Lack of access bothers me. Whether it's sporting resources or computer time, I firmly believe that no dream should be denied because of lack of access to resources and/or support. That's why I spend whatever time I can volunteering with projects that promote access all over the world, and especially in India -- if you have something I can help with, please let me know!
When I took over Princeton's archery team, we didn't have a place to practice -- we weren't even allowed to store our equipment on campus! So we would pay for a storage locker, and beg our seniors to drive us to and from a local range. After a lot of proposals, paperwork, and help from people associated with USA Archery and the US Olympic Committee, we were first able to get a small storage locker on campus. Then a small squash court to shoot in. And then, finally, a field of our own. Since then, I've helped other Ivies and schools in the tristate area safely establish their own archery programs and spaces. If I can help with yours, let me know!
Elixir -> Self Expression
When I joined my boarding school, there were barely 100 of us. Within a few years, we had topped 300, and were starting to feel the cracks in our community. That's why I started The Elixir, a newspaper for our high school where we could express ourselves and stay up-to-date with what was going on in our school. One of my favorite parts of working on The Elixir was reading the diverse voices that played out in print. Everyone had something unique, and unexpectedly delightful to share. Since then, I've volunteered every now and then to help people - especially students - find/amplify their voice and discover the things they genuinely love talking about :)
I Spread Love -> Adopting Villages
Celebrating Valentine's Day was a foreign concept in the place I grew up. But I always loved love, and wanted everyone around us to celebrate. So I came up with "I Spread Love", an organization which sold Valentine's related things in schools - song dedications, roses, stickers, and more - to support villages nearby. When students bought things to show their love for people around them, they funded computer labs for schools nearby and "spread the love". Since then, I've created different initiatives to similarly "adopt" villages -- e.g. non-fiction books to raise money for medical treatment, and Lumhaa orders to employ communities of artists
India at the Olympics
I've always cared about Indian representation at the global stage, but I especially care about Indian representation in sports. When I competed at the US Olympic Training Center in 2017, and when I was at the World University Game trials in 2018, I was immediately struck by the difference in resources available to athletes from different countries. Since then, I've tried to dedicate my time to helping athletes access resources and level the playing field however I can. I've also helped run design sprints around Olympic Training Centers for India, and often get involved with white papers and other initiatives in the Indian sporting scene :)
I've always thought that languages transcend time and space to communicate thoughts, and to show us where we come from. When I read about the Andaman language "Bo" becoming extinct after the 85 year old tribe leader died, I started a National Language Conservation drive. Within the first week of the campaign, I addressed thousands of students in South Indian schools to help prevent Dravidian languages from getting extinct. Even now, if I learn about languages nearing the brink of extinction, I try my best to have relevant schools instate programs to teach them and publish things about them to keep them alive!
Writers to Authors
My first novel was rejected over 100 times. Some agents and publishing houses flat out told me it was because "a 15-year-old had no business writing books". For the others, I never understood why my work was being rejected. Publishing can be a hard industry to break into, with many unsaid rules. That's why I care about no other 15-year-old, or any writer really, being excluded from the industry. It's been over 10 years since my first bestseller was published, and I'm always happy to share what I've learnt with new writers -- especially Indian writers. So if you think I'd be helpful, feel free to schedule a call with me or send over your query / synopsis / pages!