It’s my birthday today. 32 years on this planet, 8 years with Centre for Social Research – it has been quite the journey. When I look back and reflect on my days as a young boy in my green school uniform being sent to ‘Malviya Shishu Vihar’ by my grandmother, it makes me smile. It also makes me wonder if she would she be proud today …. I’m not sure of that as I believe there is a lot more to be done before I can quantify it as an ‘achievement.’ But I am pretty sure she would’ve answered that question with a smile, as she always did 🙂
I remember that story, because that is the period when I learnt the basics of life, probably the reason why I do what I do, the idea of being respectful and sensitive towards all, about taking a stand against discrimination, about voicing your ideas – and about sticking to your convictions.
This idea of #SocialSurfing is exactly that. It is about taking activism to all, making it personal and driving it with passion, courage and honesty. Yet, keeping it very simple, ‘It is my problem and I will solve it!’. When I was conceptualizing this project, it felt really big, may be too large for the first step in this direction, But then I was thinking about ‘India’ and the ‘Internet’, and thinking big came naturally!
Workshops in thirty five universities across India, from Leh to Chennai, from Sikkim to Mumbai trying to cover the whole map in one go. It felt like we were overreaching, but just in two months, we are on the half way mark with a super positive response from each workshop. There is a lot more to be done -workshops, awareness-generation campaigns, online competitions, (you can read about them here: www.socialsurfing.in), but I think it is now safe to say that #SocialSurfing is a crazy idea and it’s time has come.
I am sure we will take it further. We’re already in the process of finding partners to replicate it nationally and globally. Who knows how far this will take – maybe in achieving my more ‘quantifiable’ dream of setting up an educational institution. But as of now, these ideas and the amazing responses feel like an awesome birthday gift. This birthday, I’m not afraid of moving forward because the best is yet to come 🙂