Teach for India and Generosity Day

Every time Generosity Day comes full circle, I know I’m the lucky one.

So many actions, great and small, will go unregistered by all but those who take part in them, but every so often we get a glimpse of what the greater whole looks like and the power of a simple idea that spreads.  It grows, it evolves, it strengthens in the hands of others.

Recently, two teachers from Teach for India decided to bring Generosity Day into their classroom.  To see these kids talk about what generosity means to them is a lesson for all of us, and a real gift.

(if the video doesn’t appear below you can click here).

Prateek Kanwali and Sapna Shah are the Teach for India Fellows who partnered with the Acumen Fund India office to make this happen.  Their blog post has a lot to teach about education and how to create change for kids.  Just two of the many excerpts that struck me:

We joined the Teach for India movement because of our belief that education is the answer to a lot of the problems that plague our nation and the world at large….[and] we soon realized academic achievement alone will not be enough to change the life trajectory of our kids, that along with academic excellence they need grit.  The strength to overcome difficulties and challenges at every step, but also zest and optimism to face everything that life throws their way with a smile.  They will need gratitude to be thankful for what they have and empathy towards others.

The affirmation of this [generosity] experiment came in the form of a generous act by one of Prateek’s students Pooja Patel.  She spoke to him before school one day and asked if she could sit with Tusshar Gupta, one of her classmates who was struggling to meet his end of year goals.  She said, “Bhiyya (elder brother), if I can get good marks, he can also do it, please give me a chance to help him.”  From that day onwards for two months she relentlessly taught him before and after school hours and even went the extra mile by tutoring him at his house on weekends.  The result was unbelievable.  She showed the class that it was our collective responsibility to ensure everyone is on equal footing.

My thanks and gratitude to Prateek and Sapna from Teach for India and to Keya Madhvani at Acumen for showing us all this light.