Niyati Jain is a B.A. (Hons) French student at Department of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of Delhi who has always believed in action rather than words. She has worked with CRY – Child Rights and You, achieved her goals and established herself as a doer.
Here, Niyati is sharing her experience being a Child Rights Leader and a PAG Volunteer at CRY. Her hard work has the potential to propel her ahead of the curve.
Go ahead and know what her story has to offer so that you can easily find a path of self-growth. Young Influxers go ahead and upgrade yourself!!!
What was your role? Briefly list the responsibilities associated with it.
I was leading a team of 20 on my campus in order to generate awareness around CRY and its initiatives on child rights among the youth. We worked on spreading the visibility of the various campaigns and issues CRY undertakes. Our main objective was to create a buzz on the campus to motivate college-goers to come forward and make a difference in whatever capacity they can. I along with my team was supposed to organise advocacy events and raise funds for an intervention project.
What’s it like to juggle between leadership roles and academics? Pen down the challenges you faced.
I think Time Management is an overrated task. It only feels like a juggle when you make it one. To tell you the truth, in my case I am able to focus on academics all the way more if I sign up for some extra-curricular activity because then I know my studies would need a lot more attention than the usual. I believe that if you are well focused on what kind of outcome you want on the academic front, no extra-curricular or leadership role can get in the way of that. Of course, it goes without saying that you will have to put your best foot forward and work extra hard when you fill your plate with a little too much but nothing is an obstacle as long as you have your priorities straight.
What are the top learnings, skills and values that you acquired here?
The leadership experience at CRY taught me how being an effective communicator can go a long way in achieving the goals that are in the best interest of the team. I had a target of INR 6,00,000 which was supposed to be raised within 3 months. As challenging as it might sound, with constant push and motivation along with that Never-Say-Die attitude, my team and I were able to pull it off regardless of the numerous roadblocks we came across.
During those 9 months of my association with CRY, I was able to gain insight on so many new skills and learnings that I otherwise would never have. My mentor, Veronica who I am so grateful to have known has taught me to be patient and not to lose hope. There used to be times when we weren’t sure we’d be able to meet the crowdfunding target but her constant mentoring and motivation kept me and my team going. I also learnt how communicating effectively and being open to everyone’s insights and opinions make such a huge difference.
Do you feel your current role fills you with pride and gratitude? Illustrate how the experience gained will help you going forward.
During the time I was working with CRY, I was working with several other NGOs as well. But none of them has influenced me the way CRY did. Those 9 months taught me how badly the world needs us to be empathetic. I learnt how a little bit of effort and consideration on our part can mean the world to someone who’s not living as privileged a life as us. All the things I’ve done, be it leading my team in order to raise funds through crowdfunding, organising advocacy events, teaching these little ones on weekends, everything has been worth all my time and efforts and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. To see the happy faces of these little ones and the kind of enthusiasm they possess when it comes to even the littlest things in life which I, for one, used to take for granted made me nothing but immensely content.
As when we talk about leadership we have a whole team with us. How do you persuade others to accept your ideas/ways?
I believe that persuasion is always a secondary way to look at things when you are in a leadership position. The first and the foremost step should always be to break the ice, communicate with an open mind and listen to the insights and perspective your teammates have and then pan your strategies out accordingly. When you win the confidence of your teammates and they feel comfortable confiding in you as to what roadblocks they face, it is a lot easier to take everyone along while moving forward.
What is your message to students, aspiring the same or a similar role to do?
I think working for a social cause is something every college-goer should give a little bit of time to. Sooner or later in life, all of us are going to be busy with our professional commitments, so these 3 years of grad are the best time for you to be involved in the community and learn as much as you can by interacting with different kinds of people all while giving back to the society in the best capacity that you can. I understand that it might seem daunting to manage time initially but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to understand yourself as well as the way you operate better.
How can we (Friends, Family, YI Fraternity) encourage young students such as yourself to engage with co-curricular or extra-curricular activities?
One lesson I’ve learned over the years of my school life and graduation is that Academics can only take you so far. If you are just willing to define yourself by your scorecard, which might matter in the short run but in the long run will prove to be nothing but a piece of paper, then hear it from me, you’re signing up for a lot of trouble. So go out there, explore, figure out what you like and give it your best shot. You’ll be thanking yourself for a major part of your life.
We at Young Influx would take this opportunity to thank Niyati for taking a leap of faith and sharing her impeccable story. We are humbled and grateful, your efforts mean a lot for the youth seeking growth and development.
And hello, dear readers, we welcome you to explore the platform with an open mind. Help yourself gain most out of the experiences and opportunities listed here. And before you bid us adieu, we would like you to know that you can read more such student stories here.