Motivated by a teacher at school, Rajveer Jolly (12) wanted to inspire people to effect positive change in society. So he decided to undertake some random acts of kindness, record them, and challenge others to do the same. For example, when he saw a man begging at a traffic light, he decided to chat to him to find out why he was there. “I wasn’t sure if it was safe enough for me to interact with a stranger. But I realised he is a human just like anyone else,” he says. “When I spoke to him he was very kind-hearted and willing to share his story. I noticed he looked tired and exhausted from standing all day. I felt sorry for him and wanted to do something to make his day better.”
The man told Jolly that he didn’t go further than grade two because his father couldn’t pay his school fees due to an alcohol habit. He was therefore unemployable and forced to beg. Jolly gave the man some clothing and recorded this, as well as several other random acts of kindness, inspiring many of his peers and teachers at Curro Century City to do the same.
Jolly is a prefect at his school, where he has also won the Values award six times – for respect, appreciation, kindness, friendship, caring and honesty. For his random acts of kindness, he was picked as the April Western Cape Lead SA Youth Hero. While he feels honoured by the accolade, this is not his driving force, he says. “I started making videos to show others — not for glory, but because if they make someone else do something good, then great. I am honoured to be a Lead SA hero. But I don’t need to be, I love giving and making someone’s day better. I am a Sikh and this is part of what our religion says we should live by.” — Fatima Asmal