At the age of five, most of us used to amble around with our toys, delving deep in the playful nuances of childhood. Most of us used to soak in the innocence of childhood without a care in the world. But Akash from Chennai was a child in whom the seeds of philanthropy had bloomed at the tender age of five.
En-route to school with his parents, he witnessed an accident. The accident had claimed the life of a 19-year-old as he succumbed to a head injury, only because he wasn’t wearing a helmet. This incident created such a powerful impact in the tiny 5-year-old Akash’s mind that he decided to do something to ensure that people wore helmets regularly.
With the help of his parents, he distributed pamphlets in the locality near his school and the market place. He brought about a change that even stringent traffic rules could not. Seeing a 5-year-old child championing for such an important cause, it surely created a stir in people’s mind. It forced them to rethink about one’s own safety and made them bring about a positive change by wearing helmets. If a five year-old can bring about awareness among people and help bring a positive change, why can’t we strive for a future, that is holistically positive for future generations.
If a 5-year-old can bring about awareness among people, why can’t we strive for a future that is holistically positive for future generations?
The TASMAC episode
Akash’s streak of philanthropy did not only confine itself to creating awareness on wearing helmets, but his intervention also spread it’s wings to the ongoing protest in Tamil Nadu against closing down TASMAC (Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation) liquor shop. Akash is seven now and when a boy as young as him does not climb trees or play around with his friends but decides to raise his voice against the government, it surely will garner raised-eyebrows of uniformed officials.
Not everyday do we come across children sitting on the road, under the scorching sun with placards reading ‘Renounce Liquor, Let us Study’. His mode of protest was extremely non-violent. He went to the place where the protests were being held and calmly started studying by opening his books.
When The Logical Indian spoke to Akash’s father Chengai Anandan, he said, “Akash did not want to lose out on precious study time. This was his mode of expressing solidarity with the protest by doing his bit. We told him, his protest could gain more momentum with more people on board, but he said, he did not want to trouble more people.” He protested against the ill-effects of drinking and that was his primary reason behind joining the protests.
Cleaning Periyakulam lake
7-year-old Akash is again making the headlines for all the good reasons. He has taken up the initiative of cleaning a pond near his home in Padur, Periyakulam, Tamil Nadu. Akash gathered his friends to restore the water body – a group of around hundred volunteers gathered, including 25 kids.
They cleaned the water body which was choked with plastics and have vowed to continue the cleaning drive for weeks to come. “The ten-acre water body now lies in a horrible state as neither local bodies nor the state government has paid any attention to its well being. We don’t have a functioning local body at the moment. The state government should conduct civic polls at the earnest to have responsible officers at place who can look after such issues,” said Mr Anandan.
This young activist derives his desire to do something from society from his un-quenching thirst to bring about a change in the larger picture. He raises his voice against occurrences that are wrong according to him. “We haven’t schooled him in particular in the context of philanthropy. He is like any other kid of his age, likes watching TV, plays games and is good in studies too. His habit of doing good for the society is something exceptional. We know not many kid think in the manner he does and often we feel blessed due to this trait of his,” said his father.
On speaking to the 7-year-old he said, “I always wanted to do something good for the society. We, as kids, should do something to make the world a better place. Only playing and studying is not what we are meant to do. We should think about the society and how to make it a better place for ourselves.” Akash also added that his parents have been extremely supportive of the work that he has done.
The Logical Indian community congratulates Akash in the awe-inspiring activities that he has taken up so far. We hope that he continues to do the same in years to follow and inspires hundreds.
With #MySocialResponsibility, we aim to bring you more inspiring stories of individuals and organisations across the globe. If you also know about any changemakers, share their story at [email protected] and we'll spread the word.
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