The Psychology department at Lady Shri Ram College’s students were a part of Project Disha last year- and expanding upon their tele-counselling experiences, is a part of Medhavi Foundation this year. The Medhavi Foundation was founded by Ayush Bansal who pioneered Project Disha that aims to impact 5 lakh underprivileged students.
We decided to interview Ms. Neelam Wadhwani, who is directing Medhavi Foundation’s project of empowering underprivileged students through standardized assessment, training and psychological intervention. She trains undergraduate students in rational emotive therapy to address exam stress-related problems of government school students, profoundly contributing in spreading the benefits of mental health to the most vulnerable, less privileged section of the Indian youth.
Ms. Neelam Wadhwani: The Medhavi Foundation is working for the rights of children who come from marginalised sections of society. These kids have dreams just like the children from privileged backgrounds, but they don’t have the knowledge or means to realize these dreams. What we do is provide them with the direction, guidance, or even resources which they can’t afford to buy. The children receive any information regarding career that they desire.
Devika Gupta: What career path did you follow after graduation?
Ms. Neelam Wadhwani: I have worked in the field of Psychology, both in Corporate and Educational sector. I did my Post Graduation in Applied Psychology from Jamia Millia Islamia. After that, I worked with Educomp where I received hands-on experience in developing & assessing Psychometric tools on candidates in key areas like aptitude, personality, interest, emotional abilities, and cultural values. I have served as a lecturer of Organizational Development for the Master Program for IGNOU; and freelance by providing training and workshops in fields related to career and the workplace. Presently, I am working on a project funded by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) entitled Psychological Capital & Employee performance exploration in Positive Psychology at the work place. I am also in the data collection phase of my PhD on Career planning processes of the Youth.
Devika Gupta: What is it like to be a woman in the field of psychology?
Ms. Neelam Wadhwani: Any person who comes from a non-psychology background associates a ‘wow’ factor with my profession. That feels pretty good, and never fails to motivate me to strive to delve even deeper into the field. However, one thing that I have noticed is that people find it very difficult to introspect. They cannot analyse their feelings too well. At the same time, everyone who has done psychology is simply able to understand, and analyse themselves better. Another thing about women in the field of psychology is that they are more empathetic than men. Men in this field have a very different perspective and women are simply able to react better!
Devika Gupta: Any message for our readers?
Ms. Neelam Wadhwani: It’s very important to work hard- right from the beginning. When I say work, I mean go into the field, observe how psychologists function. This will help you understand what you want to- whether you want to pursue psychology, or not. The important thing is to get any and all the exposure that you can.