I clearly remember the day I met the boy - 18th October, 2014. He was explaining his thoughts about inventing a motor bike that will reduce the environmental pollution using electrical batteries. His dad does repairs of electrical equipment and that he would garner more knowledge about them as he grows up.
I was stunned at his clarity of thought, given that he is only in his 7th standard and might not even fully understand about environmental pollution or the engineering complexities involved. Yet his vision is crystal clear!
But what surprised us was his next answer and it just completely moved us. Abi casually asked him how he feels about studying in that school. The boy replied jubilantly that he loves the school, his teachers and above all would like to contribute the high marks in his school subjects to ... the donors of his scholarship. Yes, he studies on scholarship because his parents cannot afford even the minimal fee the school charges and he is 'thankful' to the donor. You can see one of the videos on YouTube like this one...
How many of us have cared to thank our parents for helping us with the most precious gifts of our life, our exposure to the world, our education, college graduation, career, etc.? And here is a 12 year old boy who innocently (and with absolute sincerity and clarity) contributing his marks to his donors for sponsoring!
Tears well up in my eyes just thinking about it. This is not just my experience. Dozens of people who have visited the Isha Vidhya school in Sandhegoundampalayam at Coimbatore have a similar thing to share.
This Isha Vidhya school houses hundreds of students who come from such poor families that cannot afford couple of meals properly for a day, forget about quality english education. Yet the school provides no less to these students in terms of either quality educational aids, English classes, math labs (seriously!), computer labs or library books. More than 60% of the school's children are studying under scholarship provided by generous donors like you and me.
Do my colleagues know me well enough to wish me good always? I doubt it :)
Will my neighbours wish me good always? Probably no.
Would my very best friends wish me good always? May be, May be not.
But I can be absolutely certain that the kid I am sponsoring for school, will wish me good always in his / her life. What I am doing by a few thousand rupees is actually transforming a life!
When I see the children greeting us with a loud & clear 'Namaskaram', folded hands, wide smile, following perfect orders without monitoring of any teachers, absolutely confident, jubilant and conversant fluently in English, I am assured of the dream that 'yes, India can be a super power'. It might just be that these kids will be driving us towards that dream even if nobody else does.
They come from poor families but their spirits are so high, it will be a crime not to encourage them further in their lives!