In a world filled with privilege and comfort, it's crucial that we extend our nurturing compassion to those who are less fortunate. While every child deserves care and comfort, not all of them have access to such love and support. Many of these children remain invisible, hidden away in the corners of our cities, begging on the streets or selling small items at traffic lights. Unfortunately, they are often overlooked by policies and agendas. But we need champions like Parvati Chandran to raise their voices and make a real difference.
Parvati's journey began in Kolkata, although she originally hails from Kerala. At a young age, her mother took her to Mother Teresa's school for underprivileged girls, where she found herself surrounded by children. It was there that Parvati discovered her love for these children and drew inspiration from the selfless care and love provided by the nurses. Growing up in a middle-class family that held kindness and social work in high regard, Parvati's path was naturally paved for her to pursue a career in social work.
The decision to become a social worker blossomed within Parvati as she listened to her inner calling. Initially, she contemplated appearing for civil services examinations or pursuing an MBA after completing her graduation in history honours. However, her upbringing and the socially conscious environment fostered by her family and friends led her to choose a master's degree in social work from Delhi University. It was during her course that she gained a deeper understanding of the realities and complexities of social work, learning the crucial distinction between sympathy and empathy. Additionally, witnessing her mother's role as a teacher for underprivileged children ignited a passionate fire within her to pursue social work as her most vital calling.
Parvati emphasizes the importance of realizing that social work is not merely a means to boost one's ego through helping others; it goes much deeper. It presents an opportunity to rectify wrongs, uplift individuals, and empower them to transcend their challenges.
Inspired by her experiences working with Salaam Baalak Trust, an initiative by Mira Nair, Parvati founded Sambhavana. At Sambhavana, Parvati and her team view each child as a beacon of infinite opportunities and untapped potential. They tirelessly work to support and nurture the lives of underprivileged children who are marginalized and hidden away in the corners of our cities.
In a recent initiative, Sambhavana collaborated with local NGOs in Kashmir, embarking on a collective effort to secure permissions from the Army to build an arts and design center in Srinagar called Inara. This center aims to enroll marginalized children and provide them with a holistic curriculum that nurtures their skills, mental well-being, and overall livelihood. Parvati hopes that all of us can contribute to their cause by donating financially or with material resources, ensuring that the children of Kashmir, who have been unseen and denied a good life for generations, finally receive the care and opportunities they deserve. As Kashmir opens its doors, let us come together to collectively heal the wounds of the past and uplift its children.
In her closing message, Parvati implores us to extend kindness not only through actions but also through our thoughts. She reminds us that a single word spoken to a child has the power to transform their life. Let us heed her call, embrace compassion, and stand as beacons of hope and support for marginalized children.
Parvati Chandran serves as an inspiration, reminding us that we have the ability to bring about change and create a brighter future for the children who have been overlooked for far too long. Together, let us rally behind her cause, uplifted by her story, and embark on a journey of compassion and empowerment.