Power of positivity across borders in the time of pandemic
“I just have to do something,” is the first thing Youniverse Founder Tanya Bakshi told herself when the coronavirus crisis began to impact millions across the world.
Youniverse is an NGO, based in New Delhi, with a mission to better society. In partnership with Sanjeevan Sandhu, a wellbeing researcher, positivity coach, and author from Wales, the duo are facilitating a unique “Positivity Pandemic Programme” – a global movement focusing on practical positivity, optimism, and kindness all in a matter of 10 life changing days.
Launched on March 26 this year, the programme has seen people from all walks of life – entrepreneurs, students, and professionals – joining in from as far and wide as the US, UAE, and India.
It has proved such a success that UK-born Sanjeevan and Tanya from New Delhi are now stepping into their third season of bringing people closer to their best self in a time of uncertainty.
The Art of the Positivity
Understanding the importance of human connection as social creatures, Tanya, 22, and Sanjeevan 26, created the Positivity Pandemic Programme as a place not just for people to grow but to connect on a personal and emotional level.
“We are all social beings and sometimes all we want is a good support group,” reflects Tanya, who believes the true definition of social distancing is physical and not social.
Tanya and Sanjeevan work closely with participants on the programme, helping them be productive in a way that is nurturing.
“It is very easy to say, that we all want to be productive during this pandemic, but what has been a blessing is to create something that enables you to be productive during the day,” she explains.
One of the modules, “Championing Crisis”, explores how participants understand what is currently happening, and how they can respond to it. At the end of each module, an exercise or activity is set, and participants are encouraged to share their priorities and insight on the private Facebook group. By allowing people to express themselves, through these modules, Sanjeevan believes it is not just encouraging to see one another’s priorities for the day, but also offers a platform where people can share and embrace their insecurities about life or uncertainty about the pandemic.
“It is a place of no judgment but that of compassion and understanding,” he explains.
The power of accountability
For Tanya, the beauty of the programme is that after people go back to their routines, they are all still connected to their dreams and goals.
“They are not detaching themselves but are working on their passion and purpose again and again, because somehow in those 10 days, something registered in the mind to go above and beyond,” she notes.
With the impact of Covid-19 taking a toll on mental health, the Positivity Pandemic Programme consists of all the right resources to not just get through these trying times but also equip participants with the knowledge and confidence they need to prosper in the future.
“One of our previous participants, an NHS doctor from Scotland, has implemented some of the tools we gave him on a daily basis at work. For us that is great, because it shows the power of accountability,” says Sanjeevan.
Be the change you want to see
“When you find something more important than who you are, that’s when it hits. You realise you have an offering to give to the world and are obliged to bring that idea to life,” says Tanya, who founded Youniverse aged 19.
Youniverse has worked across educational sectors promoting positivity, persistence, passion, and purpose, giving children a curriculum that enhances their life and wellbeing skills.
Tanya and Sanjeevan want every person in the world leaving this pandemic to feel rejuvenated.
“There is no reason why every country cannot have a virtual programme like this,” says Tanya, whose goal is set for the United Nations next.
by Preeti Bali
*The next season of Positivity Pandemic Programme runs from June 1-10