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A break from a blue chip job to teach kids who are not even counted as significant by the system, initially, sounded like an idea similar to losing one’s balance. But looking back at the stint, every day was worth the while, everything suddenly worthwhile.
Ask Sharad Gangal, executive vice-president of HR at Thermax, and he will tell how bullish he is about people who set aside two years of their life in support of the Teach for India (TFI) programme. Probably that’s why; Thermax put Ravikiran Jasti through it, with his job and salary protected for two years while he was busy teaching children from the poorest section of the society. A programme like this equips you with far better organizational skills and puts you ahead of your peers by nearly five to six years, said by Gangal. Graduated TFI fellows have gone back to their jobs, only to add value at their workplace. Like Izabela Mergerle, vice-president, HR and administration, at Lanxess, an engineering firm, said, our office does not look the same. It feels different. Jyoti Upadhyaya, a TFI fellow who works there, has put up donation boxes in the office, pushing everyone to do their bit. Upadhyaya worked at Infosys but quit the IT major to do her bit for the nation through TFI. Today she does more than what is asked of her. She brings a human touch to most of our projects, added Mergerle. TFI students often visit our company’s campus and the organization is planning to develop their own corporate social responsibility cell. Since 2006, TFI has been building a movement of leaders who will eliminate inequity in education. Three years on, TFI has 370 fellows teaching 12,000 kids in 122 schools across India. In the long run, I see TFI building a powerful leadership force of alumni who will work from inside and outside the educational system to effect fundamental, long-term changes necessary to realize educational opportunity for all, said Shaheen Mistri, TFI CEO and founder of Akanksha Foundation. Pragya Agarwal, the CSR executive at Bharat Petroleum, has seen an attitudinal change in Charag Krishnan (25), who she hired after his stint at TFI. She says, besides giving an insight in to the field of education, such tireless work with the poorest of the poor impacts you as a person.
Courtesy: Times of India
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