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Thursday, September 02, 2004

Making a difference

True stories of people who, despite starting with almost nothing, have made a huge difference to the world we live in and, God willing, will continue making a difference for many many more years.

The Ahmeds and KBET

Afzal and Sakina Ahmed run two NGOs in Ranchi (Jharkhand). These are the Karra Society for Rural Action (KSRA) and the Kalanga Bazar Educational Trust (KBET). KBET was established in 1995. KBET works in urban poverty-stricken areas to help women, children, and disadvantaged communities become empowered through education, health and economic independence. Groups of women organized into Self-Help Groups (SHGs) get all the necessary training, loans, and support to start their own businesses. Poverty-stricken children are receiving non-formal education in 25 centers. KBET has raised women’s awareness of reproductive health, family planning, nutrition and sanitation. KBET is an amazing organization which started from very humble beginnings and is now doing an unbelievable amount of work.

e-ID: kbet@sancharnet.in

Vinayak Lohani and Parivaar

An engineer from IIT Kharagpur and MBA from IIM Calcutta, Vinayak, hailing from a middle class family, opted out of the placement process in IIMC in 2003 to became a full-time social activist. He has single-handedly founded Parivaar, an action group that works for education of children from segments of orphans, children of women in prostitution, and street children.

Ph No: +91-33-3093 6136
e-ID: Parivaar_mission@yahoo.com

Vardan Kabra and Fountainhead

24-year old Vardan Kabra, an alumnus of IIT Delhi and IIM Ahmedabad, chose to stay out of IIM-A's placement process in 2004 and rejected a pre-placement offer of Rs 7 lakh from Procter and Gamble. Why did this boy from a middle-class family spurn a good offer from a big corporate? Well, Vardan is in the process of setting up a chain of primary schools whose teaching methods will be unique. Vardan has risked comfort and security to live out his dream. He calls his dream "Fountainhead".

Tel.: +91-79-3112 9167
e-ID: info@fountainheadschools.org

I am truly proud and honoured to have known these people personally.

"To give pleasure to a single heart by a single kind act is better than a thousand head-bowings in prayer." -Saadi, poet (c. 1200 AD)

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