~Utkarsh Mishra

1. Tell us about your story of joining UBA. What differences did you find between your first impression of UBA and your experience after being associated with it for so long?

  • I remember the day when some of the seniors came to Rajendra Bhawan for the Intro talk. I really liked the opportunity of dealing with the higher officials as well as the villagers. I was a bit inclined towards social work before being in the IITR. This motivation was enough for being the part of such a wonderful group.
  • Along with improving my soft skills through working in the group, now I have lots of memories/stories of visits, night outs, chapos, trips with UBA family. Yes, it’s a family for me, when I faced any problem related to anything, team members especially seniors were only a message/call away.

2. During your 3rd year, when most individuals prefer working on themselves, you’ve worked for your village & for your team; what made you take this decision? What was the source of motivation which drove you to put your best foot forward?

  • After being part of the group, I learned about “the value of time”, which was something we were supposed to devote to bring change in villagers’ lives. In the subsequent visits, I started enjoying working in the group, and a strong bond had formed. While working for the village, I learned a lot from the villagers/my team members(juniors/seniors). So, I was working on something whose impact was on the entire community, including me as well.

3. All Initiatives of UBA are very meticulously planned and undergo various stages before they are finally executed. Which stage do you find the most challenging, exciting, and enriching? How has the process shaped you as an individual?

  • I think that’s the implementation stage, when we actually go to the village and observe the real scenario. Obviously, we took care of every possibility while planning for the initiative, but some modification may be required on the groundwork itself, that’s the most challenging as well as exciting part of the journey.
  • Now, I usually have a broader perspective towards every task assigned to me in the real world as I have so many experiences of actual implementation of an idea

4. Owing to your great achievements & an all-rounder presence on the campus, has UBA played any role in setting you apart from your peers or campus-mates? If yes, then how?

  • Definitely yes, UBA has provided me a family whose members helped me during my difficulties whenever I needed someone. I still remember those days, when an introvert boy (me) used to attend meetings quietly and even parties/night outs. And a day came, in which, he got a chance to interact with a huge crowd. So yes, my version is being upgraded during the journey (2.o :) Lol). Now I have lots of memories as well, which is something that will remain forever.

5. Communication and Networking are two essential skills that one needs to be proficient at in college. How well has UBA fostered these qualities in you? How did it help in your career?

  • UBA has provided me a lovely team and a platform to implement my practical knowledge, and I think these are the essentials for the above-mentioned skills. It helped me in several career opportunities such as job interviews, presenting my work in the competition, and many more. These changes occur automatically during the journey of UBA as a volunteer to the Overall Student Coordinator.

6. As a follow-up, online semesters have already posed multiple barriers in the culture of Chapos & the bond shared between juniors & seniors in ‘UBA Family’, what is your take on that? How can this be bridged?

  • The only way is to increase the frequency of meetings(official/fun) and add words like online/virtual before every term: Virtual chapos, online meetings, virtual night outs (Lol). Now reimbursement scheme is also there for virtual chapo. Interact with your seniors for guidance in anything whether it’s related to UBA or not, organize fun events. Congratulate people for their achievements (I mean that’s the first step of chapo(:p), I think most of you know it).

7. When did you feel that your purpose behind joining UBA was achieved? Do you think it can be recreated in an online semester? If yes, then how?

  • It was a day when after finishing the allotted work we were in a mood to interact with the people about their difficulties and feedback of our previous work. We were invited to the bhutta party while interacting with the people about the same. One can plan a meeting different from the regular initiative discussion for the same.

8. One thing or memory of your village that you’ll remember throughout? Or which you can relate to your own life or is very close to your heart?

  • Cattle Vaccination camp. I had several engagements on the same day and I just thought “how can I do best for most of the people”. So, I decided to schedule the tasks in a proper way. After the camp, I returned to the campus through public transport and managed other responsibilities as well. The result was in favor of me. So, I did as per my motive behind joining UBA was. That was one of my most productive days.

9. Many initiatives are being scrapped or postponed due to these tough times and members are losing their confidence to continue working on it. What motivation or suggestion do you want to give to your juniors of UBA?

  • Just remember the motive with which you joined UBA. Barriers will be there for any great work, but achieving your goal after crossing those barriers is the best possible feeling. Everything has its own investment scheme, so if you are working for the betterment of someone, you will definitely receive much more than that in the future. I have heard somewhere like there isn’t any word like “loose”. Either we win or we learn.
  • But you people are already doing great, keep it up. Do your best, work as a team and learn from the mistakes if any.

10. With the recently announced team, any messages for them considering the second year of online operation of UBA?

  • Interact with your seniors whether it’s related to UBA work (initiative/idea) or something else. They can guide you better based on their experience. Be active in the group whether it’s related to volunteer in the task or any fun event.Work hard party harder.

We’re a student body of IIT Roorkee inspired by the vision of transformational change in rural development to help build the architecture of an inclusive India.