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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.


VOLUNTEERING STORY

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.


VOLUNTEERING JOURNEY

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.


PROJECT

Samvidhan Live! The Jagrik project


ORGANISATION

ComMutiny - The Youth Collective.


MISSION & VISSION

An initiative by ComMutiny- The Youth Collective and its forum members, Samvidhan LIVE the Jagrik Project is a journey to engage young Jagriks (Jagruk Nagrik ­ Aware Citizens) between the ages of 14 to 30 years in different parts of the country to experience the Constitution. We believe ownership of common spaces is a crying need of the hour. Samvidhan LIVE ­the Jagrik Project, is building young people’s capacities for meeting this challenge as they reflect (reflect+act) in the real world.


PROJECT DESCRIPTION

ComMutiny ­The Youth Collective along with a coalition of over 30 civil society organizations came together to run Samvidhan LIVE – The Jagrik Project across 16 states of the country. The coalition partners work with a diverse cross-section of young people – urban, rural, college graduates, drop-outs, dalits, tribals, religious minorities, young men and women. Through this process, the initiative has brought out the voices of youth from diverse and marginalized sections of the population and shared the lived experience of the Constitution. Designed in the format of a real-life simulation, Samvidhan LIVE has created a platform for young people to live the ground realities of the Constitution, be aware of their fundamental rights, understand the significance of their fundamental duties, and imbibe the values enshrined in the Constitution of India. Over 480 young Jagriks (Jagrik = Jagruk (aware) + Nagrik (citizen)) around the country, engaged through 22 organizations, have come together for this unusual game, and to address their quest for fun and learning. I only took part in the program, in that program, the entire process related to the Rights and responsibilities of Indian constitution, according to citizen's right and responsibility participants had to take. In that process, we were given one right and one responsibility task every 15 days. In this process we got a responsibility to hold a football match to for the purpose of Peach and Harmony, so my partner and my organized a friendly football, under ComMutiny – The Youth Collective’s Samvidhan Live! The Jagrik Project, with people from various religious and communal groups to create a bridge for a new dialogue of peace. Siraj lives in a community that is completely Muslim. Now, what always bugged I live in a community always kept distinctly apart from other communities. The communal differences in Titagarh had been a sore in his eyes for long, and the cure for this came in the form of Football. The match was a success, but the discussion post-match was nothing short of revelatory. “We discussed with them about what they thought about religion, and their answers were shocking. Their understanding of religion was primarily based on physical appearances and the word of their local religious leader. Anyone with a crimson dot on his forehead was a Hindu, and anyone with a skull cap and beard was a Muslim. This action got coverage of print media named "The Optimist Citizen" as on 22nd January 2018.


LENGTH OF SERVICE

15th October 2017 to 26th January 2018, Number of Hour - 2880


ROLE IN PROJECT

My role was a change agent, I feel as I am playing role as youth Change maker and worked to develop a discovery framework, I rely on understanding how solutions work together within a global context to effect change. It takes into consideration the actionable components of a problem (which we call barriers) and the varied solutions required to maximize social impact and galvanize innovation. This approach is a different way of thinking about systems change —one that values practice over theory and on-the-ground invention over different analysis. I had just been on this quest to discover the point where my unique values, passions and experiences meet a need in the world. I realized just how much I love change and transformation (which I would define as intentional, forward change) and that I have a skill set and experiences both professionally and personally with influencing change. I came to realize the type of maker that I am... I am a change maker. Yes, it is a thing. I want to have an understanding of what happens in the body and brain as people go through change; what motivates people, the different approaches, processes and personalities to learning, communicating and driving change.


IMPACT OF PROJECT

It connects me to my community as well as the ground reality and to work on it to make it a better place. Even helping out with the smallest tasks can make a real difference to the lives of people which is actually needed. It is benefited me and my family as I believe that what I am going to deliver to others first I have to practice in my life then it comes to my family, thus whatever I have got the information shared to my family and friends to deliver good principles and values among them for being a real changemaker. Strengthens my ties to the community and broadens my support network, exposing to people with common interests, neighborhood resources, and fun and fulfilling activities. It gave me an opportunity to practice and develop my social skills, since I always talk regularly with a group of people with common interests. Once I have momentum, it’s easier to branch out and make more friends and contacts. The social contact aspect of helping and working with others can have a profound effect on your overall psychological well-being. Nothing relieves stress better than a meaningful connection to another person, an increase in self-confidence as I know I am doing well for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. 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, through this initiative I have formed youth led organization named "Pahchan Foundation" currently non-government organization fully based on crowd funded more than 100 volunteers are engaged in this program.


SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

  • GOAL 2: Zero Hunger

  • GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being

  • GOAL 4: Quality Education

  • GOAL 5: Gender Equality

  • GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

  • GOAL 13: Climate Action

  • GOAL 14: Life Below Water

  • GOAL 15: Life on Land

  • GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

  • GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal


ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Represented the communal peace and Harmony issues of West Bengal on LOKSABHA TV in January 2018 in New Delhi.

  • Represented the ecological issues of East Asia and the Pacific region in United Nations Summit, an Expert Consultation. Advancing Children's Right to a Healthy Environment in October 2019 in Indonesia.

  • Received Volunteer of the year award by Kolkata Hero in December 2020 in Kolkata.

  • Recognized as VForce Co-Ordinator of UNV India in April 2020.

  • Received Corona Warrior Award for doing Humanitarian work with Pahchan Foundation in October 2020 in Kolkata.

FUTURE PLANS

I have only one plan right now, I want to take my Pahchan foundation forward. And as it is working on different issues specially focusing on SDG Goal number 2,3,4,5,10,13,14,15.For this i need support of Gulmohar Foundation and various learning opportunities and collaborative learning approach of promoting Pahchan in different ways. All the members are new and young who are getting experience while working but they need some issue based formal training and for this if Gulmohar Foundation can collaborate with Pahchan.


REFERENCE: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1VC4PM3yEkj7dAnD2X0QT-AJvXEl31aq7?usp=sharing





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