Ajay Singh Rathore, a lawyer turned entrepreneur, currently working on his newest venture – the Happy Globe Vision Foundation. He is from Sonipat, Haryana & graduate of Jindal Global Law School. Ajay describes Happy Globe as “a visionary social movement which aims to reach 4 million youngsters in 2017 to spread happiness and promote mental health awareness”. He says that he wants to focus on “building an unprecedented everlasting relationship with the community, for creating a better world focused on our visionary cause.” The Foundation is currently associated with around 400 associates and partners.
1. What would you like to say about the stigma that is associated with mental health?
The stigma associated with mental health arises out of the false perception that people have regarding mental health. Society generally does not heed to signals of mental turmoil. If someone feels himself slipping into depression, he does not share it with his loved ones, if he does, his family tells him to “stay strong” and “punch through”. Whereas in reality what he wants is a simple reassurance that “life will get better and it is you who has the key to make it better”. People always perceive that mental health is a hoax whereas in reality, it is a significant bane that thrives to destroy lives and it is bolstered by our ignorance.
In the recent Shah Rukh Khan movie “Dear Zindagi”, we see the perfect example of how mental turmoil tends to affect one’s life and how imperative it is to deal with it.
2. Do you feel that taboos with mental health is more in small towns?
There is no certainty with which this question can be answered as there are more than one variables that come into play. In small towns where the education and exposure to ideas of mental health is significantly lower as compared to huge metropolitan and where many of the long prevalent taboos still persist, the conditions is well created for this taboo to thrive. However, due to the constant fight for subsistence, the person is deprived of even the most basic time to think about himself. While in cities a person has abundance of time to go over his mental status and therefore if they do feel themselves hitting rock bottom, they are aware of their status. Here in, lies the main difference between the two scenarios.
3. What is your views about mental health?
I believe that we should be as concerned for our mental health as we are about our physical health. The key to a healthy body is a healthy mind. And the way to always sustain a healthy mind is by being happy. Being happy does not require completing colossal task but performing simple activities like listening to music, talking to friends or watching Friends makes one happy often.
4. Is there any memorable incident which you would like to share about this initiative you have taken?
The most memorable incident would be the time I got the idea of starting my own NGO. I used to organize a lot of events and when I came home one night extremely exhausted and I thought to myself, “Is this what I want to do my entire life? Do I want to spend my time and energy on this? Would I like to belong to something bigger?” and that was when it struck me that I should combine my two passions, my organizing ability and my wish to spread positive vibes.
5. Who was the biggest support of you behind this idea?
My family and my team are my biggest supporter and my greatest inspiration for this initiative. Everyone in my family is a government official and when I decided to diverge from this trend. They provide me with the emotional support and backing which is imperative for me to undertake this journey on this long path. My teammates also never cease to amaze me with their understanding and hardwork.
6. Did you ever feel apprehensive when you started this idea? And what pushed you to start this project?
When I began this NGO I had slight hints of anxiety and apprehension as I was begging a new phase in my life. But since I knew what it meant to me, my apprehension dissipated. I knew what I had to do and so I set my sight on my goal with firm conviction. I have always believed that true conviction comes when there is clarity and no hesitation. As I had spoken earlier the idea came to me one night and that was when I decided to start this initiative. But an idea is just an idea if it is lacks execution and the dedication to materialize it and I work with this thought in my mind everyday which motivates me to work hard.
7. Your experience as an entrepreneur?
My experience as an entrepreneur has acted as a learning curve in my life. It has taught me so much that it is hard to describe it all. I learnt how I am supposed to deal with people, arrange various resources and I also got an opportunity to elevate my existing skills. But the greatest thing that I learnt is that it is the people that you work with that can make or break any organization. When people are motivated, they feel the urge to go one step beyond what is asked of them. But when it is the contrary, the results are never satisfactory. I find it as a great blessings, so far all the people I have worked with, feel motivated and passionate about our initiative.
8. Do you follow any mantra while you deal with your entrepreneurial work?
“Constraints in life only exist when you yourself believe, they are there, you take it out of the equation and you end up as free as a bird with the potential to reach your zenith”. I am an ardent believer of this and so I follow it as my mantra.
9. What are the goals of your project and how important it is for you personally?
We have a few short term and long term goals decided, within the next year I see us reaching out to and helping as much as 40 million people worldwide. The long term goal is to make it a worldwide phenomenon and reaching the UN to create more awareness about the issue. They are of very great significance to me as the accomplishment of these goals would signify whether we are on track or not.
Happy Globe Vision Foundation Facebook page