“Social-worker”, a very fancy term to use, isn’t it? To most people, it’s a very prestigious ‘tag’ to use in parties, in front of friends and colleagues. The more I see the world, the more I try to find the absence of Mother Teresas and Father Teresas around me. I might be sounding hypocritical myself, with the very title of my series, ‘Diary of a Social-Worker’. But tell me honestly. Would you even read it had it been something like ‘Diary of a new Life’ or ‘Chronicles of a Girl finding a new Meaning’ or sort of things? No. Why? Because of the heavy weight carried by the term ‘social-worker’, which is often misused in the society and taken advantage of. All of us are related to ‘social- work’ now-a-days. New NGOs and NPOs are propping up every now and then. Oh yes, if you are a social worker, you would not have to face severe punishment for ruthless driving and killing lives. ‘Power’ you call it? Yes. I have been always wished to help people who need it. This helping comes under the tag ‘social work’. Many of my peers contribute financially but slowly with time, I realized that perhaps our society needs more than financial contribution, perhaps the people we want to help financially need a bit of our time and perhaps just doing something for a day and completely forgetting them for the rest of our lives are just not enough, at least for me. Irked by the actions of a lot of people, roaming around with DSLRs, writing as “I am the ‘official photographer’ of XYZ NGO” , clicking pictures with the deprived people and posting them on the social media, acting like the ‘messiah’, I wished to get in touch with some organization which perhaps could help me grow, teach me, correct my misconceptions and help me do a little for the world. And then, CWF happened.
Some random conversations with Shuvojit led me to the discovery of the existence of CWF (Civilian Welfare Foundation), a non profit organization, founded by him . Aware of my limitations, I finally told him one day, “I want to be a part of direct activism”. And the seed was planted. A very amiable Abhirupa contacted me, we met up and that was just it. That was the beginning. Later that day, Shuvojit asked me to write an abstract for the queer conference, organized by Sappho for Equality and submit in a few hours for it was the deadline. Abhirupa hopped in to help me along with Souvik. Without even knowing me well they accepted my idea of working on masculinity and femininity of football. Dubious? Well I was, but not they. Their belief on my credentials got rewarded with Sappho’s acceptance of our abstract. The weeks that followed in between helped me grow as they guided this hedgling, correcting my flaws, misconceptions, accepting my weakness and honing my strengths.
My association with various football groups and the football blog, GOALden Times and my idea of organizing a Paralympics football ( Manoball) was not remonstrated by anyone even though CWF-ians barely knew me and it was an honor for me to see how they came forward to help. A few meetings and introduction with Suchandra, co founder of CWF, Rupanjan, Hatim, Dhruv, Malavika, Avik, Harsh ( sorry if I missed any name ) and the new bees like Divaa, Dipabali, Aratrika revealed the assiduous work done by the members of CWF. ‘To grow, we need to learn’, that’s what I could make out of Suchandra’s lecture which also explains all the exemplary works done by CWF so far. CWF’s penchant for creativity, research and field work inspired me, lured me into becoming a member. Yes, even we have photographers here, with DSLRs too but they are well versed with the work CWF has been doing and in fact are pros in their selected area. The environment is like a lush green meadow, where wild flowers are allowed to bloom, where bees can choose their own song, where the jejune river can take any route she wants but the guardians are there to protect, to guide and make the boulders move.
In a completely messed up life, CWF didn’t come like an angel; rather CWF showed me the beauty of human beings, the joy of being a human. I look forward to Skype meetings, I look forward to talk to people I have become close to, CWF has become a family to me. I know I am irresponsible, always trying to run away from reality but CWF brings me back to the ground, teaches me to see beauty in colors I was afraid of. I am looking forward to ‘Clothes Drive’ and Paralympics Walk. Yes, the irresponsible me would not be there for the presentation of the paper. I am really sorry for that, for running away. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to write. I’m full of emotions now. I would not say ‘thanks’. I would try to prove it in my deeds, perhaps, someday.