Alumni Update: India

Daud Arif, NESA UGRAD 2014-2015, Wayne State University

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others – Mahatma Gandhi

I always wondered what the above saying actually meant until I actually got a taste of it. During my time on the NESA UGRAD Program I got involved in various community service activities through which I was able to realize my passion towards society.

After returning from the U.S., I joined a non-profit in New Delhi named “Heal Foundation” with a group of friends from my university. The organization works in three fields: Preventive Health, Education and Vocational Training. At present I am a part of team of technicians trained to test anemia among the school children under the National Anemia Eradication Program. The program was launched realizing the fact that anemia continues to be a huge problem in India, and not much attention is paid to prevent the disease due to the lack of awareness and relevant information. We have been organizing anemia screening camps at schools in the national capital region. Post-screening we provide the students with appropriate supplements recommended by the nutritionist in our team. We also carry out sessions where we discuss ‘Smart Eating Habits.’

The tasks on my schedule include weekly programs in the community where my team and I communicate simple ways to maintain hygiene, particularly for those living in the slums of the city.

Apart from my involvement with the non-profit, I was nominated by the American Center, New Delhi as a Youth Ambassador for a three-day National Youth Forum on Drug Use Prevention organized by the Colombo Plan. The forum included workshops and sessions to come up with programs that could help prevent substance abuse among college students.

It feels great to see how little efforts could bring huge changes in the lives of the people. I hope with my efforts I am able to inspire others too so that we all collectively make this world a better place to live in.

Having now graduated, I am looking ahead to enrolling in a Masters Program in Mass Communication – wish me luck!

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