A Pillar of Support

Dhaani JoshiMay 6, 2024Crisis & Change

The concept of community has long been characterized as a group of people sharing a common location or certain characteristics. The first aspect, geographical proximity, is beyond our control, while the second often becomes a pathway for selfishness and blame. This cynical perspective, however, underwent drastic change when my community in Ahmedabad faced the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Amidst the murky depths of those times, stories of kindness and selflessness emerged and challenged my previous notions.

In the midst of the pandemic, Zeal Shah, a 28-year-old resident of Ahmedabad, personified the community spirit by embarking on a 120-kilometer journey to a rural town in Gujarat. Her mission: delivering essential supplies to local doctors and hospitals. This selfless act showed how tough times can bring out the best in a community, inspiring people to go the extra mile to help others.

Closer to home, in Riverside School, the term “community” was more than a geographical reference; it was a deliberate commitment to inclusivity. Regardless of background or origin, every individual within the school was intentionally made to feel welcome. Countless hours were dedicated to ensuring that each person felt safe and excited about being part of a collective whole.

Community resilience, as far as I’ve seen, is rooted in the reliance on one another and an adaptive and welcoming approach to change, while ensuring that no one is left behind. The response to a crisis becomes a natural byproduct when a community can depend on its members, irrespective of the situation, problem, or difficulty faced. So my community stays steadfast by being a pillar of support to one another and knowing they have someone to fall back on. The best question to ask ourselves in times when we find our community struggling is “What can I do?”

Dhaani Joshi is a 16-year-old student at The Riverside School in Ahmedabad, India. You will often find her lost in a book, listening to music, or scribbling away in her diary.