Join Hands to 'Make a Difference' and Change Lives of Youngsters

May 21, 2009

India is a young country they say. Why is India being portrayed as young, even after completing 60 years of independence and having thousands of years of legacy beyond its true beginning, one may ask. The reason why our India is young, is because of the large size of the young population our country has. India is possibly one from among a handful of countries in the world, where the youngsters are greater in number, than the elders in terms of population. When we look up at our country’s position as an independent, free country on one hand, we should also realize the misery our country suffers from, in various fronts. The part of our population which suffers the most, is of the young children. According to recent statistics, a shocking 19% of our children are forsaken by their parents at child birth and another 27%, before the age of five. All this clearly goes to show, that though India is young, the young are in fact, being exploited and their very fundamental right, the right to life, is being taken away.

Education is possibly one of the greatest assets which man holds at this point. The situation the world over today, justifies this notion. Recession has hit man kind in a manner which is no less than the world war.

Today, man can possibly think of his sustenance purely on the basis of education. If we are as we are today, it is again only because somebody years back decided to educate us.

Educating our children is not just about imposing a body of knowledge on them. Rather, it involves preparing them from the early years, for the world in which they will come of age. It means instilling in them a love for lifelong learning, creativity, self-expression and an appreciation for diversity. Education is the foundation of anyone’s future; it decides what we will be, possibly a decade later. Children deserve this right more than anyone else. Owing to the fact that the children are gullible and cannot make choices on their own, it is us, who need to lead them into the field of education by giving them unconditional support, besides laying emphasis on the very fact that education is the primary requirement of our society today.

It was this dream of imparting education to the little ones, that led to the formation of ‘Make A Difference (MAD)’, a non-governmental Organization which aims at imparting education to children living in street shelters and child homes. MAD is a youth volunteer network, comprising primarily of school and college students and young professionals. MAD was started in the year 2006 by a group of six college students with a vision to educate the underprivileged children. We have since grown to a 800-strong network of volunteers, spread across 11 cities: Cochin, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mangalore, Delhi, Goa, Mumbai, Nagpur, Trivendrum and Pune; working with around 2500 children. This year, we will be expanding our activities to five more cities: Mumbai, Delhi, Mangalore, Goa and Trivandrum. We teach our children English and computer skills through weekly sessions, organize annual camps, and on completion of high school, get them sponsorships for higher studies or employment opportunities. Recently ‘Make A Difference’ won the global Ashoka Staples Youth Entrepreneurs Award in recognition of its contribution towards the children of our society.

‘Make a Difference’ is at its very inception in Mangalore. Currently, we have two child homes under our care, where we will be teaching 250 children. Just by the word of mouth, we have eighty enthusiastic individuals, who have got in touch with us for volunteering in our task. We are planning to expand, by adding more child homes to our set of established networks. The need of volunteers is perennial, the more we have, the better it gets. You can also be a part of this organization, if you think you have what it takes to Make a Difference. Do feel free to call or write to us, if you wish to Make a Difference and change the lives of many young individuals.


Rakesh Haridas, President: +91.9611105672.
Kirti Mohan, Vice-president (HR): +91.9008917195.

And always remember, "In old days there were angels who came and took men by the hands and led them away from the city of destruction. We see no white-winged angels now. But yet, men are led away from threatening destruction: a hand is put into theirs, which leads them forth gently towards a calm and bright land, so that they do not look back; and the hand may be a little child's." – George Eliot. Silas Marner. 

by Kirti Mohan
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Comment on this article

  • Jeevan Lobo, Mangalore/ Australia

    Fri, May 22 2009

    Excellent Job done by all of you. Please let me know how I can contribute. I am extremely keen on helping any cause associated with the youth.

  • Max & Jessie Rasquinha, Mangalore/Houston, Tx

    Sat, May 23 2009

    "Make a Difference" is no more a slogan but a necessity of our life.We all have to make a difference in one form or another. India is a country that each and everyone of us have to make a difference, because our population is growing and our daily needs will also continue to grow. Every year another twenty million new babies are born in India and they need food, shelter and loving care. Education will continue to be a growing priority in India because not only India shall remain to be a "manpower" nation but also a "brain power" nation. Our brainy resources will be in demand everywhere in the world because the rest of the world (with the exception of China)particularly the developed world in the West is diminishing their population and will continue to need Indian manpower and brainpower resources at all times. Our village schools are now providing hot meals for children each day in the afternoon seven days a week, and this is a marvellous thought and gesture. India might even have to provide some of the brainy manpower to China by the year 2040 because China''s diminishing population will need young people to support the nation and their economic growth and industry. When you visit China you cannot see any children whereas when you visit India there are children everywhere. Our children are smart indeed. So long as India''s democracy and India''s secularism continues to prevail satisfactorily, and so laong as our good leaders continue to dedicate themselves for the cause of the nation, India will continue to be an exemplary power of the future. India will continue to make a difference because India is a God fearing country and a noble country, and we shall continue to survive with a spirit of progress. Thank you for your good and noble work and you have our wholehearted support.

  • Ida Noronha, Mangalore

    Sat, May 23 2009

    I am looking forward to Make A Difference in Mangalore. Teaching youngsters in child homes is such a good thing to do. Way to go! Kudos to you guys.

  • prakash rao, Mangalore, Fujairah

    Sat, May 23 2009

    Education is the sole need of the hour!  Good to see youngsters working on building education amongst the youth. Proud of Mangalore for such reasons.

  • Sr. Maria Pinto, Mangalore, Karkala

    Fri, May 22 2009

    Excellent work Kirti. I look forward to Make A Difference in Mangalore. May you be blessed abundantly.

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