My love for books dates back to my childhood, but I never dreamed of becoming an author. In fact the thought of writing a book was completely foreign to me. Navigating the publishing industry was like trying to find my way in an alien world! I’m truly grateful to those, especially Zorba Books, who walked alongside me and helped me on my journey.
As the fascinating world of the Internet gained popularity (especially with the youth), I realized that our everyday dependence on it was growing at an unprecedented rate and we were all oblivious to its dark side! Parent and educators were finding it increasingly challenging to bridge the digital divide. The perils and dangers of the virtual world were soon becoming a significant worry.
I started offering a helping hand by guiding young netizens to be safe in cyberspace, but fitting in an interactive session (on ‘Internet Safety’) in their already jam-packed schedule was the real challenge. Organizing one such workshop in a reputed institution called for exchanging innumerable mails and sending reminders. When I started out, five years back, my workshops were sporadic.
As my interactions with young netizens gradually increased, I realized how naïve and vulnerable they were. During my hour long interaction with two hundred plus participants, I could only get to touch the tip of the iceberg. I started thinking of ways to deepen the message of cyber safety and make it more effective and long lasting. The urge to reach out to a wider audience was also growing within me.
Then I suddenly hit upon the idea of consolidating all those smart safety tips, which I had been reiterating for years, into an easy to read, interesting and concise book – Be Safe in Cyberspace came into being! That’s when the schools started to take my expertise seriously. Now a copy of my book on the Principal’s desk does the magic that innumerable e-mails failed to create. Reputed public schools in Delhi and NCR open their doors and welcomed me. I’m being recognized and honoured as an author and cyber safety consultant. Something I had never imagined even in my wildest dreams has become a reality.
And my biggest reward…my bonanza – I share shelf space (in school libraries) with my favourite writer, Ruskin Bond!
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