CTC Top Volunteers 2017 – Apoorva Raghavan

Think not, only of what you need and what you can take. Think of what you can give back.If ctc has taught me anything, it’s that. 4-5 years back, I was another regular doctor, aspiring for another degree, a career etc.

Now, I’ve gone on too many fabulous, amazing trips to remember, spent most of my weekends with similar souls and made memories to rejoice and be proud of. I’ve donated blood more than 10 times, donated platelets around 5 times. And getting to donate and meet the family/child in need and to experience their gratitude is an unmatched one.

My family and I are now totally committed to the 3R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle. We compost at home which has helped us grow our own vegetables at home, we have a solar panel so we generate most of our own electricity, we are borderline fanatic about segregation and recycling and water conservation too.

Cleaning beaches and the Theosophical society post floods, before the Olive Ridley nesting season, even being a co-lead in Coastal Cleanup 2016, spreading awareness about plastics, planting and nurturing saplings at home and with Ainthinai. These are some of the ways that CTC has helped me do my bit for my and our mother Earth.

 I’m not the most physically fit or athletic by any means and a few setbacks with health and joint issues plunged my self-confidence to rock bottom. At this time, taking on a first time trek with Peter probably sounds absolutely insane. Coming out of that trek, I was walking like a zombie with legs made of jelly, but I had a sense of accomplishment like never before. This fueled me to do a more treks, one even in Spiti valley, pushing myself utterly out of my comfort zone. I’ve done 2 solo medical camps at Uttarkhand and Spiti, something which was unimaginable a few years back.

All of this has been possible only after the magical world of CTC crossed with my rather dull one.  The drive to do something different is what, I think, pulls all of us here. The inner voice that says normal isn’t enough. Normal is boring. I’ve always wanted to be environmentally conscious, do what conservation I can but I was clueless and directionless. CTC opened up a galaxy of opportunities, contacts, events and gave me the confidence, courage and relentless enthusiasm for breaking the norm.

I’ve met amazing, inspiring people, listened in awe to their experiences with CTC . And now I’ve been asked to share my story.. it’s humbling indeed. All credits to Peter, the Emperor team, (Blood) Mani, the Zero Kuppai and Ainthinai teams for taking me along in your path. Thanks to Charles for yielding to my constant nagging to come to a CTC event, starting with Green day 2015. It’s been tremendous fun with you, Praveen, Arun and all the Emperors.  And thanks to all the volunteers and people I’ve met along the years who have all inspired me.  A last (but not the least) to my family, who’ve been disgruntled on many weekends but have supported me in making my own journey. I would not be here, a proud and forever-CTC-ian without you all.

CTC – the place where one comes to meet friends, but finds family. And where, together, we can make this little corner of the world, a better one

Apoorva Raghavan

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