By Naina Sharma,

Service is all about helping other people, and being aware that there are always other people who aren’t as privileged as you. it’s about giving help to the people who need it. We have to do good for our community, our country, and our world. In Ascend, many students are doing service, with anti-bullying campaigns, self-love, LGBTQ+, and so much more! Recently, our head of MYP, Mr. Sakhar, has put together a service project with two other schools. Students from Shastri Nagar MPS, Vikhroli Park School, and lastly, our very own Ascend International School, have been working together to help communities in Kalina learn about personal hygiene, and waste management. We went into the community and implemented solution Mr. Sakhar was interviewed on this project, for us to understand his views and comments.

What does service mean to you?

“For me, service means, not being self-centered, it means thinking of other people more than I think of myself, in many ways. That’s important because you have to lose your ego when you perform service because you’re trying to help other people. So service, above anything else is helping others, rather than being self-centered.”

Do you think service is important? Why?

“I think it’s extremely important, because I think we live in a world of ego, and it helps us understand that we are not the centre of the universe. It’s also important because if it’s genuine, it means helping people help themselves, which to me is the most important thing about service. So yes, it’s extremely important on various different levels.”

What are your expectations and goals for the inter-school service project?

“This project is important on so many different levels, I want these kids to do good for others and each other, and I think it really hits the central point of service, I want the students from each of the schools to connect with other kids, with people with different backgrounds, expectations, assumptions, beliefs, that will help the kids develop their interpersonal skills. Even though all the Ascend kids come from some sort of privileged backgrounds, and it helps them understand the other school kid’s perspectives, and they will understand reality.

What service projects have you worked on in the past?

“I have been working on service projects since 1986. When I first started in Nepal, between my military service and my undergraduate year, and I worked with an NGO for a year there, I taught different subjects to the children there. There’s probably no country in Southeast Asia that I have not performed service in.”

Why do you think our school needs service?

In middle school particularly, research has shown that service is extremely important because it helps kids know that they are not the only people in the world. It will help middle schoolers evolve themselves when it comes to mindsets, and it allows people to move beyond just a sense of who they are, we grow because of it.

How do you know you’re helping people?

“You know you’re helping people when you do it continuously, with the same people. I often tend to think of service as something you accomplish over time, and with hard work, and care. As you continue to work with people, you see a change in their behaviour and feel a change in your behaviour.”

In conclusion, service is an important opportunity to expand interaction, thinking skills, and many other traits. During the process, we understand other’s views and perspectives, to better ourselves. Service is helping people benefit themselves or others, and never expecting anything back. We need to forget that we are the only people in the world, lose our ego, and all come together as one.

Naina Sharma is a eighth grader at Ascend International School. Some of her passions include, singing, writing, and fashion. She is dedicated to her work, and likes to be organised, and have nothing out of place. She loves to learn and try new things. In her free time, you would probably find her engrossed in a new book she picked up at the library. She writes for the Ascent because she wants to voice her opinion on a larger scale.