Late US President John F. Kennedy delivered the famous words, ““Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country” during his inaugural address. Decades later, his words still inspire millions across the globe and have created a deep impact in the hearts of people.
Surat’s Manav Jitendra Shah identifies with these words, saying, “I believe that everyone has a moral duty to lend a hand to those in need. If you are capable of helping someone then nothing should stop you. It is very easy to be disillusioned by the darkness in the world but inaction won’t do anything, once we introspect and commit to contributing our best then only we can bring hope to people.”.
Shah’s actions alings with his words, the 22-year-old is an active social worker and has contributed to numerous social causes like mental health awareness, equality awareness and other philanthropic endeavours. By profession he is a Delta hedger and all his personal time is dedicated to bettering the world.
He voices and shows his support for his belief on the political stage, he believes, “Democracy is a great gift which allows us all to stand up for what we think is right. We can bring light to issues, campaign for justice, raise our voices against oppression. Democracy is a great tool and in today’s world it is entirely necessary to present your problems on a political stage so it can reach our leaders and enduring solutions can be found for the society at large. I work with the Bharatiya Janata Party here in Surat, I’m the Yuva Morcha Mantri of Ward 11. So many people approach me, they express their problems and struggles and me and my fellow karyakartas do our best to help them out.”.
Shah also works with the Moksha Foundation, a dedicated NGO that has been working towards removing the stigma attached to discussions of mental health.
He says, “Everytime is the right time, everyone of us is capable of contributing and helping. We all have capabilities, and all our gifts can be used to make the world a better place. I remember how I used to rush out from my exam centre to volunteer, I know the importance of studies but good marks don’t make a good human, compassion and good action do. My family and friends would make comments like “Oh you’re wasting your time”, or “You could be doing something productive”. But what good is living in a world where a child is crying on every corner, and people are suffering? I have a vision of a bright future where we all live in harmony, with dignity and have the chance to pursue all our dreams. And working towards this dream is more productive than anything. I’ve met so many kind-hearted people – those who come out to help others and if all of us did the same our hundred hands could spell happiness for hundreds of years to come.”.