“Money cannot buy knowledge; you have to earn it.”

“At first, I didn’t believe it. However, when I checked online, I was surprised to find out that YEF really supplies food and other necessary stuff to the people in need,” said Apekshya Pawar, a fellow volunteer of YEF.

Being good is easy, being selfless isn’t. As the name says it, Youth Empowerment Foundation is an NGO that works day and night to empower the youth. Not only does it reach out to the youth in remote areas but also gives opportunities to those who seek employment or simply want to volunteer. One such volunteer of YEF is Apekshya Pawar. This young girl resides in Mumbai and plans on pursuing engineering as a career. The second-year student realises her duties towards humanity. She balances her studies alongside her practice of social service.

“I have been volunteering for YEF since last 2 months. As a part of my duty, I inform the team of YEF if I spot any needy people and share the necessary details. YEF, in turn, sends the required supplies to a local retail shop of the area. Then, I visit the shop, collect the supplies and distribute it among the needy,” explained Pawar. In the times of the pandemic, when one fears to leave his/her house, and only does it if need be; Apekshya Pawar goes out there to reach out to those who are in dire need of supplies and ensures that help reaches to them in time. With her parents by her side, she claims herself to be fearless of moving around to help people.

Pawar further complimented the team of YEF for their quick service. She believes that the reason of the success of the NGO is its team work. In her two-month experience of volunteering for YEF, nothing has impeded her will to serve. The young social-worker has found the team of YEF very approachable and amicable. She confides in the team and has found herself free to call any member of the team to ask any queries she may have had. “As for me, I think my greatest strength is my communication skills.” With a good command over her communication, Apekshya aspires of serving the society and of making a difference. Being a student herself, she understands the importance of education. She is of the opinion that every child has a right to education irrespective of their monetary status. The student is not ignorant of the political involvement in the education in India. In spite of that, she thinks Indian education is as good as getting educated in foreign.
This socially aware young-adult wishes to see the streets of India free of illiteracy. YEF is the medium between herself and her dreams. There are very few who work towards implementing their opinion. Apekshya Pawar is definitely one of the many unsung heroes of India.
Apekshya Pawar loves helping the needy.
More from the interview:
As a volunteer, have you ever felt unappreciated?
See, that is a nice question. Everyone has a different reaction when I supply them with something. Generally, people are grateful. However, one may come across some people who are not satisfied with whatever you give them. I think, if people are doing something for you, you should motivate them.

What are your future plans?
I have always wanted to become an engineer. Along with that, I want to run an NGO for the youth who are stolen from the right to education and who beg on roads, like in Mumbai, when they should be studying. They are not headed in the right direction. Everyone has a right to education.

What do you think of YEF as an NGO?
I will be very honest here. I didn’t know much about the NGO when I filled in the form. At first, I didn’t believe it. However, when I checked online, I was surprised to find out that YEF really supplies food and other necessary stuff to the people in need. The service of YEF is really quick. When I became the part of this YEF family, I was really supported by the team, by the HRs and especially by Abhinav sir.

In such times, when social distancing is the most important, aren’t you scared of going out there and serving people?
I have always been supported by my parents. If your parents are with you on a decision, I don’t see a reason to be scared of anything. In fact, they come along with me and help me supply to people.

You said that you want to run an NGO in future. What do you think are the most important factors when it comes to actually running/opening one?
Management. It is very important that you manage the NGO properly. Accuracy in management is also very important. You should know that every small thing needs efficient management. Another important attribute is consistency in the working of the NGO. Also, according to me, another important aspect is for the leader to set an example for the others. It is essential that he/she keeps his emotions and temper in check.

Why do you think education of the youth is important?
Education (of the youth) is important for any nation. Education should include practical knowledge. This helps in attaining better job positions and in developing the overall personality.

As we near the end, do you have something to say to the youth who value money more than education?
One thing everybody should always keep in mind is that money cannot buy knowledge. You have to earn it.

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