What is ProjectFuel?
Project Fuel, founded in 2009 by Deepak Ramola, is an initiative that aims to collect life lessons from people of all ages and backgrounds around the world. The organization conducts life skills workshops for students, private institutions, and the differently abled. These workshops communicate each life lesson through theater, spoken word poetry, storytelling, communicative expression, and creative writing. Workshops range in duration from 4 hour sessions to weeklong programs.
Project Fuel has taught over 40,000 people in India and has recently expanded to Afghanistan. Currently, the program is developing a weekly blog of life lessons from the program as well as an app that publishes the lessons and allows users to submit their own.
How a Lesson from his mother, led him to teach over 50,000!
It was this moment which prompted Deepak to go out and ask everyone what lessons they had learnt from life. He started maintaining a diary with all these life lessons. And every time he was faced with a difficulty, he would figure out some of the lessons written in his notebook to help him out.
Deepak converts these lessons to different activities which are in turn used in workshops to impart life skills to people.
Though it is easier to print a book with all the life lessons, Deepak says it will not serve the purpose. So he takes a life lesson and converts it into an activity like theatre, poetry, creative writing or any performance art.
“For example a basic life lesson – Be patient, though you can teach patience through meditation. The demographic which I deal with cannot focus on meditation in a class of four hours. It would be difficult to making them sit when they are bubbling with excitement and enthusiasm. So you turn it into a game.” Deepak quips.
Deepak conducts all his workshops for free. However he has other ways to finance this passion. Coming from Dehradun, Deepak pursued a course in National School of Drama. And this led to his acting journey. During his graduation in Mumbai, Deepak got an offer to act in the film ‘isi life mein’. He has also played a cameo with Salman Khan in the movie ‘Bodyguard’ and last year he appeared in the TV serial ‘Sasural simar ka’.
Deepak’s 8 Jobs!
Deepak says he is infamous as the ‘guy with eight jobs’. He acts in documentary films and television. He claims to be writing songs for 11 films, with his first one “Manjhi” which released recently. Apart from this he also consults landmark films as an executive producer and is working as a script analyst. He is also writing scripts for two Bollywood films.
So far Deepak has taught over 50,000 people through his workshops and has conducted workshops for people from all walks of life.
Pained This Village With Stories!
If there’s one thing grandparents are great at (besides ensuring we leave their house a whole kg or two heavier), it’s weaving tales. Some run amok with adventures beyond our imagination, right from India’s partition days to fighting laws we can’t even morally comprehend today, and most importantly—the age old wisdom that comes with each story. They’re a treasure trove of knowledge, simply waiting to be tapped into. Think about it. How often have you begun a new beauty regime (activated charcoal, anyone?) and simply seen your grandmother roll her eyes whilst grumbling about how you never listen to her when she tells you to do these things? Or perhaps when you’ve complained of an ailment, only to have them concoct the most wondrous herbal mixture to solve every problem? Most of their knowledge comes from their time before the commercial wave hit us all, wedging a gap between the rural lifestyle and ours.