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Meet Jhanvi: a student of 12th standard set out to change the lives of fellow countrymen

India, where all its citizens live a dignified life and have equal opportunities to grow and evolve,  seems a distant utopian dream. But blessed is our motherland that she has children with great vision. Call it poetic but it all starts with a dream. Dreams transform into thoughts and thoughts results in action.

Jhanvi, 18 years old student of Delhi Public School, daughter of Mr. Rajendra Patel, Bhopal based businessman has come forward to fulfill her big dream of society with equal opportunities of education, society where health is not a privilege but a basic right and a community in which sanitation facilities are not treated as urban fads.

As per the reports of Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation, Madhya Pradesh is one of the lowest performing state across health, education and infrastructure indicators and needs substantial improvement to at least match the average standards of other Indian states.

Jhanvi, wants to bring about change in this awful situation. She dreams of better life for all her fellow countrymen. “The family values deeply enshrined in me from my childhood and the selfless environment in my school has always invoked a concern in me for the well-being of the society. The health of a society depends on the health of its people”, says the modest jhanvi.

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From a privileged child to a responsible adult: travelling adventures kindles personal growth

Do you remember Mohan Bhargav from Swades? For those who do not know, Swades was an Indian drama film starring Shah Rukh Khan in the lead role as NRI Mohan Bhargav, who after his brief stay in India develops an aspiration to serve this country.  

One scene in this movie has particular resemblance with Jhanvi’s life. Mohan Bhargav travels to a remote village in India and learn about the gruesome conditions in which his countrymen are living. That changes his thoughts, views and priorities in life.

Traveling being one of her passions, Jhanvi travelled throughout the India. But her curious yet sensitive mind roused her to notice something beyond the scenic beauty of nature. The hardships of people especially those residing in isolated areas, troubled her deeply. The urban and rural divide in matters of basic amenities like health, sanitation and educational infrastructure startled her. This is when the desire of doing something for these people from rural and tribal areas developed in her mind.

Jhanvi’s development trio: Sanitation, health and education

Jhanvi strategically picked up the areas which needed major improvements. She found that health, education and sanitation are interlinked closely. Solving one problem without acknowledging other is almost impossible. Due to poor sanitation in villages, people suffer major blow to their health especially children are the worst affected amongst all, this leads to inferior performance in education and especially when it comes to girls, education takes a complete back seat due to lack of sanitation facilities in schools.

Thus she inspired her father to take up the construction of two schools near Kolar village in Bhopal district which will provide educational facilities at par with urban schools, provide hygienic sanitation facilities which will lead to well being and improved health of tribals and rural population.

In spite of this, she felt that something is absent. The idea of doing her own bit, her individual effort was lacking in this venture. In one of her discussion with family regarding this issue, an idea of crowdfunding popped up. This concept of online fundraising excited her. She started her own fundraiser under the name “Samvedana – Together for better tomorrow” on Impact Guru, the leading crowdfunding platform in India. She wrote a compelling fundraiser story stating her vision and requirements and spread the word using social media.

Women empowerment remains an issue close to heart:

While she has dedicated herself to the work on her development trio, she could not stop thinking about this one incident that occurred in her own house.

One day a maid in their house came up with demands for urgent cash as a loan. Jhanvi’s mother was unable to fulfill her demands immediately. Once again Jhanvi took recourse of internet. As most of us would do, she googled for the alternatives to arrange money for small needs as she knew that the mainstream banks are not willing to lend people with low credit score.

While researching on internet she learnt about the Self Help Groups (SHGs) and their micro financing activities. Impressed by the working of self help groups, she decided to help these groups by donating a small amount of money raised by her fundraiser to a self help group called Sanyog.

While most teens use internet to socialise and general entertainment, Jhanvi used it for the noble purpose. She is raising funds online on Impact Guru for destitute tribals of Madhya Pradesh. She has raised more than Rs. 9,33,000 till date. Her target is to raise Rs. 11 lakhs to comfortably meet requirements of her project.

She is just two steps away from fulfilling her dream:

The major fraction of construction is completed. They have contacted a solar agency to provide better electricity to the school and are in the middle of procurement of solar powered e-gadgets to make the project environmentally viable.

While her efforts will change lives of hundreds, Jhanvi thinks of this project as “A small effort in augmenting the living standards on my fellow countrymen” and expresses her wish to start a NGO soon to continue working in the same direction.

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