23 Jul 2017 05:53am IST

Report by
Nicole Remedios

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23 Jul 2017 05:53am IST

Report by
Nicole Remedios

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Nicole Remedios tracks Venancio Rodrigues in his bid to do his bit to make others tomorrow better

“When I was a little boy, I loved picking up wrappers and bits of papers from the corridor of my school or the surroundings near my home. It never really occurred as to why I would do something like that, but as I grew older, I participated in street plays and cleanliness programmes. I usually had blur visions of helping out people, until one day I realised that every person is made for a purpose in this world and this might be my purpose. I noticed that many youngsters graduate in BBA, BCA and other major courses, but I wanted to do something different. I soon found out that one can pursue a degree even in social work…”

And that’s when Venancio Rodrigues journey began. Currently he is pursuing his Bachelor of Arts in Social Work at Don Bosco College, Panjim. The little boy with an enormous dream is now associated with six NGOs: ‘Positive People’, an NGO dealing with drug abuse and a project called ‘Project Sex Workers’; ‘Human Touch’, a HIV support for adolescents by conducting residential camps; ‘Live Happy’, focusing on waste management and community service; ‘I Help Foundation’, a foundation for the aged and young children; ‘Mathias Foundation’, providing education to children who are in need of financial support; and ‘Kripa Foundation’.

Rodrigues also goes out of his way to help people around him. He keeps telling people that as a youth, we can do a lot more than anyone else ever can. Because all you need is, the will power and a soft conscience to bring a change. He encourages parents to give their children the freedom to experience new things in life instead of limitations. By guiding, motivating and talking to them children will learn the values of life. It starts from the parents; the way a parent brings up a child will reflect as they grow older.

He admits that in a world like this today, it’s not easy to bring a change or reach out. But, it’s all about the saying, ‘Kal Kare So Aaj, Aaj Kare Tho Ab’.

“It’s always experience in life which makes you go forward!” says Rodrigues. To experience, grabbing opportunities is important.

Through his personal views he spoke about the need for humanity. It is human tendency to find greed but a chase to reach love, hope and peace. We need to place ourselves in each other’s shoe to understand what our neighbour wants.

He confesses saying that earlier he used to never bother about other people in need and would also curse people suffering from AIDS. But today, he feels so good spreading joy and happiness to others. He says, “I never really understood other people’s problems, I gave my problems priority which were so little.” 

It is difficult to put others before us, but brave Rodrigues did it so willingly. 

He has helped many drug addicts and people living with HIV. A few have changed, but it takes time for a change and he hasn’t given up on the people he is working on.

His childhood had many adventurous experiences. He was never a cartoon boy! Nor, a bookworm! He would go riding on the bicycle or hop to shore for fishing, he climbed trees and stole fruits from other people’s plots.  He also explored jungles, watched birds… “I called it a jungle safari”, winks and says.Crazy as he may sound, he was no ordinary kid. 

The jungle boy shared an incident,“I had a craze to fish! So I would often irritate my dad to buy me a fish tank. But, he never listened! So one day… a new fridge had just been purchased in my house, no one was at home, I took the transparent vegetable tray… filled water and put the fish in it which I had caught. I kept my fake fish tank as display. And then… when my dad came in the evening…      I was black and blue in no time!”

He is proud that he had quality time in his childhood, because today the youngsters spend most of their time with mobile phones, play stations and social sites.

He believes in himself that he can be the change agent that the society needs. There are problems rising every day and with the skills, knowledge and experience that he has he gets working in different NGOs. “I am making myself stronger and aware of the problems that exist, to help people who approach me.”,says Venancio.

He also spoke about his visit to South Africa where he attended the International Aids Conference 2016 in Durban. He won full scholarship for helping and staying connected to drug addicts and HIV positives. On his college tour to West Bengal he visited the 5th World Educational Conference (EDUCON). His future plans include his current work and also completing his Masters in Social Work. 

In deep gratitude he thanked his teachers and friends who have supported him in learning and moving on through the excellent destination he chose.

He concludes by saying “We are humans, humans make mistakes. But we also learn from them, and when we learn we must try and change.”
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