As a kid, I wanted to be a Petroleum Engineer, as a strong passion was instilled in me, and following my father’s footsteps became my dream. After school, I attended college with a predefined goal and path. Little did I know that life had different plans for me, and I would drop out of college and rationalize with my parents to pursue social work. It was indeed a battleground back at home, but aura, the guiding light was so intense that I could not deter from my path, I knew if I don’t do it now, I won’t ever, and I lived by these lines: “When I die, I want to be remembered for the life I lived, not the money I made.” .
I am a person who isn’t afraid to live his life drenched in every shade and colour of the rainbow and walk the untrodden paths. My parents questioned my decision to opt for social work, and their main concern was how I would earn a living for myself. The fears of my parents were a genuine concern. Still, I left no stone unturned to gain their vote of confidence by displaying exemplary work in my first campaign of stationary distribution and computer system installation in government schools.
Since 2015, JOY has been working with youth and school-going children in different capacities. We started with Education Camps, Blood Donation Camps, Health Camps and transcended to Environment-Conscious and Sustainable Living Campaigns like Plantation drives, beat plastic pollution awareness campaigns and paper bag making workshops, Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives, Clean up drives at Beatles Ashram Rishikesh, Clothes Distribution drive at AryanagarBasti, Menstrual Awareness Campaign, Sanitary Pad Distribution drive, LED bulb distribution in the uphills, Animal Welfare work, and other such activities.
In 2020, the pandemic gripped the world and shook its foundation, so we strategized to do our part by helping in providing Covid Relief.
After working tirelessly during the second wave of COVID-19, the founder of Dehradun-based NGO Just Open Yourself (JOY), Jai Sharma, has commenced with the initiative of adopting 100 children who lost both their parents to the deadly virus.
Speaking about the adoption drive, the Founder of JOY, Jai Sharma, said, “When the second wave of COVID-19 started, we encountered five such families in the initial two weeks where both the parents had died, and the child/children were left alone at home. A few of these children were of classes 4th-5th age group, one was in 12th, and the rest were small in age. At that moment, it hit our mind that this unfortunate scenario was inevitable, and we were to come across more such cases as the pandemic rose.”
Adding further, he said, “To date, we have adopted 20 orphaned children under JOY and are taking care of their food, medicine, and finances, among other important aspects. Out of these 20 children, only two are from Dehradun, and the rest belong to the hills. Within a week, we will be completing our target of adopting 50 children, followed by 100 children eventually. I, JaiSharma from JOY, am there to support these children by any means possible, till the time they become self-sufficient!”
The team of JOY is reaching out to various villages in the hills of Uttarakhand. The Gram Pradhans of these villages is in constant touch with JOY members, wherein the former will inform if any child/children get orphaned.
JOY has been actively working in supporting the masses from the initial stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NGO has been procuring and distributing 24×7 Oxygen Cylinders free of cost as medical supplies with no refilling and security charges. The team also distributed COVID medical kits, sanitization kits (included sanitary pads, sanitizers, masks, soaps) along with other medical equipment to those in need. JOY made every effort to provide help to distant areas in the state and supplied ration kits, including atta, rice, sugar, spices, dal, and oil.
With my indomitable spirit and the efforts of my team, I wish to strive in the future with the same vision.