Mohammad Siraj - Champion - Social Volunteer Awards 2020
Mohammad Siraj, founder of Pahchan Foundation, youth led organization _ live in the slum of Kolkata, working for the betterment of the society since 2013, focusing on the issue of Child rights, Ecology, Education and youth leadership. Engaged with more than 10000+ citizens hailing from diverse backgrounds through different programs and initiatives. Also engaged with UNV India as a VForce Coordinator (VForce is an online volunteering program, an initiative of UNV India). I am also volunteering with Rotary International as a president of Rotaract Club of Calcutta Sun City also Represented the communal peace and Harmony issues of West Bengal on LOKSABHA TV in January 2018 in New Delhi also Participated in United Nations Summit in October 2019 in Indonesia. I have received Volunteer of the year award by Kolkata Hero in December 2020 in Kolkata also received Corona Warrior Award for doing Humanitarian work with Pahchan Foundation in October 2020 in Kolkata. I am also volunteering with Global Law Thinker Society as a Zonal Leader of west Bengal, India.
Hailing from the slums of Titagarh in West Bengal, Siraj has grown up witnessing drunk men gambling away their money and beating up their wives and children. I have been realized at a very young age that there is something different in me, who desperately wants to bring a positive change and impact lives. It is said that charity begins at home and I have been doing exactly that. Way back in 2006, I started off from being a Children’s Group member of a non-governmental organization that was working for the betterment of the children and the community in my area. With effective leadership skills I evolved to become a part of the Youth Group and then the leader of the Youth Group. This gave me a wide variety of opportunities to represent the issues of slum and street dwelling children in various national forums. I participated in a live debate show at Lok Sabha TV on the issue of communal peace and harmony and represented West Bengal at the prestigious forum. There was no end to the difficulties, faced on the path of doing social work to transform people’s lives. I had unending financial problems which was a cause of delay in my higher education. I knew that I had to earn to support my family. But I was dedicated towards social work has been so strong that I was not ready to give up this passion. I have started to volunteer with non-governmental organizations in the day and worked for caterers and in factories at night to financially support my family. Hard work sooner or later gets one sweet fruits, and that is what exactly I have achieved through labour, love and dedication towards social work. I have been actively working as a volunteer and community leader with various organizations at the state and national level to address matters of children, community, hunger and ecology. I have been tirelessly working at the grass-root level to generate awareness on the Sustainable Development Goals. I am also the founder of ‘Pahchan Foundation’ which has had a tremendous impact on the lives of more than 200 children since its inception in 2017. Through ‘Pahchan’ I am trying to ensure that no child goes without education and every child has access to education. I do not want children to grow up facing the difficulties that I did as a child.
Since 2013, It connects me to my community as well as the ground reality and to work on it to make it a better place. My role as a volunteer gives me a sense of pride and identity and the better, I feel about myself, the more likely I have a positive view of my life and future goal, and it expanded my network, and boosted my social skills.
There are many people who inspired me. But I am the role model of "Myself" as when I fail in any task, I punish myself and when I win, I appreciate myself. I learn from my mistakes, as I believe that "Failure is the first step of Success".
VOLUNTEERING FOR ME
Being a volunteer means something that is not required nor an obligation, it is my own choice, Choice of change. I always volunteer because the optimist inside me, perhaps the idealist, spies a glimmer of hope. I understand that I am helping. I have seen that my time worth it. I believe that I am capable of inciting change and making progress. In some way, large or small, I am capable of doing good. Social responsibility is often a driving force when it comes to volunteerism.
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