A Dyslexic by birth and a Dreamer by Choice , he’s often addressed as ‘The Madman’- Swapnil manifests the name to its core. Starting up in his early twenties post a coveted career at RBI, his Journey throughout has been the core of his Inspiration. His work has spanned poverty alleviation, opportunity creation, exploring and saving endangered civilizations in the Naxal Jungles of India through his venture Naked Colours. (estd. 2011). He now spins his learning from footpaths, gruelling jungles, kidnappings and empty bank accounts into a unique behavioural psychology based module called Livemad. His sessions have helped spread Hope among people with suicidal tendencies, depression, abuse and rape victims, sex trade workers and children with special abilities.
Inspired by the power to create, he has innovated with products ranging from contraceptives to mattresses, that heal! With 8 patents in process in the areas of Women Safety, Marketing Information dissemination, physiological efficiency, and concepts based on universal ratio. ‘Invention for Change’ remains his vision and has helped beget Joy in more than 35 regions across underdeveloped and developing economies of the World. As a vow to provide safety and honour to our Women, he developed World’s cheapest self defense device, Shakti, a unique whistle dagger that can be worn as a bracelet. The device accentuates the power to fight back and lets women defend for themselves. The idea is currently open for funding and support.
Swapnil, with his venture Naked Colours is a case study at Newcastle University (NCU) and LBS (U.K.), University of Tampa, Florida. HBR and IISc Bangalore. At the age of 25, Swapnil’s became the Youngest Social Entrepreneurship enterprise to be featured in Forbes Magazine (International). ‘Indian Express’, ‘The Better India’ magazine and Himalaya Foundation Award recently featured his Life story.
A freethinker, and a devotee of Creation, Swapnil loves to create and is in the process of developing a 700 syllable rich language and its lexicon. Three books based on the inspiration he derives from the one Life we all have, are en route to find their way into bookshelves and hearts, soon.
His Life story is soon to be portrayed in a feature film, as well.
He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The MadMan of Hope with Swapnil Tewari #isharehope Episode 74
Summary: Swapnil’s answer to the five questions! Listen to the full conversation on the player above; also available on iTunes and Stitcher.
Question 1: How do you define hope or what is your favorite quote about hope?
Hope is not an emotion. Hope is never an emotion. Hope is a stimulus just like you are breathing right now and I am breathing. We are thousands of miles far away, but we are connected. We keep the spark and then go forward. We decide how every cell will work on the body. You keep that cell in confinement and it will find its own way back.
Hope is an energy, it is a stimulus which is ingrained in each cell, each molecule, each item of our body. What we need to really believe in is not hope, but in the belief that our system, our spirit – that the whole purpose of our life is ingrained. It is the genetic code of our whole existence. If it was not there we would have been a long lost race.
Question 2: Who has shared the most hope with you?
In the smallest of things I find inspiration. I go into the nitty-gritty of things. I love reading people. I love going inside their thoughts. Whenever that happens I go inside mine as well. You may find an old hag crossing the road and in the same thing the perception maybe that there is a mother who is taking food for their ailing children. I derive inspiration from them.
I believe that I have to derive my inspirations not from these scriptures or these philosophies. I would rather inspire myself from the nature around me, from love.
Question 3: How have you used hope to make it through a difficult time in your life?
When I was a child, I was very pampered, my father doted on me. I had a princely life and then I lost him in an accident. I was 12. I would look at the ceiling fan and it’s going round and round and I’m thinking, why is this fan moving? Those were the kinds of questions that were going inside my head. I fell into an insomnia and I couldn’t sleep for days.
At that moment, something magical happened. I took my mother’s pills and decided to end my life. As soon as I took them on my hand, just before that particular act I just thought: why is my lung still working? Why is my heart still beating? Why is my whole body functioning right now if my body wants to die? See, your brain may be controlling all the organs on your body, but it’s not the master of the body. It is only a controller. So I thought, each cell, each item of our body wants to live for another moment, but why is that? So I thought this is not the moment. That moment may be later on. At that moment I just stopped that and I went outside. I looked at that sky and magic happened.
I still do this. I look at the sky and start speaking in a very strange language. I do not know what I speak. There was a lot of magic happening. That was the moment I realized that the biggest inspiration does not come from the outside – it comes from the inside.
I was turning into somebody with a light on himself. So, I did my education and in 2010 I completed my MBA and I got into the Federal Reserve or Reserve Bank of India. It is a very good job here in India and seven months into the job I lost it, I did not want to work and then I started my venture, Naked Colours. Naked Colours was into exploring and identifying tribes that are endangered or almost extinct. These are civilizations that date back thousands of years. I decided to explore these jungles which are inhabited by these rebel groups. Because of their socioeconomic problems, their development is cut off so I would go inside and develop self-help groups, small sustainable business models for them to develop their arts and culture. Then I can connect them to the modern world, money and development ideas. This was the idea.
I discontinued Naked Colours in 2013 after my kidnapping. Everything, I’ve lost and things have been bad. When I was at gunpoint, I was learning what belief is all about, so those were the moments that I was learning all of this. I started teaching this to people who would need hope in their lives. I believe in sharing this particular knowledge with people so I started this program with the sex workers in Delhi. I started this program with them, counseled them and I started a beautiful venture with them. We had this program where they’d make incense sticks and that would be sold in the nearby areas. Through that, 65 women got a lot of opportunity to earn. They were earning 6000-7000 Rupees per month with that and because of that money, the customer count per mate came down from 18 to 6-7.
On 12th June of last year, I was just outside this place where I had ended my session. It was 10:00 at night and I was with a helmet and I was on a bike and suddenly there’s this guy that comes and hits me. I fly off like 20 feet. I was taken to the hospital by these women, scantily clad women, 25 of them. The guard said “who are you? We won’t let you in.” These women said “He’s our brother and if you won’t let us, we will lie naked here.” From that moment I had to live with panic attacks and anxiety so I used to write a poem on it. I have written a poem called “Vacuum”. There’s been a lot of times when I’ve had issues in my life, but then there is this one mad feeling inside. It’s name is Live Mad.
This madness tells me whatever, if, maybe always glorify your death. So, I am not working for my life. I’m working for my death actually. I want a very beautiful death. You lose yourself, you expend yourself, you do something great and then you die.
Question 4: How are you sharing hope today?
I take these sessions, Live Mad. It’s a psychology-based session in which I talk to people and I do social experiments. I do something called sleep hypnosis where people will go inside, see their apprehensions and then come back and heal themselves. People are living a mediocre life and that is what I won’t want. I want them to expend their lives into something which is great – fulfill their gifts because we all are gifted. Whatever I derive from my sessions, I use on my social projects.
I have another social project called Shakti. It’s a woman safety device. It is like a whistle. You know the work condition in India, it’s very unsafe but we are still respectful of our women but then there are times and the evolution of the human mind…so because of that a lot of women feel scared, but I believe they have the power in their own hands.
Question 5: How should I (the listener) begin to grow in hope or share hope today?
(1) Share love in whatever manner.
(2) Bring joy as much as you can.