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Amdavadis Realise Their Potential by Making a Difference in The Lives of Others

DNA India, by Apoorva Verma, June 17, 2015

Members of SELP work for several causes like blood donation, women empowerment and health issues

Recently, 41 members of the Self-Expression and Leadership Programme (SELP) gathered at a city hotel and shared their community projects and the impact it made on them as well as the society. The interaction was to make each other aware of what projects they are working on. SELP helps each participant design a community project. The partcipant's passion, commitment, and vision are put to the test and also come to the fore in their personalities. A member of SELP works for several causes like blood donation, women’s empowerment, health related issues, education, etc. Initiated by a US-based company, Landmark, it has helped many to gain confidence and develop into a better person.

DNA talks to some of the SELP members to bring to readers the firsthand account of their journey in self development and expression.

Amee Thakkar
A very enthusiastic girl, Amee says, “Before I enrolled myself in the programme, it was very difficult for me to manage time and I even had problems in talking and interacting with people. But as I took up projects, and got involved with Landmark, I overcame my fear and have also started managing time and dividing it efficiently to different things.”

Thakkar has been involved in three programmes in various capacities.

The first project is women’s empowerment that she is closely involved with by providing education, skill, micro entrepreneurship training and financial support as loan at low interest rates through NGOs and governmental schemes. She has also helped organise a dental check-up camp for poor women and kids for spreading awareness on dental health. Thakkar is also involved with the issue of ladies’ seat reservation rule BRTS transportation system. She says many time rules are just made but not followed which create chaos, and the ladies seat reservation rule in BRTS transportation system is one of them.

Dipti Patel
She opted for a women empowerment project and took it up differently. She gathered around 40 women from her society and organised a meeting with a few high rankers from the city police. She said “My main aim was to make women aware about the working system of police stations. We are not very confident in meeting people, especially police. Removing that hesitation is a must.”

She joined the SELP programme while her family was in the U.S. but she could not go as her visa application got rejected. “I was very depressed and disturbed during that time as my whole family was in the U.S. but I couldn’t go. I even hesitated in doing things. I never instantly wanted to get busy with something for a long time. But then my son asked me to enroll in this course and that has helped a lot to boost up my confidence level. Now I am a much more confident person and very grateful to this organisation,” said Dipti.

Sheela Madaliya
A mother, sportsperson and businesswoman, this lady from the city enrolled herself in SELP. She started her curriculum in the year 2014 for a period of four months. During the programme, she did various projects on women empowerment and helped women across the city and state, gain confidence and emerge as strong women. She recently undertook a project with women as well as children and taught them the basic mechanisms of self defence with the help of Karate trainers.

Hernangi Chokshi
A resident of Godhra, she chose a different project which worked towards empowering orphans. She mainly focused on children from municipal schools with poor backgrounds who had problems with speaking and hearing. Her project also included providing food for poor people. The main aim of this project was to make a happy space for the children and to let them do what they loved doing. While sharing her experience, she said “It was great to see young children enjoying the seminar that we had organized. This programme has helped me a lot in becoming a better person in life.” She has the full support of her family and her husband himself has enrolled in the programme and is planning to do a project on a blood donation camp.

Kavan Patel
Pursuing his MBA, this young man had been enrolled in the programme in December 2014. A group of people who had earlier been a part of different programmes got together and started a mini organization named MAD—Making a Difference. This organization included seven different people and so seven various projects were selected. Kavan Patel led the project on blood donation camps and tree plantation. Being a part of these programmes has helped boost his confidence level.