Ribhu Mukherjee of Mumbai is your regular 19 year old. Studying for an engineering degree at Symbiosis International University, Pune, he is extremely enthusiastic like many his age. He studies hard and harbors hobbies like travelling, writing, sketching and music. But, what sets Ribhu apart is that beyond his study and interests, he spends his time, not idling with peers, but volunteering at an orphanage, talking to beggars or helping widows who have been declared a pariah by their families.
After excelling his 12th board examinations, Ribhu initiated his actions regarding his true passion: His strong conviction to serve the dejected of the society. He started off by going to local railway stations where he could easily spot beggars. He used to talk to them for hours, listening intently to their circumstances and problems. Accordingly, if he felt that they needed something which was within his capability, he would provide that to them immediately. In one such conversation with an old lady that he met on station, he shares, “When I spotted her, she seemed to be feeble. I went to her and asked if she had a meal today or not. Her frail face gave the answer I needed. I bought her a meal. When I enquired about how she landed up here at a railway station in Mumbai, she responded that she is from a different state. Her son told her that they were going to Delhi. Midway, they both got down. Her son asked her to sit and wait for him and told her that he’ll return in a while. He never returned. She didn’t have any money at that time and eventually had to beg.”
Instances like these made Ribhu’s heart cringe. His dedication for helping those in need got stronger after that. Now, he uses his savings to provide clothes, books, blankets and medicines to people in dire need of these amenities. Ribhu actively goes to orphanages and donates his books and other spare items. He grew his work area by experimenting at a small scale. He went for 2 weeks consistently and observed people who were in need. They acted as valuable lessons in his experiences. Working as an intern at a school for specially-abled children, he came to know about more places where volunteer help was required. He met various social workers and through them he started understanding the scenario on a bigger scale. And now, accordingly, he sets his monthly goals for helping others. He maintains a planned record of work he wants to do. Ribhu manages a Facebook page called ‘United for Humanity’, where he posts about the dreary situation many dejected individuals and the help he is providing them. Although, not many have joined Ribhu in his endeavour, he religiously calls for open help from others religiously. United for humanity serves as a platform where he meets and join people who share his interests.
Ribhu is a First Year Computer Science Engineering Student. He regularly attends his classes. And after college he makes sure that he meets his goals about social help in some way or other. Although, Ribhu feels content as of now, he wants many more youngsters to join him in forwarding the work. But, however, small his efforts may be, he has come up with an entirely new image of today’s youth which showcases that our young people are concerned about people, the society and the world and are striving hard to make it a better place.
This article was originally published in The Optimist Citizen – Issue 19 dated 16 FEB ’17. To read the full story and know more about Ribhu’s work, SUBSCRIBE NOW.
DIKSHA KAKKAR & SWETTA SRIVASTAV | TOC
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