It was a dusty day of April 2002 when I started off from Bhopal for Sironj in Vidisha district of Madhya Pradesh, where I had been recruited by PRADAN (A Delhi based National NGO working for upliftment of Poor in 7 states of India) to work as an Executive. I had just passed out from IIFM, Bhopal after completing my PGDFM from there in March. It was on day minus one of the placements in IIFM that I got through for PRADAN. (PRADAN came for recruitment a day earlier than scheduled). I was keen on joining a grassroots NGO because firstly I wanted some good first hand experience of working with the community directly and then I used to feel indebted due to the money that the government spent over me while in IIFM. I had imagined that it would be a well to do place. After all, it was only 120 kms. from Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh. Vidisha is also connected by train but I had seen in the map that Sironj is somewhat away from the railway line.
As we started off from Berasia bus stand in Bhopal, on a bus labeled Non-stop, I was full of excitement. After all, it was my first job that I was going to join! I had so many visualizations about the place. I always used to imagine a one storied building, on the side of a highway (like PRADAN Office in Kesla is) and I used to think that it would be like a flat (like the Office of Amhi Amachya Arogyasathi-an NGO in Garhchirolli, Maharshtra where I had visited before). I kept thinking about the work that I would do, and kept thinking about how I would use the studies that I had carried out in IIFM.