“No matter how hard you try to plan your life, life has its own plan for you.”
Hi, I’m Shweta. A graduate in computer science and post graduate in Computer Applications. It all started with the opportunity where I got to represent Greenpeace India as a face to face fundraiser. Though I was looking for an IT job as I’ve previously worked as a Java Developer and Database Administrator & this job was something I’d never think of doing in my wildest dreams. But the cause attached with it drew me to taking this opportunity.
It was a tough start as I have always been an introvert & talking is something I avoid most. But working on streets, approaching & talking to new people everyday, making them aware and concerned about different environmental issues to get their support changed a lot in me. It was surely the cause attached with my work that gave me all the courage & strength to tackle all the odds & get out of the shell and conquer my internal fears.
Six months as a fundraiser were truly a learning experience. It was a phase which has given a complete change to my personality. I’ve emerged as an expressive and outspoken person which I was never before but it was just the start. I also got the opportunity to be a part of the organisation’s ODP meetings. It was a huge deal for me. It gave me a chance to learn a lot about internal working processes & challenges and really helped to deeply understand the organisation I work for.
Later In January 2020 I got a new challenge, a new opportunity to become an interim outreach officer. This role was somehow connected to my previous role but it was also something very different in many other aspects. My first opportunity to represent Greenpeace and Direct Dialogue to the corporate audience. For me this was again a new chance to learn new skills. Taking one step a day, I was learning & getting better with every passing day.
Things almost started getting in place when COVID happened. Lockdown stopped everything. As our work revolves around public engagements, so like many other organisations our work also got really affected. The organisation considered its first priority to ensure the safety and health of all the employees, and our office got closed even before lockdown was even announced. We got a recommendation to stay safe at home. It was a setback for the organisation, we were neither able to work on the street nor inside corporate offices.
But the environmental crisis is not going to be solved on its own, and we’re not going to stop until it’s a done deal. In no time higher authorities came up with a new idea of elaborating our tele fundraising branch and gave a new opportunity to face to face fundraisers to work as tele fundraisers. It was challenging for everyone but the organisation always helped and kept on having faith in the employees. The Outreach team also started working on new ideas to engage with corporate employees who were working from home, and came up with plans of webinar and quiz engagements on different environmental themes.
It was fun planning these activities with our wider Outreach team members who are working in different cities across the country. Some of us have never met with each other before but this opportunity tied all of us together in a deeper bond. Now we all are working together on making everything positive for us and for the organisation. The belief our organisation has shown in us even in these negative times gives us all the strength to work harder everyday.
Now coming to me, the road is still long. Last week I’ve given a new opportunity to help the organisation with different technological aspects apart from my Outreach work. I’m thrilled that they once again have faith in me. It’s still new but something I’m good at, so I’m really excited to see how it’ll go. I never planned any of this but it all happened. All the experiences I gained in my life till now, make me believe that things happen because of a reason, and you’ll get to know why something happened sooner or later. So have patience, keep doing your job with honesty & believe in your hard work because hard work never goes in.
Shwetha Srivasta, Outreach Officer, Bangalore