Making a difference…

by Sahadev Komaragiri

We returned to India to dedicate our lives to the cause of education. We hoped and continue to hope that we will be able to make a difference in the lives of school children. I promised my readers that I will document my efforts in this direction. I promised myself that I will document all my successes as well as failures. This new series of articles will reflect on my year long journey so far, as well as all our future efforts, on the path we chose.

Success stories are easy to publish, because it is easy to give credit to those who helped in the process. They are also very sweet to talk about and in the process inspire others to take up such activities. Failures on the other hand are more difficult to publish in public domain for the simple reason that they try to put blame on some individual or some process. Analyzing failures is not easy either, especially when using a public forum.

Other things to read…
School Library
– Starting One
– Managing One
– Helping One
Sports Department
– Starting One
– Managing One

While publishing these articles I have to maintain a balance between not being boastful and yet not shy away from stating the facts as I see them. This is a difficult task, but I will try.

When you are reading these articles, I know that it would be very difficult for you to not judge. You are very likely to judge people, situations and decisions. You are likely to think of your own ways of handling a given situation in a better way. I used to think the same way whenever I followed the stories of others who traversed along this path. But firsthand experience gave me a perspective that I did not have when I was in a position to judge but not act. I now understand how fickle our human mind is. We easily come up with a judgment and opinion of our own on almost anyone and any situation even if we have never walked in their shoes nor ever been in a similar situation. I now make sincere attempts to try not to judge and request you to do the same.

While publishing the stories of both successes and failures in this new series, I will try and portray a balanced view keeping in mind all that was said above.

Since June 22, 2011, I have been using my life of freedom to work on various small projects that I thought will make a difference in the lives of children we are working with. We started our work as volunteers at a remote village called Chandapuram in Nandigama in the state of Andhra Pradesh. This very first assignment gave us plenty of knowledge and experience. This experience has helped us in laying a strong foundation for all our future endeavors. This is exactly what we needed to understand how things work in India and more so in rural schools. The first few articles in this series will focus on some of the initiatives we have undertaken in this school. Remove the name of the school, the name of the village and the name of the state, you will find that the same initiatives can be taken up in almost any school in any village and in any state in India. So, going forward it is not important for me to mention the names of the people, school or the village.

An old man had a habit of early morning walks on the beach. One day, after a storm, he saw a human figure in the distance moving like a dancer. As he came closer he saw that it was a young woman and she was not dancing but was reaching down to the sand, picking up a starfish and very gently throwing them into the ocean.

“Young lady,” he asked, “Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”

“The sun is up, and the tide is going out, and if I do not throw them in they will die.”

“But young lady, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it? You cannot possibly make a difference.”

The young woman listened politely, paused and then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves, saying, “It made a difference for that one.”

The old man looked at the young woman inquisitively and thought about what she had done. Inspired, he joined her in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.

–          Source:

Whatever we were doing in the past one year has strengthened our resolve to continue our work for the cause of education. We may not be able to make a big difference across the entire nation and across all the schools in India, but wherever we are at, we will try and do our bit to make a difference in that particular school and in that particular situation.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: