I won’t lie. I applied to be the Campaign Leader of Teach For India thinking not about the kids, but about my CV. But two days in, and that fact became irrelevant. Teach for India is an awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping movement of ideas, hope and struggle. They have a monumental challenge: one day, every child in India will have access to excellent education.
At least TFI is not not ambitious. Notice the adjective: the education will be excellent. Not just good, or satisfactory, but excellent. No compromises. Best part? Everyone involved in it knows the challenge, and loves it. They’re so committed that you feel ashamed of giving less than your 200%.
Overreaching, you say? Oh ye of little faith. Watch this video.
Notice one statement a little girl makes. “When Nirali didi is not there, I cannot speak English. I am dumb. I don’t know the answers to the questions. When Nirali didi comes there, she tells us a lot. I change.”
Nirali is a Fellow, a graduate recruited by Teach for India for a two-year programme wherein they’re placed in under-resourced schools to teach kids who were handed the raw deal of the genetic lottery. This is a life-changing opportunity for each one of us who has ever felt bad about the under-age help at the chai stall mopping up our spilled tea while we make merry, or heard your domestic help talk about how her son attends school while the daughter sews. There are so many children who can’t afford to go to school, or if they do attend, are not interested enough to study. Or if they’re interested, they do not understand what the teacher is saying, and have nobody else to go to.
Imagine being Nirali, of having this control over so many futures. Having Harry Potter as prescribed reading. The option of being wrong.
Let me not kid you – it’s not all altruistic and being noble and self-sacrificing. You go in thinking you’re giving up something, but you end up receiving instead, so so much more. Only seven in hundred people get selected – people who are creative, resilient and revel in challenges. It is one of the foremost leadership development plans in the country and the biggest corporate houses and universities in the world are snatching up the graduates.
It’s almost like playing God. A heady feeling, of finally doing something, taking a step in the direction your life should have been. Don’t make it an option that ‘could have been’.
Apply here before the final deadline of 5th Feb: http://