Having volunteered at a number of NGOs and interacted with many people living in slums, I have been exposed to a great deal of hardships and struggle that underprivileged people in India face. Over the course of a few years, I gained immense empathy towards these people and got motivated to help them in any way I could.
However, my inspiration for this project did not only stem from my exchanges with several such people, instead, it began within the walls of my home. Growing up, I always came to notice troubles and difficulties that migrant workers working in my house faced- whether it was being unable to read or write, or having limited resources or guidance to deal with several struggles in their lives. These people were the ones with whom I interacted every single day, and had practically known my entire life; people who had watched me grow up and were like family to me. I immediately gained an interest in helping them in any way that I could and giving back to them because of so much that they had done for me. So, when I was 8 or 9 years old, I decided to teach the workers in my house the alphabets and simple, everyday English words. However, at such a young age, this endeavour did not last too long. Then, at the age of fifteen, I decided to tutor the workers’ children who lived in the nearby area, which is something am still doing today.
During these interactions that I had over the past few years, I gained a real passion to help as many people as I could- whether it started within the confines of my home or outside. So, when Noor approached me with the idea to start a voter registration drive, I was more than enthusiastic to join in the cause.
I have always been an enthusiast for civil rights and justice, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to help make a meaningful difference to people’s lives- especially those who contribute greatly to our everyday lives. Giving people the right to vote and giving them a sense of identity was not the only thing that seemed so great about the project, but also the fact that through this we have the opportunity to directly take our country one step ahead, by registering more people to vote so that the government is what people want, and not what they have to simply come to terms with. This project helps domestic migrant workers from all areas to come together and be a part of the future of their country, and have a say in it. Hence, we didn’t start this just for workers, but also for India.
This project was the best way to give back to the community, while also standing up for the causes that mean most to us and for which we are passionate about. So, a few meetings and drives later, here we are!