“ The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but reveal to him his own.” – Benjamin Disraeli

Our volunteer of the month is a tall man. Not just by virtue of his height but also by his values that we admire. Manukiran is a soft-spoken, young professional who started volunteering as a teenager. He used to help his mother teach young children from neighbouring slums. Though he was skeptical before starting to teach them, he enjoyed himself completely and there has been no looking back since then. In fact, of all the virtues he has imbibed from his family, the act of helping others is probably the most important one and it defines his persona as an adult today.

He seamlessly wove volunteering into his academic life through high school, undergraduate studies and during his Masters degree as well. It served as a constant reminder of how many things he had taken for granted in his life. He volunteered during his stay abroad as well, working with adult immigrants from Mexico and other Latin American nations. He found that even they were just as eager to learn English as the kids he taught in Chennai.

After returning to India to be with his family, he attended a Chennai Volunteers orientation session and it was a good fit for both partners. It’s been over two years since then and Manu has been volunteering actively, in his quiet and focused manner. He mostly engages through his core strength in volunteering which is teaching. He engages in at least three volunteering sessions a week and has become a favourite with the children. As a true volunteer, he also steps outside his comfort zone and tries something different like scribing and cleanup activities. For Team CV, he is definitely a lead volunteer at hand.

Though a young professional, Manu is mature beyond his years. He realizes that volunteering is a two-way street when it comes to learning. This was brought to life when he recently helped an M.Phil student write his thesis and edited it for him. During the time he spent with him, he learned about his research on a lost tribe from Myanmar as the thesis focused on a small group from that tribe that were now living in Chennai as refugees. He views volunteering as an opportunity to learn interesting new things like this through most of his volunteering sessions.

As he says and I quote: “The friendships I have created over the past two years with both the volunteers and the students I teach is priceless and I look forward to spending many more hours volunteering with CV.”

We look forward to the same, Manu and wish you the very best.

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