Tonya Lollen

Regional Associate

While growing up, I have seen and experienced many social evils. Back in my hometown government doctors and teachers are into private services and are not putting much efforts into their duties; so I wrote a letter to the Deputy Commissioner stating the scenario . To my surprise, I got a bad scolding from my parents since they believed that instead of solving the problem this would cause us a transfer to a hard zone I got so distressed that common people are being exploited by the powerful; if someone wanted to do something then his or her family and friends were negatively affected.

I was always a curious kid without proper guidance which cost me two years of my education. It was during my Bachelor’s that I came to know about TISS. I was so determined to study and learn about the society. I got through the rigorous selection process. In between all this, I worked as a teacher in Kendriya Vidyalaya where I was earning quite well. My parents naturally didn’t want me to join TISS but somehow I convinced them. Those two years in TISS furnished my raw curious ideas into a practical academic knowledge.

After the convocation, I got offers from a few organisations but I was not sure how to start my career. Hence, I denied the offers. Then one day, I came to know about Smart Village Movement through a senior. I liked the name itself - “Smart Village Movement” ! While Villages was where I always wanted to work, smart village movement was a different concept. I applied and got shortlisted for the selection process of six days. During these six days, I interacted with the young and passionate team of Smart Village Movement. At the end of the workshop, I got so fascinated by the concept of ‘Smart Village’ that I thought even if I don’t get selected I will use these ideas in future. To my surprise, a few days after the workshop I got an email stating that I got selected for the Arunachal team. That was one of the happiest days of my life, second only to the day I got selected in TISS.

I believe that if we have gained knowledge and skills through studies and learning processes, we should use them in such a way that it can bring about positive changes in the society. I am doing my bit and am eager to learn and grow much more so that I can use my skills for the betterment of the society.