Monday, May 30, 2005

Are you making a difference?

I ask myself this question sometimes. I am not sure about the answer.

I am 30 years old, and over the past many years I have met several people about whom I can answer this in the affirmative. I recently ran a 7km race in Bangalore for an organization called Dream A Dream. I didn't really go out of my way to find how I could run for a charity organization. A friend's fiance is currently in Bangalore working for this organization. She's taken a whole year out of whatever she otherwise does to spend it with this organization. She is from the US, hardly speaks the language and Bangalore is probably not her most favorite place to be. Yet, she is putting in an effort, and I do believe she is making a difference.

On my recent trip to Seattle, I met up with Dave again. He had left Amazon sometime back, and told me he is about to start working with a non-profit microfinance company. Dave's a great guy and makes a huge difference in whatever he takes up. The organization he is working with, Unitus, is making inroads into alleviating poverty in different parts of the world. Microfinance is not something I was familiar with till Dave told me about it, but I've read about it a little since then. I like what they are doing and their strategy resonates with possibilities and hope.

When I went home to Chandigarh recently, I heard another story. My dad's friend's peon's son (a peon, for those not in the know, is the officeboy, the garcon, the guy who fetches glasses of water and does the running around so the babus in the office can chill in air conditioned offices) was doing very well in his high school studies. Once he graduated from class X, he wanted to prepare for competitive exams. My dad's friend figured out the best teachers in town, got him introduced and admitted to their tuitions, paid the fees and made sure the kid lacked no resources to prepare for the exams. I also found out that he runs a non-profit organization for such students (who are bright but lack resources), and there have been more such stories that I hadn't heard about so far.

I remember a dialogue in Casablanca. Rick congratulates Victor Lazlo on his work. Lazlo, trying to be modest, says "I try." Rick replies, as only Bogart can, "We all try. You succeed."

1 comment:

hbhanoo said...

Here's someone who is making a difference. Go check out his blog.