Our Small Contribution ….We finished building a toilet in a Government School

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I remember sitting by my television in NJ and watching Prime Minister Modi’s speech around the Swachh Bharath Campaign. I stay on the fringes of politics, but his election and the subsequent frenzy was catching up with me – everywhere I turned, there was Mr. Modi. Watching his speech, I was struck by the fact that he was talking grassroots – the big picture was clear for all to see, but there were these smaller, actionable, bite-size contributions that people could make towards the greater good. One of them was building toilets in schools especially for the girl child, the lack of which, was one of the reasons for a higher dropout rate in schools.

My phone buzzed, and I saw a message from Sandeep – “Are you watching the speech? What do you think of Swachh Bharath Campaign?” “Should we do something?” How could we ignore something that had 3 things close to our hearts – children, health and education?

Wanting to put our money where our mouth is, this looked like something we could easily take on rather than just talk about how cool the campaign was. With our team rallying behind us, we roped in Shimon from our team to identify a school and find out the cost, permissions required etc. From thought to finish it took about 12 weeks but we have never been so excited as when we saw the results.

There were some nay-saying thoughts around “will the money be used as promised”, “can they maintain the cleanliness”, “will there be water” etc. but we decided not to over-think, but cross the hurdles as they came up.

Some learnings…

  • act quickly if convinced of an idea
  • small, actionable ideas will contribute to a larger vision
  • even if you fail, atleast you would have tried

Here is our work in pictures:

Date: 
March 05 2015