Editor’s Note: This article is a part of #YoungWarrior, a pan-India movement led by the young people of India and an initiative by Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MoYAS), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), YuWaah, UNICEF India and partners across the Public & Private sectors, UN bodies and CSOs. Partaking in this movement, young people have taken centre-stage during the COVID-19 pandemic to lead the country from the front, through positive tools such civic action, mental health, skilling and community welfare. Gearing towards the upcoming International Youth Day on 12th August, 2021, join us in recognizing and celebrating the inspiring stories of these young warriors and share your story on how you’ve been a shining young warrior in these times too!
Kshitij Pramod Kamble, who belongs to the Dalit community, was mindful of social injustices and inequality as a child. He imbibed the core values taught by his parents to use his privileged position to serve others.
In college, he volunteered for the National Service Scheme (NSS) and taught underprivileged children their curriculum and ideals to be good people. For his dedication and exemplary service, he was awarded the Rashtriya Seva Yojna Maji Swayamsevak Paritoshik.
Kshitij, who has a penchant for speaking with people and is a highly compassionate person, felt liberated when he found fulfilment upon discovering his true calling; he discontinued his BSc course and took up psychology.
It is a decision he does not regret, for it took a defining moment to make Kshitij appreciate his choice even more.
“When Rama, a close friend of mine, took her own life two years ago, it shook all of us. Her death completely transformed our circle of friends. We became highly attentive to mental health issues, and we grew closer and more open about our emotions,” he says.
He adds, “Following Rama’s death, I encountered a very emotional and frightening experience. I believe this is the first time I am sharing it. One of my friends was on the brink of dying by suicide. The threat was imminent, so I went to her to calm her down. I listened to her, helped overcome her emotional burden, and reminded her that we cared. Empathising with her helped defeat her suicidal thoughts that day. Though I still grieve about Rama, I know deep down, her death shaped me into the person I am today.”
Before joining YuWaah as a YPAT member, Kshitij has extensively worked with NGOs such as Nayan Foundation, Beach Please, Kotak Foundation and many more. He encourages young people to communicate their concerns courageously.
“I urge young people to be bold and raise their voices and to take advantage of platforms such as UNICEF and YuWaah to get their voices heard. Communicate and listen to everyone, including those who hold opposing views; to allow a wider and better understanding,” he says.
While he manages a busy schedule, Kshitij ensures that he is committed to completing every task. As part of the Young Warrior Movement, he is raising COVID-19 awareness and volunteering with the Antarang Foundation to promote vaccination awareness programs and organise vaccination drives.
In university, he is developing a psychological test for burnout in a work-from-home environment. He hopes that one day he can provide free counselling and therapy sessions to people in need. Moreover, he continues his accessibility to listen to people in distress through social media.
To be part of the #YoungWarrior movement: Type ‘YWA’ and send it to +91 96504 14141 on WhatsApp; OR Give a missed call to 080-66019225 Take the pledge, post ‘I am a #YoungWarrior’ & tag 5 friends on social media.