Seema Sharma Diwan & Her journey Began….
She born and brought up in Udaipur Rajasthan. Education – attained post-graduation degrees in Library Science, Sociology and Psychology and worked as a hostel warden and librarian across many various residential and non-residential schools and colleges.
She married and blessed with 2 daughters.
Being a hostel warden worked and interacted with the age group of 11-18, or the so called ‘problematic-teenaged-group’. She found that the child who is declared problematic child in school, that child is very much open and comfortable with her and if given responsibility they prove themselves worth.
She started realizing her ability and took it seriously. She wanted to know about herself and about why others found solace in talking to her. In order to do so, she started reading books on human behaviour.
It was interesting to know why people behaved in a certain manner, different from others, and in order to understand it in a more detail and systematic manner, she took her post-graduation course in Psychology.
Soon after this, she took up a short course and started counselling in Samadhana Counselling Centre in Bengalure, Karnataka run by Dr. CR Chandrashekhar, Senior Psychiatrist, NIMHANS.
The Turning Point
The turning point in her life came in when her elder daughter had to carry out a survey as a part of her school’s Psychology assignment. She wanted daughter to carry out the study in a safe and secure place and so they selected the Government Children’s Home (Girls) in Bengalure for the same.
Once she had visited the place, she wasn’t at peace with her mind. She started a donation campaign in the apartment they lived in and after collecting a considerable amount of clothing to donate, went back and distributed the clothes in the institute. This is when she leant about several other institutes run by the government in the same vicinity for boys, women, mentally challenged persons, children in the age-group of 0 to 6 and so on…
She saw children holding onto the bars that held them back; a blank face stared right at her. There was no trace of any expression, just a blank expression which pricked her. It made a silent appeal to her which made her restless. She does not know who the child was; maybe just another face in the crowd…
She was struggling silently, trying to come at terms with the reality when her daughter started sharing the symptoms of some children who were suffering from depression. ‘Ma (Mom)’ she said, ‘these children are in a need of sincere support. They need to be noticed!’ She told her that she felt the same. ‘What is the use of your entire knowledge if you cannot help someone with it?’ she said with anger. But she knew that it wasn’t anger, but pain.
She gathered up courage and met the superintendents of the boys’ and girls’ homes, completed the formalities and started working as a volunteer counsellor.
Beginning of Talaash
By now, she is a counsellor in the Government Children’s Home (Boys and Girls) and a volunteer at NIMHANS, Bangalore when one of her friends labeled her ‘Nimteer’. When she asked him what it meant, he replied in a simple manner, ‘NIMHANS + Volunteer+ Counsellor = Nimteer!’
That day, he gave her a spark, and made think. What is she working in a scattered manner at different institutions, not recognizing the total impact her combined efforts could make in one place at a time? This label of Nimteer was a brainchild of her friend sown into her mind. She conceived the idea with ease. It took her a while to prepare herself and she finally came up with the idea of Talaash. Talaash came into existence to bring together the skills of all the individuals in order to support each needy child and woman. Thus “Talaash Association” began toward changing survivors’ life.
She has been completed more than 500 repatriations at an interstate, intrastate and to international level. She needs more sources of funds; equipment and resources for bring change in survivor’s life; and income generating ideas for the women. She needs information and training for Talaash’s staff on working with distressed women and children, and would like to visit shelters in other countries to learn about their experiences.