In the continuation of Vikash's journey, his involvement with Tzu Chi transforms him, earning admiration from his family. His newfound understanding of compassion and communication reshapes his relationships and aspirations.

Sowing Seeds of Goodness

Vikash recalls meeting Tzu Chi on March 20, 2023, during a visit by Brother Sio to his village. It was a chance encounter. When Tzu Chi volunteers from Singapore and Malaysia visited Bodh Gaya, they visited many of the impoverished villages in the area. On that day, the team arrived at Bakraur village, where Vikash met Kee-Hong Sio, the Deputy CEO of Tzu Chi Malaysia.

"Your English is very good. We need volunteers who can speak English to help us communicate. Can you join us?" The volunteer team needed local English speakers to act as translators to better understand the villagers' difficulties and needs. After interacting with Vikash, Sio invited him to join the team, and Vikash immediately agreed.

For the Buddha Bathing ceremony on May 12, Vikash helped with audio control. He meticulously reviewed the program before the event started to ensure everything would go perfectly. | Photo courtesy of Wen-Ying Chung

Vikash volunteered for a month and a half, but due to his family's financial situation, he had to find a job. Like many local youths, he needs to support his family. To address the language barrier, the volunteer team later discussed and decided to recruit volunteers through the cash-for-work program and Vikash was one of the recruits.

On July 2, Vikash joined the Tzu Chi Foundation team to work with the charity team to promote the spirit of the "Bamboo Bank Era" in Bodh Gaya and its surrounding rural areas.

Five months later, the team recognized Vikash's skills in translation and editing and assigned him to translate some books into Hindi. At first, he didn't understand the significance of this work. But after senior volunteers Kee-Hong Sio and Raymond Kua explained that translating and adding Hindi subtitles would help villagers understand Master Cheng Yen's teachings and spirit, he realized he was sowing seeds of goodness. This motivated him to continue working diligently on this task.

Family Witnesses Vikash's Transformation

Vikash’s uncle, Jhuln notes the changes and growth he’s seen in Vikash since joining Tzu Chi. Jhuln described how Vikash has a deeper understanding of humanity now. When Vikash encounters suffering, his heart opens, and he knows how to help others. His wisdom has also increased.

Now, when Vikash (fourth from the right) returns home, he talks to his family about what he did each day, helping them understand his work with Tzu Chi. His family's relationships have also improved due to his positive changes. | Photo courtesy of Wen-Ying Chung

Jhuln proudly showed a book he often reads, A Steady Heart and Steady Practice, an English version of Master Cheng Yen's teachings. Jhuln shares that, any people read and memorize teachings, but if you don't apply it in daily life, it's not helpful. This book was a gift from Kee-Hong Sio during his first visit, and Jhuln not only reads it but also applies its teachings in his daily life.

Jhuln notices that Vikash has become more responsible and is happy to see him thrive in Tzu Chi. He hopes Vikash will continue to excel and serve the people and the community alongside Tzu Chi volunteers.

"Now he respects everyone at home and is filled with love. He's growing bit by bit," says Vikash's mother, Sushma Devi, who feels the change in him. When Vikash returns home, he shares his day with the family to share the joy of his work in Tzu Chi.

Vikash has noticed two significant changes in himself. First, before joining Tzu Chi, he often argued with his parents and would speak harshly to them. But after joining Tzu Chi, his mindset changed. "Being with Tzu Chi, I learned how to respect people and communicate better." Second, Vikash used to lose his temper easily, but after joining Tzu Chi, he learned to be patient and control himself. He reflects, "If I can control my thoughts, I can become a better person."

Every afternoon at 1:30, the Master Cheng Yen’s program "Life Wisdom" is broadcast on DaAi TV. Despite being only 12 minutes long, its teachings can be incredibly beneficial if absorbed. Vikash has learned from Master Cheng Yen to seize every opportunity and put his heart into everything he does, believing that these actions will transform him.

Vikash's greatest wish is to share his thoughts with Master Cheng Yen in Chinese, believing it will help him better understand her teachings. This wish will come true in July when he travels to Taiwan to learn Chinese. This will enable him to comprehend Master Cheng Yen's teachings more deeply and bring them back to his homeland, the birthplace of Buddhism.