An interview with Shreya Padhi, the youngest member of the TOS
Allow us to introduce Shreya Padhi, a lovely young girl called Sasha by her family and friends. Sasha attended the international TS convention at Adyar in Chennai, India in December 2014 with her grandparents, Mr Dhirendra Nath Padhi and Dr Deepa Padhi, President of the TOS Odisha Region and the TOS Mahabharat Group. Sasha, whose bright smile is a service in itself, has the distinction of being the youngest member of the TOS. Enjoy this short interview with her.
Question: What is your name?
Answer: My good [given] name is Shreya Padhi, but most people know me as Sasha.
Q: What is your age?
A: I am 11+.
Q: In which class are you?
A: I am in standard VI.
Q: Do you know what the letters TOS stand for?
A: Yes, I do. It is Theosophical Order of Service.
Q: Do you know anything about this organisation?
A: It is an international spiritual and charitable organisation started by Annie Besant in 1908.
Q: Do you know the objective of this organisation?
A: Yes. The objective is to lessen the sufferings of human and non-human beings.
Q: Why do you want to join the TOS?
A: I like to help people who are less fortunate than me and those who are in distress. I believe TOS will give me opportunities to serve.
Q: Who introduced you to the TOS?
A: My grandmother, Dr Deepa Padhi, introduced me to this organisation. I am a third generation TOS member. My mother is also a life member of TOS Mahabharat Group.
Q: Had you ever done any voluntary service before joining the TOS?
A: Yes, on December 22, 2014, I went with my grandmother and other members of TOS Mahabharat group to Shradhalaya, an orphanage for girls at Cuttack, and donated hairbands and jewelleries to the little girls. They are so cute and joyful. We spent some time there and had dinner with them. On December 24, 2014, TOS Mahabharat group, Odisha Region organised a health check-up camp in Mission Ashra, a home for distressed women and children. It was from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. I acted as a volunteer helping the women to the different doctors for check-ups. I also helped the members distribute shawls to the women. My grandmother used to say that when I was five I used to help the TOS members in making food packets for the flood relief work. I have only faint memories of that.
Q: Do you know where the International TOS headquarters are?
A: Yes. At Adyar in Chennai.
Q: Have you attended any major functions of the TOS?
A: Yes, on December 25, 2014, I had the opportunity to attend the international Theosophical convention at Adyar with my grandparents. There were TOS programmes also. There I could meet the TOS International President, Mr Tim Boyd, his wife, Mrs Lily Boyd and their daughter Angelique. I also met TOS International Secretary, Mrs Nancy Secrest and Ms Diana.
Q: What were your experiences there?
A: I liked Adyar very much. I stayed with my grandparents in the Leadbeater building. It was as if we were in the midst of a forest.
The surrounding was very beautiful and peaceful. There are worship places of different religions. I liked the Buddhist temple. I attended all the lectures, but sometimes I felt bored as I could not understand most of the speeches. I had gone to the TOS Social Welfare Centre with Ms Diana where children performed a cultural programme. That was very enjoyable. I enjoyed the company of Ms Diana and Ms Nancy. That was a very good exposure for me.
Q: By the way, where do you stay?
A: My mother, Ranee Padhi and I used to stay in Hyderabad, India. As my mother got posted in San Ramon, California, US, I joined her there in March 2015.
Q: How can you do TOS work staying far away from Odisha?
A: Helping others in need is TOS work, and I can do that wherever I am. But I really want to do something for the children of the orphanage in Odisha. What Iíll do I cannot say now.
Thank you to Sasha and her grandmother for allowing us to print this interview. We expect great things from Sasha. She is certainly being given good examples to follow.
The Theosophical Society rules permit persons as young as ten years of age to join the Society with the permission of a parent or guardian, and the TOS follows suit.