Pay it forward

Children, Women, Men


“I need a job at NalandaWay,” Hema told me.

This was seven years ago. Hema is a bright creative person and she had just finished her Masters in Electronic Media from Anna University.

“Why don’t you do a short 3 months internship with us, that way we get to understand your strengths and you will know if you like us?” I suggested. She agreed. She joined the team that made films on issues that affect children.

Two months into the internship she became anxious about her prospects.

“If I prove that am an effective communicator, will you confirm my job?” she confronted me again.

I nodded with a smile.

She quickly went on Youtube and searched for ‘Allu Arjun interview.’ Allu Arjun is a huge film star in Telugu cinema. In the video the interviewer asked the actor about his fans and he talked about a letter that he had received from Hema. My eyes lit up in surprise as I did not think stars really responded to fan mail, in the pre Facebook, Twitter era. He continued saying that he was touched by the love and admiration that Hema had for him.

If she could get a film star to talk about her letter in a public interview then she can make videos that could change adults’ negative behavior towards children. This was a clincher.

Hema worked with us for many years and later she went on to be selected for the prestigious “Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellowship.” She currently works in the violence prone red corridor of Chattisgarh.

Hema came to visit me recently and I gifted “Children, Women, Men” by Sundara Ramasamy. I love his writings so much that I have re-read many of his short stories.

More power to you Hema.

#PayItForward #GiftABook 18/100