Interview by Mibu Minami
As Delhi slowly heads to relaxing lockdown of the second wave, we will certainly learn more on how exactly this pandemic is affecting communities throughout the country. There are various groups working to support those in need, and we hope to shed light on some of these Organizations. We caught up with Saisha Ramchandani, a 14-year-old student from Delhi who has been working to generate content and resources for the Kayantar Foundation to support a village.
Mangoli Mag (MM): Tell us about how you came to know and why you decided to support Team Kayantar Foundation?
Saisha Ramchandani (SR): My school had organized an internship program where I got connected with Team Kayantar Foundation. When I learnt about the type of work they do and the help they provide to the less privileged people in the rural areas, I decided to volunteer and assist them.
MM: We believe with the ongoing pandemic, people living in rural areas will need more support than ever before. What are the everyday issues people are facing in rural villages of India?
SR: The rural health care system in India is ill equipped to manage the pandemic situation. The paucity of testing services, weak surveillance system and poor medical care make the situation grim. This coupled with poor infrastructure, illiteracy and lack of awareness adds to the problem.
MM: Each step to support families is important. What are the initiatives adopted by Team Kayantar Foundation? What does the foundation focus on? (Health, Education, Employment)
SR: KayantarFoundation is a Not-for-Profit Company founded to support communities acquire conducive living conditions through an integrated development approach by focusing on Sustainable Development Goals. They work in remote and marginalized places of the country through committed development professionals. Kayantar Foundation brings in motivated and passionate learners in each village from outside the community who will act as change makers in partnership with the promising local champions. They work in the themes of livelihood, education and health together with the cadre of youth.
MM: Tell us about you and your goals…are you interested to continue in the world of fundraising, or being involved in health/ education for rural villagers in India?
SR: I am a student of class tenth. I enjoy music, reading and travelling. I want to continue supporting organizations such as The Kayantar Foundation because I’m very passionate about making a difference and contributing to society.
MM: How are you spending your days through lockdown? What are your thoughts about taking classes online?
SR: I’ve spent my time on a variety of activities. Some entertainment related activities include binge watching shows on Netflix, reading books and spending time with my family and friends. I also spend time doing schoolwork. I think online classes can be fun and informative but they can never replace the fun students have when they’re in a physical classroom.
MM: You are a Delhi-ite, please tell us what you love about Delhi?
SR: I love the rich heritage and culture and the general vibe of Delhi. Delhi food is the best. On the one hand there is typical Delhi street food, which is hot and spicy, and on the other cool eating joints are restaurants with a diverse range of cuisines.
MM: When it’s safer out there, where do you recommend going? Please share your favorite spots in Delhi.
SR: I highly recommend going to Sundar Nursery, as it’s one of the best picnic spots in Delhi. If you are feeling patriotic and have a love for history, there are several historical places such as the Red Fort, Qutab Minar and Humanyun’s Tomb. The sound and light show at Red Fort is a must watch.