A call from Namrata Goyal

I was born with a platinum spoon, my sense of joy never depended on it. I was always the privileged child and I got everything even before I could ask for it. Gradually I began to take all the luxuries for granted until one day I got bored of them too. Life seemed so simple and yet so imperfect. I knew I was seeking something more, something more intangible yet real. Something I hoped I would long be remembered for. And then suddenly Mijwan happened.

Mijwan a tiny village of 540 people, taught me the true meaning of life. A world I wasn’t acquainted with, a world where nothing could be taken for granted, a world where love was not based on circumstances but on choices. A world where everything was done not for pleasure but for survival.

I was a stranger when I first set foot in Mijwan but they chose to embrace and nurture me and make me a part of them. Soon I discovered that life was not only about smartphones and designer bags but about making a difference. A difference that transforms lives. I have always believed that we the youth are a catalyst for change. It was time to channelise this force. This belief system gave birth to a larger vision that began with the annual fundraiser Mijwan Sonnets in Fabric. Seven years into the charity event, all the proceeds have been invested into running the Kaifi Azmi School and Inter-College for girls with their own bus service, the Kaifi Azmi Computer Centre, the Kaifi Azmi Embroidery and Sewing Centre that gives employment to hundreds of women across many centres in Eastern UP, in partnership with renowned designer Manish Malhotra. Today Mijwan stands tall as a replicable and scalable model.

Each time I return to Mumbai I feel that we have conquered the world until I look out of my Altamount road apartment and watch the stark realities of life staring back at me almost accusing me of not having done enough. Who will take on the responsibility of ensuring that a self-sustaining system continues to flourish. Have we only touched the tip of the iceberg or created a legacy to be proud of? And there lies my real struggle.

I wish to see the day when Mijwan stands on her own feet. A day when Mijwan and her neighbouring villages can easily be compared to a cosmopolitan city that houses a world-class university, provides quality health care, establishes an Industrial Training Institute and a Distance Learning Centre, whilst promoting small scale industries, producing products under its own label and turning Mijwan into a smart village. This dream can only be fulfilled through a meaningful partnership - a partnership between you and us. A partnership in which we bridge the urban rural divide, celebrate humanity and the spirit of giving.

Let us all come together to diligently work towards a progressive society even if the change comes after we are gone. I appeal to you not as Namrata Goyal but Namrata - the daughter of Mijwan to contribute as generously as possible and be their light at the end of the tunnel.

Pls write to us on mwsyouth@gmail.com and kindly send cheques to Mijwan Welfare Society 702 sagar samrat greenfields opp Juhu post ofc. Mumbai 400049