Author – Yashika Kaushika
We roped in Naman Vardhan Dutt from Modern Vidya Niketan School, Faridabad to describe his journey in building up the project.
*FIRST PERSON ACCOUNT OF EVENTS
I was lying down living up to my ordinary life. Hoping for a miracle which brings a change, hoping for a breeze that changes the game. I scrolled through my entire Facebook feed and I saw a friend. I saw my friend bringing the change in my life, bringing a change in everybody’s life.
A 17-year-old from New Delhi is running an Anti-Depression project.
“A phone call made me grow 10 years within minutes. My best friend who was 16, had committed suicide. Her mother, on the other end of the phone was shattered . I transformed overnight,” said Naman Vardhan Dutt.
My thinking process multiplied, fumbled and tripped. Death and anything remotely close has always been everybody’s weak link. Evidently, it became Dutt’s strength.
As he silently observed people around him crumble down, a decision was seeding its way inside his heart. This entire chapter did not seem fair to him. How could she just leave them all behind – A loving family, crazy bunch of friends and a life that could have been so much? Was escaping so easy? To Dutt, the word always felt wrong. Failing to defend his best friend for the first time, he decided to never fail anyone ever again.
In August 2014, after almost a year since the incident happened, Dutt initiated You Are Wonderful Project – a project with a sole purpose of helping those who find self harm and suicide as the only solution when life throws surprise tests at them.
He had my instant applause, I was deeply impressed. His courage made me feel small within seconds and I was grateful. It is not thinking but acting that changes the society.
“But in India, initiation is easy, survival is tough. Everybody except my parents were full of advises on how not to act like a kid. They kept pressing that I needed to grasp the seriousness of the matter in hand. They all believed I was too immature and it was just my hormones going wild,” said Dutt as his guts felt betrayed.
And it got me wondering if these people did anything to support him. Or was preaching the only teaching their wisdom had to offer. I researched and asked about him and his endeavors. I stumbled upon this.
“Yes, we have cured a few in our nascent journey. A couple of people who lost their reason to live, we gave their lives a new mission. Sometimes I wish I could have done something like this for her,” said Dutt.
For those who once thought this project would go out of hands, here is little fact check:
Around 15 schools and colleges across India have joined hands with Dutt and his friends. He has two professional counsellors from Delhi who have willingly become part of You Are Wonderful. More than anything, anti-depression and anti-suicidal organisations from abroad have expressed much appreciation for Dutt’s efforts.
Age is just a number, I couldn’t have agreed more.
This made me realize that Naman brought the change in my life. I got a motive and an inspiration. I wanted to be a part of this and nothing stopped me. I’ve been with him, seen how dedicated he is and by far the most humane person I’ve ever come across.
His will to make a difference has made Dutt overcome all his fears and insecurities. “While helping them, we are helping ourselves each time,” were his words.