"Volunteers do not necessarily have the time, they just have the heart"
Deepak is project co-ordinator for our Snehajyot TI1 project. He completed his education up to 10th standard at school but for 12th standard he went to night school and then graduated with a Bachelors of Social Work (BSW), as social work was a thing of interest from his first memories. He started working as volunteer at Snehalaya in 1998 and has never looked back since.
He self-volunteered,teaching children of sex workers and giving them a different perspective on life. He did other activities like distributing ‘Snehavrut’ one of our first newsletters, promoting Snehalaya’s activities to empower women and educate children, door-to-door. He also joined in with outreach programs for sex workers and was one of the first team members of Childline.
When we partnered with Pathfinder to work on AIDS prevention, Deepak was given the opportunity to work as a district-level Field Officer, initially providing 25 sex workers their first ever Adhaar card, finally giving them their own identity and official place in society.
While working on HIV-awareness programs Deepak was ignored, harassed and beaten up when visiting other red-light areas to talk about HIV and its cause, symptoms and awareness. Despite this and motivated by our founder and his words, “Be the Change you want to see” Deepak continued his work.
When asked about Snehalaya he says,” I never thought about it as a NGO, for me it is a family. I have celebrated festivals with the children here and have seen them grow.”
You can read more about Deepak in the Snehalaya publication, Parispaarsh.