By Rushabh Mehta
Rushabh Mehta, son of Dhairyada and Ashish Mehta, completed his ICSE in 2008 from The Cathedral and John Connon School.
November 26, 2008. A day that had been burned into our memory. A day that most of wish we could forget. On that day our city was held ransom by 10 terrorists for 60 hours.
Until that day, all of us in the Cathedral School had only talked about how the government or some other authorities had to change in order to make our country safer. This time, we thought instead of just playing the blame game and conveniently pointing fingers at others, we decided to form our own group “One Youth, One India” adopting the motto “Be the Change”. Another reason we formed the group, although selfish, was because we had all been personally touched and affected by these attacks.
We formed these great plans on filing petitions and organizing rally’s. We went to our Principal, Mrs. Isaacs and told her about the same. She told us to stop thinking of such over ambitious ideas for the time and to first think of how we could change ourselves before telling others to do so. Mrs. Isaacs had shown us that if we all change ourselves in small ways, it would all add up and make a huge difference.
We then split up into two groups and spoke to people on what they felt about the attacks. We saw how the youth was angry and full of negative energy. If only these were converted into actions! We also spoke to a few police constables. We were surprised to find that they were well educated and spoke fluent English. These were the same people we criticized and called “Mamus” or “Pandus”. They deserve a lot more respect from us for their services. Although they work on a salary of a bare minimum, they do not wish for an increase in salary, but for some sleep and time to spend with their families. Most of them had not slept for four days and four nights straight.
During our Christmas break we got the chance to meet the Sheriff of Mumbai – Indu Shahani. She is very supportive and is willing to help us in any way possible. We spoke to her about our group’s message:
Mrs. Shahani spoke to us on the 1298 Ambulance service and on self-sustaining NGOs, something she wishes we become. She gave us a list of various projects we could take up. She is willing to get us in touch with the correct people so that we may have a maximum effect in what we do.
We decided to take up the topic of spreading awareness of security and fire audits in schools, residences and work places. This is something we do not do, but is essential as we must always be prepared for the worst case scenario. The members of ‘One Youth’ will take a pledge of self discipline as well as spreading these values to as many as they can. Take charge and pledge to be a more responsible youth.
DO NOT forget 26/11.
Be the change you want to see.
Members can now request for a soft copy of the names and addresses of all those
listed in the Directory in Excel format. The copy will contain the list with all
the updates that have been informed by members till the last day of the previous
This service is strictly for the use of Members Only.
Palanpur Online Helpline
Tel: +91 - 22 - 40203620 / 21
Time: 10am - 6pm (IST) (Mon to Fri)