Volunteering at an orphanage I observed first hand all the challenges kids with Down syndrome and Autism face in learning life skills and getting upto speed to make a living. I have worked with kids with cognitive challenges between the ages of 11-14 yrs and understood how life is not an easy road for them. I taught basic computer skills to these kids and helped them perform some lab work so that they could learn to operate the computers and softwares like word processor, drawing tools and spreadsheets for book keeping. I worked with these kids only for two terms but it was very enriching experience.
I dearly hope that some day I will be able to bring a positive change in the life of at least one such individual. Kids and the elderly with disabilities face enormous challenges in living a productive and independent life with as much safety and confidence as we ordinary folks do. Making them self-reliant and unencumbered from obligations to whatever degree possible is what I seek as a life goal.
I worked as a part of volunteer organization working towards education of kids: Asha for Education
I belong to Kashmir the disputed territory of Indian Sub-Continent. Nearly four hundred thousand Kashmiri Pundits, the community I belong to, were uprooted from the valley of Kashmir and forced into exile in 1990. Several thousands lost their lives in this exodus. My grandparents and many other distant relatives had to abandon their homes because of the persistent terrorist threats and thus suffered an acute mental trauma and in some cases even loss of family members. As a witness to their predicament I began to understand how life situations could alter our perspective of reality drastically, and change our needs and expectations from life.
In my late twenties, impassioned by the plight of my community, I joined the activist movement Roots In Kashmir. It was working for a highly sensitive yet politically downplayed issue I understood what it means to take a stand and get your voice heard. And it is indeed very hard to endorse a social cause without losing sight or getting distracted by personal goals in life. I have spent lesser and lesser time on activism in last few years but I still hold my opinion on the matter as strongly as I did before.I have chosen an alternative outlet for my passion, building technology that can empower not just one or two individuals but entire communities facing socio-economic challenges while going through similar turmoils.
Here are some links to the organizations/initiatives I endorse: