It has been continuous 40 days since I started volunteering as a conscious citizen for #OccupyBaluwatar ( बालुवाटार सत्याग्रह ) protests in-front of the place where the Prime-minister of Nepal lives. This movement is gathering citizens to become responsible enough to hold our government accountable through 5 signature cases of Nepali women who have suffered terrible fate (raped, looted, burnt alive, mental torture to suicide) because of direct government action/inaction.
If you want to find out more about this movement, please go to this wikipedia article which has details.
12 Lessons learnt:
- Prepare for a marathon, a movement is not a hundred meter race.
- He who gets tired first loses. (Repeat this mantra in your head)
- It doesn’t matter who takes the credit. Let all take the credit, even those who you believe don’t deserve to.
- Let others lead when movement is going smoothly. Lead up-front only when things becomes difficult or dangerous.
- Leadership is commitment & accountability. Commit and be accountable to your commitment. Change begins with yourself.
- adopt the philosophy of “Karma – कर्म”, i.e, Just do the work, never expecting the fruits.
- Hope but don’t expect (from other people, other groups).
- Collect funds in-kind if you can (in-kind = people give things directly, not hand you money). If you have to, take it from people and not organizations.
- There will be cynics and critics not just on the outside but also within. Don’t take things personally. Everyone is trying to do the best they can, with the information they have so far.
- People leave (for various reasons). Let them go. If what you are doing is good, others will take their place. A healthy movement should recycle people regularly.
- Hand over. ( Give others leadership so that they can do your job equally well when time comes for you to leave. All of us will leave. A movement shouldn’t be anyone’s permanent job.)
- Help each volunteer own the movement. This is the only way movement moves anywhere. Give people meaningful responsibilities, credit, thank-you’s and just trust them (even if they do something stupid).
If you have also volunteered your time to the Occupy Baluwatar movement, do share your lessons too!