Making a Difference
How the life of one woman has changed the lives of many
Do what you love, you will never have to work a single day in your life. How many of us are following that? We all study for four to five years, get a job which comes to us, earn money and settle in life without knowing where we are heading. In such a world we see this divergent personality, Mekala Vaseekaran, A humanitarian, A social worker, A fashion designer, A Costumier, A Craftsperson, A Wedding planner and woah! I’m out of breath. Well she’s following all her passions with her heart and soul.
She was the operational director for 18 years at Selkon Consulting Pvt. Ltd. It is a tele calling outsourced unit which had worked for various leading companies like Citibank, HDFC, Amex and Aircel. The company which started with 4 people had 70 people working over the years and it went on to become the top company during their operational time. The company’s views about employment was very different, they hired freshers and 12th pass outs. They picked out employees from various slum areas in Chennai. They invested time in their personal development and never ousted them on account of their poor performances and only provided them with constant encouragement. “We chose people who had just finished 12th, coming from broken and dysfunctional families, taught them moral values and helped them have a better life”, she said. They were the only agents to have award ceremonies annually where they rewarded their employees. They even had field trips every year as most of the employees don’t have an outside exposure. "My husband had a vision and I helped in executing that vision. We made a good partnership and hence we were readily able to achieve our goals", she happily says.
While working with the company, she found out that she wanted to socially do more for the people. She admired the strength the workers and the staff portrayed and wanted to help them have a better life “I find immense happiness in directly involving myself in people’s lives and improving it”. She realised that her passion was working with women and children all along. It was that time when she got an opportunity to work with a non governmental organisation. She feels that this was a drastic change. From an employer to an employee, she is currently enjoying her job as she also gets to spends quality time with her family.
She is presently working for a social cause dealing with bonded labourers. Bonded labourers are people who are beholden to work under somebody in a condition which is close to slavery. She and her team perform various rescue operations to rescue bonded labourers and provide them with rehabilitation. Recently they rescued a number of bonded labourers from a locality. Commonly known as ‘Kothadimai’ in Tamil, this cruel affair is predominant in India. The labourers who usually belong to tribal groups are victims of physical and sexual abuse. Due to deforestation and encroachment of their homeland, they were forced to find other ways of survival. Their inherent hardworking nature and timidness makes them susceptible to get caught in these kinds of servitude. “ The bonded labourers maybe Men, Women, Children earning rupees 150 per week per family. When they are rescued they don’t have any identity, we at our organisation help them in getting the needed resources and help them to lead a normal life”, She said. This organisation helps in extrication of the labourers and provide them with a holistic experience.
She is also a craftsperson who creates exquisite hand made articles. She has been interested in this field since her school days. She also designs costumes for school functions. She is a certified wedding planner and has organised many weddings. She creates all the designs and executes everything by herself. “ I settle with things I like to do myself. Pleasure of executing is lost otherwise” She adds.
In the future she wants to work for the upliftment of women and children. “ I am deeply affected by the public justice system, It is very difficult for a single person to get justice. A person not having money does not have power in this society”, she says and she adds that she would stand up for anybody who is being treated unfairly. “Women and children are very powerful beings, ironically they are the most abused in the world. I am getting trained to do something big. I’m getting all the social input and gaining experience to bring about a change in the general perception of women” she declares. In a world where people are craving for change, she wishes to be the change herself. This hardcore humanitarian will definitely bring smiles to the faces of millions of people.