that no one can win or do something alone. It is teamwork that leads to being successful, to help others. In my volunteer journey many platforms like NSS, BDK, Ashraya, KVYAF and so on...took a large part to do for the community. Like that, I am believing that Gulmohar foundation and Institute of Social Volunteering could help me to reach my destination, to support my volunteering and together we could do something for the society. In addition to this, these institutions could help me to reach out Pink Initiative project to the community as well. And it's a great pleasure to work with such an institution.I think that all these institutions and all my experiences can lead me to a better human being and also can guide me for providing the basic facilities and structures for those all who need my help and to achieve my dream and being a successful person with all the development and the amenities that i can provide to my people

REFERENCE:

Are you an aspiring volunteer, creating impact in your community? Apply now for Social Volunteer Awards 2021 www.socialsolutionsindia.in/social-volunteer-awards

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