Your Turn Now

Rushabh Turakhia founded a powerful movement called Your Turn Now, on the foundation of a simple everyday hack for life: Kindness. Facilitated through the exchange of The Little Blue Card, which is a happy tool that is passed on from one kind person to another to remind them to pass on a kind act, Your Turn Now helps facilitate connections that bind people from all walks of life across the world. This movement has now spread to about 45 countries and more than half a million blue cards are in circulation. Here is an interview with Rushabh on his beautiful journey so far.

Let’s start right at the top. What brought you into the work that you do today? 
As a child have enjoyed reading books, especially those revolving around morals and values. My family often shared stories, great noble deeds as well as about my grandfather being a philanthropist. Talking about work, I am a diamond merchant with an MBA degree in marketing which has facilitated me to spread this movement by reaching out to different people right from the young to the old.
 An author at heart, which led to publishing my first book ‘Knock Knock, are you listening’. A book based on my personal interpretation of real life experiences and my learning’s from different people. I am also a life coach and a counselor. My coaching sessions mainly revolve around compassion and relationships and it was during this process where I keenly observed the absence of compassion, tolerance and kindness. Thus began the YOUR TURN NOW movement.
How did your kindness project come about?
Being an author, I have closely watched people, their choices, way of life etc. When I reflected back on my values, stories that I heard as a child, I somewhere felt the need to put certain practices into place, most importantly compassion and kindness.
Then came the movie ‘Pay it Forward’. After watching the same I reflected on the idea and the message it conveyed. The thought of passing on kind acts by creating a chain, what a brilliant idea I thought  to myself, which then became the turning point and the connect for me to start the Your Turn Now movement. After careful thought and consideration I decided to start the kindness movement in December 2009.
When you began, without resources that were accessible and within reach, it must have been a huge task to take on. How did you go about working on your goals?
I was my only resource. The biggest challenge was to reach out to people single handedly all across the globe. So, I started one step at a time. Decided upon a goal to distribute 5000 YTN cards in one year. However, with the kind support of various individuals I distributed 25000 cards across 9 countries in the very first year itself.
Thanks to social media (Facebook) which provided a platform to enable me reach out to a larger community all across the globe. A special mention about my friends and family who supported me, moreover a big thank you to people who joined the movement and took it forward. I started doing Kindness workshops and gave talks on the YTN movement at schools, colleges, corporate, clubs, NGOs, etc which once again served as a platform to reach out to different people and diverse age groups.
Being a kindness ambassador and choosing to be vocal about it may also sometimes be greeted with resistance, trolling, and even hate. How have you dealt with any and all pushback you've faced?
Coming from a background belonging to a business family, I did face a lot of resistance, as I was at that age where boys were expected to take over the family business and focus on ‘earning than giving’. I was thus told, this is not the right thing to do even by my close friends. However, it was my strong belief in the movement, that helped me overcome all challenges and I chose to be KIND rather than being right.
So anything that becomes popular, you have people who criticize, get envious, however then they are only the ones who eventually admire and respect the same. I have thankfully experienced no trolling or hatred, but I did come across a lot of people who did every possible thing to hamper the movement, disapprove of me. Today, though, they are the ones who are supporting and appreciating the movement.
On the positive side, could you share memorable anecdotes / moments in your journey so far?
For me every kind act that I hear about is a special moment and there have been endless moments of joy and happiness listening to stories of kindness and compassion specially those performed by young children, as they I truly believe that are the ones who will make the next generation a kinder lot.  However, something close to my heart and indeed memorable is the kindness video which I created by performing 40 acts of kindness involving my friends and family as part of my 40th birthday celebrations.

While conducting kindness workshops, I always showed kindness videos of the west. Thus came the thought of creating a personalized video showcasing simple yet impactful kindness acts which indeed went viral. The responses received by different individuals having watched the video were heartwarming and indeed created some fond memories. And the best from it was that so many people emulated the same which further gives me strength and motivates me to spread kindness.

One of the most noteworthy and moving dimensions of your work is its unconditionality. Could you talk a bit about that?
Unconditionality is the USP, however the movement comes with the only “condition” that the receiver of the Kindness act has to take it forward and continue the kindness chain. This is my goal. When a kind act is conferred just a Thank you or a box of chocolates in return is not sufficient as the positive energy ends and doesn’t move forward.
The blue card says ‘Your Turn Now’, which is representative of the movement. More than half a million cards spread across 45 counties have been distributed honorary thus no conditions apply. As for inclusion, my dream and goal is to have kindness embedded in the school and college curriculum as well as company policies. In a nutshell, kindness in essence is always inclusive. It's an all encompassing virtue which never differentiates. So I feel talking about kindness automatically encapsulates inclusion and representation.

As a one member team, you do the kind of work one may say a good many more hands would need to get together to create and implement. How do you keep your self-care on track, and cope with the demands that such emotional labour evokes?
 The Your Turn Now books have been my team to spread the movement where I physically couldn’t reach. Schools / colleges various organizations etc also partnered with me to spread the same and I am truly grateful. Having continued support I am always in high spirits, motivated and encouraged which automatically leads to a happier me.
I balance my work and kindness movement initiatives ensuring both are given due time and respect. I am principled and follow a health routine, and make no compromises with my health. And after all kindness begins with first being kind to oneself, taking care of oneself.

Anyone who would like to to avail  of YOUR TURN NOW cards to spread Kindness or would like  to conduct  a Kindness Workshop, please call/text on +919029602897 or email at
Connect with Rushabh at: 

Twitter : @yourturnnow_in