Dimapur, May 25 (EMN): The urge to share the little she has with people in need pushed Sentipokla Jamir to make and sell pickles when she was in college. Her dream of helping others took shape when she started “Footprints”, an initiative to help the poor and needy persons, especially the senior citizens, in 2015.
Sharing about the baby steps of “Footprints” to Eastern Mirror, Jamir said she drew inspiration from God and her parents who told her when she was a kid that “we don’t have to be rich to help the poor and needy person”.
The youngest of four siblings, Jamir grew up from Indisen Dimapur and experienced the joy of giving early in life through the generosity of her parents. “Whatever I am doing is an extension of the values my parents taught and brought me up with,” she said.
‘Sharing whatever we have with others has made a big impact in my life and so I am trying to help others,’ said Jamir, who is also a Field Demonstrator at Nagaland Health Project. She said she shares not because she is rich but because she knows how it feels like to be helped when needed the most.
She said that she has reached so far because of her parent’s wisdom, guidance and prayers. “Every time I want to do something good, they are always there to support and encourage me to never give up in doing good for others.”
“Even though my dad was a government servant, we never grew up with a silver spoon in our mouths, but our family actually struggled in many ways. And my mom was a kind homemaker who would always share from the little we had with people in need, ”she shared.
The “Footprints” was an outcome of her urge to help in a small way she could.
“The small personal initiative I have started is not something new and great that I thought of myself. People think that I am rich and have lots of money in my bank balance to carry on my initiative. I wish I could show the sorry state of my bank balance and to show them how wrong they are! I don’t share from the abundance of my resources; but I give from the little that God has blessed me with. He provides! ” she shared.
“I don’t share from the abundance of my resources; but I give from the little that God has blessed me with ”
“I always pray to God to give me wisdom and the idea came to mind that, if we can save INR 100 every month, and contribute after a year, we can buy electric rice cooker and blankets for the poor and needy people especially from those living in outskirts or rural areas. For about seven years, I have been doing this and many friends willingly come forward and donate, ”she said.
She recounted how she started selling pickle at universities and posted on social media in 2015 to help a student whose family was facing financial problem. Through the fund she raised and help from many people, the student could go to college.
“When I started to make and sell pickle (when she was doing MA), which was how small I started with, there were people who mocked me and doubted me. However, that became a source of motivation for me to put more energy into my initiative. Looking back, I can surely say that I have proved them wrong and that God has blessed me and vindicated me before my mockers, ”she said.
To help people through “Footprints”, her realizable friends from different districts would help her identify the needy and poor senior citizens and then she would send the ‘electric rice cookers or blankets’ through them.
She said that it has been a very good experience and a learning process under her own initiative.
“When I help someone, God helps me in many more ways. And it feels good helping others, ”she said. “At the end of the day it’s not about education but we need to have empathy to help others.”
Over the years, she has been able to touch many lives through her work. She has received several awards like: India Great Leader’s Award in 2018; Person of the Year Award in 2018; Unsung Heroes Red carpet Award by Find Studioz Mumbai; and Felicitation Award for Stellar and Exemplary Contributions to Society and Nation Building in May this year.
Unlike the initial days of “Footprints”, donations are dwindling but that doesn’t stop her from doing what she loves – Giving. She said she tries to help with her own earning from her job.
Those willing to help or donate towards the cause can reach out to her through her Facebook page (Sentipokla Jamir Imchen).
Invest more time in parents
Jamir opined that the present generation spends too much time with gadgets.
“There is nothing wrong with it but we should also spend quality time with our parents because we never know who will leave the world first,” she said.
We should pay back to our parents for their sacrifices by spending time and listening to them even if we cannot help financially, she said.
“Life is very short and precious, so let us make the best use of our time. I deeply feel we the youngsters should spend QUALITY time with our parents. They have sacrificed a lot for us. In our pursuit for education and all, we often forget to invest in building a good relationship with our parents. We have lost human touch with our loved ones. Invest your time in your loved ones, ”she added.
The present Naga society doesn’t impress her but she tries to stay positive.
“To be honest I can only say that every Naga social structures have fallen and crumbled. Our leaders have no love for God and lack godly integrity. I come out disgruntled and disappointed whenever I think about the sorry state of our society. So, I have tried to keep a conscious effort not to dwell on the negative aspects of our society and people but to take out the good within and motivate myself, ”she said.
Jamir dreams of a world filled with people full of empathy and see only the good in others.
‘The world will get better if we encourage and motivate one another and not always talk only the bad about another, and I always think about the extent of change that can make,’ she said. Encouraging the people to stay happy and help people in need, she quoted a verse from the Bible (Ecclesiastes 3:12) which says, “I know that nothing is better for people than to be happier, and to do good while they live. ”