Power of ONE: An artist in the making

"We should try to focus on small goals in our daily life and do small things," Bibek says.



Bibek, a grade-11 student in Kolkata, India, loves school and finds most enjoyment in his math, physics and English classes.

He also likes the arts. You can often find him painting landscapes or sketching scenes from daily life. “Poverty moves me, and a lot of my drawings reflect laborers: men with sacks on their backs, woodcutters or small children under the burden of some heavy load,” he explains.

Read on to learn more about this insightful 15-year-old and find out how being a part of CI has changed his life.

Q: What are your dreams for the future?

I am looking to become an automobile designer — but I know it is an expensive course, and I may not be able to pursue it. So maybe I will join art school and get a degree in painting. Or I may also study architecture. Actually, both of the courses are art-based, so I would love to pursue either one, depending on the costs involved.

Q: How have you been involved with CI?

I have been an active youth since the time I was inducted into the Youth Council. I was a leader and was part of the peer-educator trainings.

Q: What has been your favorite CI experience?

The leadership training in 2012 was a great memory for me. I developed speaking skills, learned teamwork and, most importantly, learned new communication skills. My personal development in arts and crafts was also greatly enhanced through the Social and Financial Development workshops and trainings. Taking part in drama performances for community events were also great moments for me.

Q: In what surprising way has being involved with CI changed your life?

My ability to speak with others, especially my friends, and problem-solving — both of which I picked up from the leadership trainings. Many of my friends now come to me for help solving problems, and one special method I use is role-reversal. It is only when we put ourselves in the shoes of others that we are able to understand their various difficulties and issues.

Bibek takes a selfie while sketching

“Whatever I see around me I paint and draw,” says 15-year-old Bibek.

Q: Is there anyone in your life you look up to?

Four people, actually, in order of influence:

  1. My father. He works a lot and very hard and provides food for us. No matter the circumstances, he gets food on the table and is able to look after us.
  2. My art teacher, Mr. Amar. The patience he has when he teaches and the ability he has to work with children is amazing.
  3. My friend, Sunny. Sunny always helps me understand class lessons. He simplifies the language and explains very well.
  4. My friend, Rajat. Rajat is so full of knowledge of the world around him. He knows the capitals of hundreds of countries, science answers and also names of political leaders I can't remember.

Q: What does the phrase "unleash the power of (every)ONE" mean to you?

Everyone has the mental ability to reach out to someone or something and make a positive or a negative difference in life. If we apply the right knowledge at the right time and for the right purpose, we may change the lives of people for the better.

If the same knowledge is applied for the wrong purpose and in the wrong place, then there will be a negative influence in people's lives. Take, for example, Osama Bin Laden and Mahatma Gandhi — two men with great abilities. One, with a destructive bent; the other gave his life for mankind.

We should try to focus on small goals in our daily life and do small things — the bigger picture will build itself. Walk the path and understand the strengths of yourself.

Inspired to make a difference? Speak up for kids in poverty now!

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