Writers’ Rescue Center: College Dropout Writer Turns People Battling Depression Into Bestselling Authors

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During the initial years of his college, Jaipur-lad Rajyavardhan Singh was battling severe depression, desperately trying to find a way out. The thought of dropping out of college concreted in his mind day by day. Young Rajyavardhan felt more dispirited every day and turned suicidal, leaving his parents helpless. It felt like the end of the road for the family.

It was at this time Rajyavardhan came across Nikhil Chandwani, a successful writer-entrepreneur. Soon after opening up to him about his passion in poetry, Rajyavardhan shut Nikhil out by blocking him on social media. For Nikhil, who was seasoned with the quirks of budding writers, both young and old, Rajyavardhan’s step was not out of the blue. Rather, he empathised with the depressed teenager and was determined to ‘rescue’ him.

When they spoke again a few months later, Rajyavardhan was at his worst. Overwhelmed by his inner struggles, he had stopped attending his classes. He thought of himself as a failure. Nikhil, the founder of Writers’ Rescue Center, continued his conversation with the teenager, encouraging him to drain out his overpowering feelings through poetry. Fast forward a few months, Rajyavardhan was a published poet, the young talent behind the anthology – Map of A Lost Soul. Soon, he emerged to be a bestselling writer, a regular columnist with international dailies like Chicago Tribune or Los Angeles Times and a Public Speaker, all at the age of 20.

Writers' Rescue Center

Here lies the true success of Nikhil Chandwani. His Writers’ Rescue Center discovers, mentors, and heals depressed, deprived and helpless individuals, turning them into bestselling authors. Started in 2016, the Center has a total of 211 published authors of all ages, from 16 to 72.

From an engineering dropout to a saviour for many

Speaking to Efforts For Good, Nikhil shares his journey from being an engineering dropout to a saviour of dejected souls. “I used to scribble poetry and pen stories since my childhood. Yet, after school, I opted for electronics engineering considering my knack for science, only to realise soon that it was not my cup of tea. I was and always had been a writer at heart,” he shares.

Nikhil took a daring step then by dropping out of college and taking up writing as a full-time vocation. By 18, he published his debut fiction novel I Wrote Your Name in the Sky. “It was a crude attempt, but it taught me how to write,” Nikhil admits. In the years that followed, he went ahead to write 9 more books, almost all of which are bestsellers. He has also ventured into teaching and entrepreneurship, until his standout initiative, Writers’ Rescue Center, happened.

“15-year-old Siddharth was the first person I ever helped through writing. He expressed his flair for writing to me and I gave my best to guide him. Today, he is 18 and already has a list of books to his name. Siddharth is also a TEDx speaker,” Nikhil informs.

Writers' Rescue Center

Nikhil is a regular visitor and speaker at elite institutions of India, from where he meets most of his aspiring writers.

Writers’ Rescue Centre – where words sprout smiles

From top-selling poets to award-winning scriptwriters, Writers’ Rescue Centre is a treasure trove of storytellers. All of them were lost and confused at some point in their lives until Nikhil Chandwani emerged as a messiah to help them knit words from uncontainable emotions that bothered them.

For instance, 22-year-old Ritesh Verma was drowning in a sea of backlogs as he had failed in 12 subjects in the third year of his engineering. He took to drinking and self-harming. When he met Nikhil, he was devastated. Four years later, Verma won the award for best scriptwriting at the Los Angeles Film Festival for his short film ‘Fears.’

Writers' Rescue Center
Ritesh with Nikhil

The story of Nikhila Chalamalashetty is also worth sharing. Wheelchair-bound since childhood, Nikhila only saw pity or worse, apathy, in the eyes of people towards differently-abled individuals. Her own childhood had been amazing, thanks to the love and support of her family. Nikhil, who found her through Instagram, urged her to write a book; a book which will challenge the age-old mindset of the society towards the differently-abled. He regularly mentored and supported her at every step of the book. Nikhila’s book ‘The Day I Started Flying’ received rave responses from the media and the readers. “I owe all my success to Nikhil Chandwani. He has helped me immensely throughout my highs and lows as an author,” she reveals.

Writers' Rescue Center

Mentoring people of all ages

Interestingly, despite being only 24 himself, Nikhil has successfully mentored men and women who are twice, even thrice his age.

“He (Nikhil Chandwani) is one of the most modest, gentle, kind and bright persons I have ever met. Without him, my quest would never even have started,” shares Vishnu Chaudhuri, another successful ‘alumnus’ of Writers’ Rescue Center, who is yet to meet Nikhil in person. Through social media, Nikhil spearheaded the journey of Vishnu Chaudhuri, from a depressed young man to a published poet from Vadodara, Gujarat.

Writers' Rescue Center

Much like Nikhil himself, Yash Singhania from Maharastra was also a dropout who discontinued his Chartered Accountancy degree. Nikhil helped this former dyslexic man to cope up with his failures and learn to love himself again. Presently, he is a noted public speaker and author.

Writers' Rescue Center

The number of social entrepreneurs in India is gradually increasing as more and more young men and women are choosing to help others above everything else. Nikhil Chandwani, with his unique and noble initiative, happens to be a frontrunner among them. He is arguably one of the best definitions of a true mentor. The spirited youth changemaker aims to touch one million lives before he touches 30. He was even nominated for the Padma Shri, one of the highest civilian honours in India.

Visit his website https://www.nikhilchandwani.com/ for more details on his amazing efforts.

Also Read: This Psychologist & Her All-Women Counsellors Team Are Preventing Farmer Suicides In Telangana

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‘Happy Fridge’: The Key To Bridge Food Wastage And Hunger Problem In India

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Rahul Khera and Gautam Jindal, volunteers (aka hunger heroes) at Feeding India, were among the many Delhi NCR residents accustomed to seeing hungry children pick up half-eaten burgers or stale sandwiches from the dustbin and savour those with the brightest smiles. Like many others, they also had the will to promote equitable food distribution but was perplexed about the approach, until they learnt about the community fridge initiative which has gained unprecedented success in Saudi Arabia and few other European countries. Meanwhile, community fridges were already being installed outside restaurants or in public places in a handful of cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Coimbatore and Kochi.

Say Goodbye To Throwing Away Excess Food Because Now You Can Donate The Food To The Needy – Happy Fridge

Thank you for overwhelming response for the Happy Fridge concept. We need more funds from you to install more fridges like this across India. With the limited funds avaialble Feeding India was able to install three fridges only. Kindly donate here http://bit.ly/happyfridge

Posted by The Logical Indian on Saturday, October 27, 2018

Needless to mention, with a shocking 103rd rank in the Global Hunger Index and a food wastage estimate of around Rs 58,000 crore – India was perhaps the best country to implement such an initiative. With Gautam’s help, an enthusiastic Rahul invested his own savings to install a ‘Happy Fridge’ outside his residence at Sun City, Sector 54 in Gurgaon. Set up in 2017 by these Feeding India volunteers, the fridge in Gurgaon has inspired the NGO to scale up the project across India.

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

‘Happy Fridge’ fostered many smiles

It didn’t take long for the local residents to learn about this laudable endeavour. They welcomed it, as wastage of excess food was a recurring problem in almost every household. “Intimating the localities was no mammoth task, thanks to social media. However, it was difficult to spread the word among those who actually needed the food,” shares Rahul, who went from auto stands to slums, inviting rickshaw pullers, ragpickers or roadside vendors to avail the community fridge any time they feel hungry. “The security guards of our residential complex played a huge role in explaining how the fridge works to the beneficiaries,” he adds.

The operational and maintenance costs of the ‘ happy fridge ‘ are being maintained diligently by the community members.

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Making memories, sprouting awareness

“I remember one young man who had arrived from a village looking for some menial day job. Somehow he had run out of his paltry savings and had no money to buy one decent meal a day. For about a month, our happy fridge was his solace, till he earned his first salary from a housekeeping job,” shares a jubilant Rahul.

In another incident, a truck driver returning in the wee hours of midnight was starving after a whole day’s hard work. He had run out of cooking fuel at his home, so our fridge was at his rescue.

“The residents keep all sorts of palatable dishes in the happy fridge, ranging from dry snacks, fruits to cooked meals. Sometimes, they even keep raw vegetables, to ensure not a single bit of good food ends up in their trash while other people go hungry to bed,” reveals Rahul.

On an average, each happy fridge supplies around 10-15 meals in a day. The gratitude and pure smiles of the hungry souls after a fulfilling meal are more than enough to continue to motivate Rahul and his neighbours. In fact, inspired by him, many other communities in the Delhi-NCR region set up community fridges in their areas.

Feeding India will set up 500 Happy Fridges

Since the past few years, Feeding India has been a prominent organisation working in the forefront to solve the hunger problem in India. Primarily, they were involved in redistributing leftover food from weddings and parties among the underprivileged people in different cities of India. Their volunteers, better known as “Hunger Heroes of India”, worked actively to bridge the gap between food wastage and food crisis.

“We used to get a lot of calls from individual households to collect their excess food. However, unfortunately, we lacked the manpower and planning to launch our programme on a door to door basis. We were desperately looking for an alternative when we learnt about the community fridges,” shares Srishti Jain, co-founder of Feeding India.

After interacting with Rahul Khera and other campaigners of community fridges, Feeding India decided to amplify this extraordinary project throughout the length and breadth of India. Presently, they have launched the #FightFoodWaste campaign to install 500 community fridges – nicknamed ‘ Happy Fridge ’. So any passer-by – be it a kid going to school without a lunchbox, or a labourer returning home late at night with no promise of a dinner – can now grab a pack of biscuits or a bowl of ‘dal-chawal’ (rice & lentil soup) to satiate their hunger. Click here to contribute for ‘ Happy Fridge ‘ and ensure India never sleeps hungry again.

Feeding India also urges everyone to make a promise to stop wasting food and instead consider donating it to those in need.

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It's not how much we give
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