With a big heart to help, Nivedhitha Inbavel, whose name means ‘born to serve,’ is our Social Impact Champion for this year. Read on, as the Senior Project Engineer opens up on her motivation to start volunteering, the recipe to consistently balance her profession and social work, moments that moved her, and more.
It’s a hat-trick! You have been declared the Social Impact Champion for the third time in a row. How does it feel, and can you tell us about your motivation to take up volunteering?
It is humbling to receive this award for the third time and motivates me to do more! It all began during my vacation at college. I happened to be scrolling through social media and hit across a post from U&I, inviting volunteers to teach underprivileged kids for about 2.5 hours per week. Social work had always been on my bucket list since childhood, and this gave me the perfect chance. I applied for the role, had an interview and there has been no looking back after that! The motivation that started this off was my urge to contribute, but the impact that I see sustains it.
What kind of activities do you take up for your social work?
We teach basic subjects to elementary school kids, mostly one-on-one. Since I have an affinity for Maths, I opted to teach Maths. Most of the kids there are from Tamil medium, so I teach English as well. We also do experiential learning and hold outdoor classes for some subjects. It’s been 3 years since I started working here and we have observed a large gap between how capable the kid is and the quality of education that they receive at their schools. We work towards bridging this gap and tapping their talent.
Tell us about an experience that is close to your heart.
Along with academics, we also have grooming sessions for the kids to teach them etiquette and manners. During one such sessions, I happened to teach them to use ‘Sorry’ and ‘Thank You.’ After the class finished and when all the kids had left, one of my mentees came back to say, ‘Thank You.’ That moment moved me and is really close to my heart!
How has your journey with Soliton been?
I started my career at Soliton, so it’s already close to my heart. My fellow Solitons make me feel at home, under any circumstance, and that has helped me build a great rapport with them. The people here bring a significant impact to the company and make it a great place to work. Getting into projects helped me understand the use cases of my project, the importance of teamwork, and the use of best practices. After my stint in development, I transited to the support team where I could interact with customers. The recent onsite visit helped me get the big picture of how our customers work in the labs and how our software impacts the ground level – proved very insightful for me. It’s been 3 wonderful years here and I look forward to more.
How do you manage to consistently balance social work and your job?
I have my weekdays exclusively for my work, and my weekends exclusively for my social work, ensuring that neither hinders the other. Thankfully, I have equal support from both ends to keep both running smoothly. My team understands my commitment and doesn’t allow me to take my work to the weekends. The same with my team at U&I. There have been instances when the team has accommodated weekday schedules to match my work commitments. My fellow Solitons have always been an extended part of our U&I team and have helped raise funds for this social work. The support and the impact have helped me maintain this balance.
What other hobbies and interests do you pursue?
I love to paint. I am an artist and have won many accolades in the past. I also love to listen to music, tour places, and explore new things. I tried my hand at cooking recently that went off well! (laughs) I would like to restart my exercise routine – swimming is the next on my bucket list (inspired by my onsite visit to the Philippines) (laughs)
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