Making 100 Children smiling for past 1 year

I feel so happy and excited to write this blog post. It’s been one year since we have started the SMILE 100 initiative.

Smile 100 is an initiative of Team Everest NGO through which we have identified 100 parentless and single parented kids in Arni, Tiruvannamalai District, Tamilnadu, India and sponsoring for their education. It is not just the financial assistance. We conduct daily free tuition for them and do round the year activities for all the 100 students.

Check the below 7 mins video to know how we identified these 100 students:

You can check our Smile 100 annual report – 2016 to know the various activities that we did for children in the past 1 year.

This blog post is about the celebration of 1 year completion of Smile 100 initiative – Smile 100 annual day 2016.

We celebrated our 1st Smile 100 annual day on 29-May-2016 in Arni. All kids along with their parent and relatives joined the event.

It’s heartening to hear the feedback from various students and parents. Tears on the eyes of parents during the event showed how much this initiative made a difference to them and their kids.

Let me walk you through the event with the help of pictures:

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Smile 100 parents and students during the Annual day event

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Our Everest volunteer Manikanta welcoming all the parents, volunteers and kids

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Valli, one of the parent of our Smile 100 student (Mukesh, UKG) sharing her feelings on stage during the Smile 100 annual day event. She told that Team Everest has made a huge difference to her while her own brother have not given her even a rupee.

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One of our Smile 100 tuition center teacher Mahalakshmi sharing her last years’ tuition experience with Smile 100 kids.

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One of our Smile 100 student Tamilselvi sharing her Smile100 scholarship experience on stage

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Jayashree, our 8th std student shared her story on stage during the Smile 100 annual day event. She lost both her father and mother. It is her grandmother who is staying with Jayashree and helping her. Her grandma earns Rs 13 per hour for her work.

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Volunteers who joined our event interviewed the students and parents to create a profile of them.

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The Smile 100 kids posing before their mime performance on stage

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Our Smile 100 students performed mime during the Smile 100 annual day event!

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Volunteers packing bags, lunch bags, lunch boxes, bottles, dictionaries and stationaries donated by Lennox Company and other donors.

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We distributed school bags, lunch box, water bottle and stationary to all Smile 100 students. Thanks to Lennox company and the donors who sponsored these items for students.

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Smile 100 Kids posing and showing their happiness after receiving their school kit

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The happiness can be seen on their faces..

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One of the Smile 100 UKG kid Anwar Basha was not ready to leave the stage even for a second. Such cuteness!

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Selfie Time: One of the Volunteer taking selfie with kids and capturing the moment

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A volunteer posing with a Smile 100 kid

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One of our Smile 100 donors Akilan speaking about his experience about the event and sharing his thoughts

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The 100 students whom we sponsor. Thank you volunteers for making it happen!

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54 Volunteers from Chennai joined our Smile 100 annual day to celebrate the day with kids

Thanks to all the donors and volunteers who supports our Team Everest Smile 100 initiative. This initiative is not possible without support from people like you.

The children are now stepping into a new academic year. With it, there is increase in our expenses too. If you are interested to donate for our Smile 100 initiative, whatsapp to +91 89399 12365 or mail to info@teameverestindia.org

You can make an annual donation (Min Rs 2500 per year) or a monthly donation (Min Rs 200 per month).

Keep supporting. Let’s make this 100 children smile forever!

 

2015 – Self Review

Dear friends,

Happy new year to one and all. Let this new year bring more happiness and joy to all the people across the globe.

It’s exactly been 1 year since I have quit my full-time job to do social work. My last working day in corporate was Dec-31, 2014. You could check my blog post regarding it here.

It has been a tremendous journey so far in the past 1 year. I got a lot of time to work on initiatives which matters a lot and which could make a bigger impact. I thought I can write this blog post to reflect on the past 1-year journey and those things which I was able to accomplish being part of Team Everest NGO. In IT terms, this is just a self-appraisal of my past 1 year🙂.

(Note: Am listing the initiatives in which I was personally involved and took ownership. Team Everest NGO accomplished much more than the below-listed activities to serve more children in 2015)

Here are the top-10 initiatives for which I took ownership in 2015:

1) Mom Dad Community Center – We converted our home in Arni, Tamilnadu into a community center and we run a free computer center, study center and yoga center benefitting 500 people every year. You can check a short video about this initiative below.

2) Smile 100 – We identified 100 Parentless and single parented kids in Arni, Tiruvannamalai Dt and sponsored them for their education. We also conduct daily tuitions for them. This initiative almost took 6 months of my time in 2015. Check out a short video about this initiative below.

3) Everest in Bangalore – We started a team in Bangalore where volunteers are taking regular reading sessions for visually challenged on all weekends.

Reading Session for Visually Challenged in Bangalore

Reading Session for Visually Challenged in Bangalore

4) Everest in Kolkata – We started a team in Kolkata as well. Volunteers are currently teaching at a school and a slum in Kolkata.

Kolkata - Everest Talent Search Competition

5) Making a difference at Hyderabad – Though we had a small team in Hyderabad earlier, we strengthened our activities this year. One of our Everest volunteer Hanumantha who worked in a corporate earlier decided to work full time with Team Everest. After his presence, we have increased our activities in Hyderabad by 5 times. Activities includes teaching computers, conducting competitions in Govt schools.

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6) Doubling the Donation of Team Everest – After I have quit my job, I spent enough time with our finance team which made our donation increase by 2.5 times in the past 1 year. Thanks to many volunteers who supported to do big initiatives like Smile 100 and Mom Dad Community Center.

7) Chennai Flood Relief Campaign – We did a special fund raising event and supported 3 schools, 1500+ students by giving them notebooks, stationaries and test papers.

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8) Corporate Partnerships – We have not focussed on corporate partnerships for the past 8 years. 2015 is different. We slowly started to partner with Corporates, small companies and start-ups. We also recognized them during the Team Everest 9th anniversary.

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9) Website for Smile 100 – For the first time in 9 years, we have outsourced an IT project to a vendor. We are building an application+website for our Smile 100 website to keep the entire initiative transparent and convert our donors to mentors. Once this application goes live, donors can have a 1-to-1 connect with the children whom they sponsor. The website is currently in progress and will go live in 2016.

10) Personal Contributions – I have taken few crucial decision this year which I announced during our Team Everest 9th anniversary. It involves donating the body after my death (Body Donation), donating 100% of wealth including our home to society post our death etc. I will write a detailed post about it at later point of time. Thanks to my wife for being the pillar of support all the time.

My heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers who are supporting us in this journey. Nothing is possible with out their support. I cannot imagine my life without these volunteers. Volunteers are the reason who keeps me going. I look forward for their support in 2016 as well.

2016 is going to be a different year altogether. A different challenge awaits me. Or awaits us🙂. Here are the list of items I’m thinking of taking ownership in 2016:

  1. I am the Change Scholarship – We are planning to take 100 parentless and Single parented students who are Currently doing Plus-2 in Govt and corporation schools in Chennai and sponsor them for their college studies. So, the first half of 2016 will be spent on identifying right students and sponsors for this initiative. For more details about this initiative check, www.iamthechange.in/scholarship

It costs Rs 35,000 per student per year. Do you wish to donate for this initiative? You can make partial or full fees as donation for a student. You can even make monthly (Rs 100 minimum) or yearly donations. To donate click here.

  1. I am the Change Fellowship – We always want the best talent in the country to work in the social sector. We can make a massive change if the best brains, young people can work in social sector at least for few years.

So, we are launching this fellowship program where any person between the age of 21 to 40 can apply for this fellowship. They will be assigned an initiative which they need to complete within next 2 years. We also have a monthly stipend of Rs 15,000 per month for the fellows. For more details about this initiative, check www.iamthechange.in/fellowship . We need to identify the fellows and raise funds for this initiative. This initiative has the ability to touch the lives of 50,000+ students in next 2 years. Would you like to apply for this fellowship, apply here.

Are you willing to sponsor partially or fully for a fellow? It Costs Rs 15,000 per month or Rs 1.8 lakhs per year. Mail us at info@teameverestindia.org

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  1. Increase the number of activities by 10 times – Now this is a stretched goal. We would to increase the number of activities, number of lives touched by 10 times. That is, say if one computer class is going on in Chennai in 2015, we want to make it as 10 classes in 2016.

Would you like to volunteer? Whatsapp with your name and City to +91 89399 12365 or mail us at info@teameverestindia.org

  1. Double the Donations – We sponsored 100 kids last year. This year it would be 200 students. Hence, we need to double our donations. We also want to be more transparent than ever. So, a lot of internal work is happening to ensure transparency.Would you like to donate monthly (Minimum Rs 100)? – Whatsapp to +91 89399 12365 or mail us at info@teameverestindia.orgWould you like to make a one-time donation now? Click here to Donate.
  2. Kindness Club – Start at least 10 Kindness Clubs in 2016 to encourage young students to volunteer at least once a month.

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It is going to be a very hard 2016. As a leader of a NGO, I’m stretching beyond my limits to set high goals and trying to reach them. Bigger goals means, more children are going to get benefitted.

I hope we could help as many kids as possible in 2016. Looking forward for all your support once again. The dreams never get smaller. It just gets bigger when it comes to help others.

Let’s keep making a difference. Happy 2016 to all!

Happy Birthday to me :)

This is the first post ever I’m writing about my birthday which I recently celebrated on Dec-12, 2015. It is a special birthday because it’s spent with Team Everest Smile 100 kids in Arni. These are 100 kids whom we are sponsoring for their education and we take free daily tuitions as well. You can understand more about Smile 100 initiative through the below video:

I would say it is the best birthday celebration I ever had. My wife and my friend Mani has planned for secret birthday celebration along with kids. We gave a mask to all the kids and celebrated by cutting a cake.

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The highlight of the birthday is Pani poori. Manikanta bought Pani poori for all kids from the shop where I use to eat Pani poori right from my 6th standard. This is the first time the vendor has come out of his shop to put a pani poori stall in client’s place🙂.

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While thanking the vendor at the end of the event, I shared a story with our kids which I thought I can share you the same story.

I use to eat Pani Poori in their shop right from my 6th standard. Most of the days, after school ends, I go to their shop in bicycle, have Pani poori and then go home. My mom use to give me pocket money to eat since I feel very hungry after school hours. They use to put Pani poori in a small moving Vehicle during those times.

One such day, when I went to the shop, the owner of the shop whom I call as ‘Anna’ (Brother), was wearing a huge bandage on his head. I asked what happened? He told that he met with an accident, few hours back and he went to hospital to wear the bandage and came back to the shop to sell Pani poori. It was such a big bandage and he is badly hurt. You could see the blood marks on his head. But still he came to shop. I was amazed at his dedication and hard work.

Years rolled on. Even after 15 years, I still keep eating Pani Poori in the same shop whenever I go to my native Arni. Now, he got a shop in the same place where he use to sell Pani Poori on moving cart. A lot of customers keep coming to his shop to taste his dish.

For me, he is one of the inspiration. He thought me at young age that there is no replacement for dedication and hard work. Am lucky to have the same person to give Pani poori to all my kids during my birthday.

The other thing, I wish to share is the various gifts which I received for my birthday. It was strictly informed to kids that they should buy any new gifts. Instead they can make their own gifts if they want to🙂 . So, a lot of kids drew pictures, wrote stories and poems for me. Am sharing some of them for your reference. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did:

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While celebrating birthday with Smile 100 kids, kids who are taking up computer class in Mom Dad also planned for my birthday celebration.

Mom Dad Community center is our home where I was born and brought up by my parents. When both my parent passed away, we converted our home into a community center to teach computers, yoga and other classes. We called it as Mom Dad Community center.

You can look at the below video to know more about the center:

So, I went quickly to Mom Dad Community Center to cut cake and celebrate birthday with them. The kids have collected raised funds using their pocket money and bought a pack of pens for Team Everest. They requested me to give it to any kids who cannot afford to buy a pen. It is one of the best gifts I ever got in my life. I almost had tears in my eyes. I opened the pack and gifted one pen to each one of the kids and left to Smile 100 tuition center to continue the celebration there.

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I opened each and every gift and read the writings or showed the drawings to all kids and parents.

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It is one of the memorable day ever in my life. Being with kids, I would call it as ‘Heaven’. Feeling so blessed and happy to have the love of so many kids and volunteers.

I could not have asked for a much better birthday. Thanks for all the love and the blessings. This journey is beautiful. Living to the fullest.

Now, I feel that my responsibility to serve has increased by many fold. I hope to live up to the expectation.

Thank you once again!

Note-1: We are looking for donors to provide evening snacks to our Smile 100 kids every day. It costs an average of Rs 1000 per day to provide evening snacks. If you are interested to donate one time or monthly, please whatsapp to +91 89399 12365

Note-2: To get our regular service updates, whatsapp with your name and city to +91 89399 12365. Happy Volunteering!

Team Everest – Chennai Flood Relief 2015

Dear friends,

Chennai is slowly recovering back to its normal state after the unprecedented rain and flood which happened in first week of Dec-2015. While many lost their lives, thousands of people have lost everything which they earned so far in their life.

Many Team Everest volunteers have volunteered at individual level and by partnering with various NGOs for flood relief programs. We thought we can take it to the next level of support.

While the flood was there for few days, the amount of the damage it created would be there for many years to come.

Imagine a small Petti (Kirana) shop owner who has got Rs 50,000 on debt to run his shop. The flood would have damaged his shop completely. Now, he needs to pay his old debut of Rs 50,000 and need another Rs 50,000 to set up a new shop. If that vendor has a son who is going to join college next year, he needs to get additional debt to take care of his son’s need too.

Many individuals and NGO’s acted responsibly by fulfilling their short term needs like food, dress, mats etc. Now, the time has come to think about their long term needs too and start focussing on those areas.

Hence, through Team Everest, we are announcing 3 different initiatives – 1 short term and 2 long term initiatives to help the people who are affected by floods:

1) Chennai School Flood Relief Program: As part of the initiative, we are planning to provide assistance to the students of 3 schools who are affected by flood. The school names are:

  1. Government Higher Secondary School, Thoraipakkam
  2. Government Higher Secondary School, MGR Nagar
  3. Maraimalai Adigal Govt Higher Secondary Schoool, Pallavaram

We are planning to provide the following items based on the funds raised:

  1. 4000 Long size notebooks
  2. 100 School uniforms
  3. 1000 Stationary Kit
  4. Paper for writing tests (For 10th and 12th Std Students) – 125 Ream (1Ream = 500 sheets)

Total Cost for achieving this is Rs 3 Lakhs. If you are interested to donate, you can donate here – www.teameverestindia.org/chennairains2015

Minimum donation amount is Rs 100. For any queries, please whatsapp or call to +91 89399 12365.

2) ‘I am the Change’ Scholarship for Flood affected School Students:

I am the change scholarship is an initiative of Team Everest through which we provide scholarship for single parented and parentless students who are financially poor, good at academics and willing to do their graduation.

We announced about this scholarship during Everest 9th anniversary by Oct, 2015. After the Chennai floods, we decided to allocate 25% of this scholarship slots to flood affected students.

This scholarship is applicable for students who are going to write their Plus-2 examination in March-2016 and would be joining college in 2016.

If you know any students who have lost their parents during the recent flood or those who are badly affected by the flood can apply for this scholarship. We are planning to provide scholarship up to Rs 35,000 per student per year.

Students can apply for this scholarship by calling to +91 89396 12365.

If you are interested to sponsor for this initiative, you can sign up here.

A donor can either donate the full student fees of Rs 35,000 per year as one time donation/monthly donation or pay part of the fees with minimum amount being Rs 100 per month.

For more details about this scholarship program, please check www.iamthechange.in/scholarship.

3) ‘I am the Change’ Fellowship program:

The most heartening thing that happened during the flood period is the amount of love and support that was provided by common people who are called as ‘Volunteers’. The support provided by various individuals and groups are beyond words. Hats off!

As someone rightly said, there were more volunteers than victims in many places!

Imagine the amount of impact we can create if some of these volunteers can continue to help the flood affected people for the period of next 2 years. We can help many people to rebuild their life, make them self-sustainable and help them live a better life.

That is the whole idea behind this fellowship program.

We announced ‘I am the Change’ fellowship during Everest 9th anniversary by Oct, 2015.

I am the change Fellowship is a 2 year paid fellowship program for any undergraduate or postgraduate professionals with 0 to 20 years of job experience. During the fellowship period, every fellow will be allocated a unique project in the educational sector which they need to complete within their fellowship period.

The idea behind the fellowship program is to encourage top talents in the country to dedicate 2 years for the country. That way, we can channelize the talents and potential towards the needy and increase the pace of change.

We are planning to take 10 fellows in 2016 and we have decided to make one of the fellow to work on rehabilitation in the flood affected regions. All the fellows will also get a monthly stipend of Rs 15,000.

If you are interested to apply for this fellowship, please mail to info@teameverestindia.org

If you are interested to sponsor for this fellowship initiative, please mail to info@teameverestindia.org . Donors can make one time donation or a monthly donation with minimum amount being Rs 100.

For more details about this fellowship, please check www.iamthechange.in/fellowship

For any queries, please whatsapp or call to +91 89399 12365.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the Change you wish to see in this world”.

It is time to be the change. It is time to tell ‘I am the Change’.

Come and be part of our initiative. Let us make a difference.

Happy Volunteering!

How we celebrated Diwali this year?

This year Diwali is very special. With support from volunteers, we raised funds to give new dresses to 100 Kids and 80 parents who are part of Team Everest Smile 100 program.

Smile 100 is an initiative of Team Everest where we are sponsoring the education of 100 parentless and single parented kids in Arni, Tiruvannamalai Dt. The idea is to support them till they finish education. You can look at the below video to understand how we identified these kids and started sponsoring them for their education.

So, here is the picture story of how we celebrated Diwali with them. Thanks to all the volunteers who contributed to get a new dress for them.

We invited all our students and parents for a meeting and informed them that we are going to provide new dresses for Diwali..

Distributed Tokens to purchase Diwali Dresses.

Parents started shopping to buy dress for their kids and for themselves.

A grandmother taking dress for her grandchildren.

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A father taking dress for his daughter..

Parents started shopping to buy dress for their kids and for themselves.

Our student Malar selecting a Saree for her mother..

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Done with dress selection!

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Handing over token at the counter.

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Done with shopping. Ready to go home!

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We asked all kids and parents to come to Mom Dad Community Center, Arni on the day of Diwali to celebrate together. Because of rain, not everyone can turn up. But, we had more than 50% of kids and family came to celebrate Diwali together.

Kids who came earlier posed for photographs!

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Kids and Parents who came with their new dresses to celebrate Diwali together.

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We distributed Sweets to all. One of our volunteer mother made especially for our Smile 100 children.

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Then we started our photo session. We told them that we will take a photo, print and give them for remembrance.

Photo shoot with kids and parents

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When I saw these cute butterflies in colorful dresses, I could not stop myself from taking a picture with them🙂

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Our Volunteer Manikanta who coordinated locally to finalize a vendor and make this Diwali dress purchase happen.

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Finally a group picture with all kids and parents who came that day.

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Thanks to all volunteers who contributed for this cause. Happy to see so many smiles during Diwali. Thanks for making it a special Diwali to them!

Note:

  1. To get our volunteering updates on your whatsapp, whatsapp as ‘Update Me’ with your name and city to +91 89399 12365. You will not be added to any groups. You will only get individual msgs. One msg per week.
  2. We have launched a new scholarship program called ‘I am the Change’ Scholarship.It is similar to SMILE 100 scholarship program, except it is for college students. We are planning to sponsor the education of 100 parentless and single parented students who are currently studying in Plus-2 and would be joining college in 2016. We will start identifying the stduents from May 2016 onwards. To know more details and to sponsor for a student, visit www.iamthechange.in . Thank you!

Everest Celebrates 9 years of Volunteering!

Team Everest completed 9 years of volunteering work and celebrated it along with volunteers, students and parents on Oct-10, 2015. Thanks to all the volunteers who made this journey possible and memorable.

This blog post will summarize the entire events through pictures:

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Our Reception for the day

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Our ‘Contest for a Cause’ (www.contestforacause.org) stall during the Everest anniversary.

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Welcome to Team Everest

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The volunteers, students and parents who joined our Everest 9th anniversary program

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Welcome dance by Smile 100 kids

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Celebrating Everest 9 with a cake. Smile 100 students cutting the cake on stage

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Celebrating Everest 9 with a cake

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Kids and volunteers are the reason why Team Everest exists. A volunteer celebrating the moment with a piece of cake with a kid.

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Team Everest volunteer and secretary Vishwa sharing the past one year journey of Team Everest. Team Everest was able to touch the lives of 22194 people, with the help of 1493 volunteers through its 267 activities in the past one year. Thanks to all the volunteers who made the difference.

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Smile 100 student Jayshree sharing her experience on stage. She aspires to become a collector. She lost both her parents at young age and her grandma is taking care of Jayashree now. Jayshree’s education is completely sponsored by Team Everest.

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Everest Scholar ‘Saravanan’ who receives scholarship from Team Everest sharing his story on stage. Having scored good marks in his Plus-2, Saravanan was in a position to discontinue his studies. He started working in a small mobile shop to make his family meet its need. That’s when Team Everest identified Saravanan and sponsored for his education. He is currently pursuing B.Com 2nd year.

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Everest volunteer ‘Praveen’ shares the story of Team Everest – Contest for a Cause initiative. Contest for a Cause (C4C) is a national Art and Technology Fest, a first of its kind online event in India to promote volunteering and to provide a platform for people across the country to exhibit their artistic and technical skills through an array of competitions. 100% of prize money is donated for various social causes across the country. C4C has raised and donated Rs 20,00,000 in the past 3 years for various educational related initiatives like setting up libraries, computer labs, donating bench and desks, water purifiers, etc to schools.

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Mr. Sekar one of our Special Guest and a recipient of ‘I am the Change’ award under ‘Social Worker’ category is feeding more than 2000 parrots every day which visits his home in Chennai every day morning and evening to have their food. Sekar spends 40% of his income to feed these birds every month. He is an inspiration to many of us.

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Mr. Sekar receiving ‘I am the Change’ award with a donation amount of Rs 10,000 from Team Everest volunteer Aswini.

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Mr Deivaraj is a barber and has voluntarily did hair cut for more than 50,000 people in the past 15 years. The beneficiary includes poor students, kids in orphanages and people on the streets. On holidays, he wanders in streets, identify homeless people and do a free haircut for them. His service is an eye opener for many of us. It just shows, which ever profession you are in, whatever skills you have, you can always use it to give back to the society.

Mr. Deivaraj is one of the recipient of Team Everest ‘I am the Change’ award under ‘Social Worker’ category this year. He received a donation amount of Rs 10,000 from Team Everest this year.

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Mr. Venkatesh have rescued more than 1000 old people from streets and admitted them in homes which takes care of the homeless people. Many auto drivers have also volunteered along with him to rescue people from street. His service is beyond words. Hats off sir!

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Mr. Venkatesh is one of the recipient of Team Everest ‘I am the Change’ award under ‘Social Worker’ category this year. He received a donation amount of Rs 10,000 from Team Everest this year.

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A volunteer asking a query to our special guest Mr.Venkatesh during the event.

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Volunteers having a fun time on stage. A small dance contest between boys and girls for which the audience voted. Both boys and girls emerged as winners at the end!

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Team Everest first volunteer and founder Karthee Vidya talking about the ‘Seed’ for Team Everest. The difference between the quality of education between the rich and poor motivated him to start Team Everest in 2006.

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The Everest core team leaders on stage. They lead from the front and responsible for all Team Everest activities happening across the country.

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Team Everest first volunteer and founder Karthee Vidya requested every person to volunteer at least once a month (12/365). We believe in volunteering because it is as pure as mother’s love. It’s genuine and does not expect anything in return.

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Team Everest launches ‘I am the Change’ fellowship during our Everest 9th anniversary. It is a 2 years fellowship program with a stipend of Rs 15,000 per month. The idea behind the fellowship program is to encourage top talents in the country to dedicate 2 years for the country, for the needy. That way, we can channelize the talents and potential towards the needy and increase the pace of change. For more details about the fellowship program, check www.iamthechange.in

Everest volunteers Manikanta and Hanumanth who have quit their corporate careers to serve the country is launching the ‘I am the Change’ fellowship program on stage.

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We launched our next initiative, ‘I am the Change’ Scholarship program for academically good parentless and single parented students who are about to join college. The motive behind this initiative is to support students who faces financial barrier to achieve their dreams. Students who are part of ‘I am the Change’ scholarship are not just beneficiaries. They will act as change agents and will commit to a certain number of volunteering hours every month thus making a difference in their community. For more details about the scholarship program, check www.iamthechange.in

Everest volunteer Manoj who takes care of current Team Everest scholarship program is launching the ‘I am the Change’ scholarship program on stage.

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Team Everest mission is to motivate every person to volunteer at least once a month (12/365). To cultivate the habit of volunteering, we have launched ‘Kindness Club’ during the Everest 9th anniversary. Kindness Club will teach Kindness, compassion and volunteering to school kids and enable them as change agents of the country. Through Kindness clubs, school students will start volunteering at least once a month to understand the problems in the society and how they can be a solution to it!

Our Smile 100 kid Lavanya studying 2nd std, who volunteers every month launched ‘Kindness Club’ on stage.

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A final ‘Thank you’ note by our volunteer Manoj. Let’s keep volunteering at least once a month and make a difference to the people around.

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To be part of the volunteering journey and to get updates, whatsapp as ‘Update Me’ with your name and city to +91 89399 12365. You will get individual whatsapp msg each week about volunteering opportunities in your city. Happy Volunteering!

Things you miss when you leave your corporate job!

Leaving a well-paid corporate job is not an easy thing to do. But, when you are passionate to do something big and good for the society, quitting the job seems one of the easiest steps to take in life!

That’s how and why I quit my job on Dec-31, 2014 to do full time social work with the NGO I founded in 2006 – Team Everest (www.teameverestindia.org). Team Everest objective is to promote volunteering and provide education to those who could not afford it.

For the past 6 months, my home is my office and I work from my home every single day.

Six months down the line, though I have started doing things which I want to do in my life forever, I was thinking about the things that I miss after leaving my corporate job.

Here are the things that I miss – Both Big and Small:

You miss your team and friends: Having worked in team size of 20s and 30s, sitting alone inside a room, looking at your monitor from 9am to 6pm with no one to talk around is boring at times. Though I have multiple calls a day, speaking with different people and getting things done virtually, having a physical team in place is something which you miss while leaving the corporate job. You also miss loads of fun, chit chats and those cute pranks.

You miss your manager and mentors: Yes, very true. You will miss your manager, if you had a good relationship with them. In my case, I miss my manager who mostly would be the first person I wish every day. Now, you have no one who can set your goals, guide you when you are struck with a problem and support you at your tough times. When you work alone, your overall productivity is solely dependent upon how personally motivated you are. No sticks and carrots around!

You miss seeing people: Having worked in one of the biggest corporate, I keep seeing people all the time around the company. You go to your desk, pantry, cafeteria, auditorium, you can see crowd everywhere. You can see so many faces, some very enthusiastic, charming, smiling, sad, worried etc.

Now, it’s about me and my laptop. There is no one around. Only if I go out for meetings, I see fresh faces. You miss meeting new friends and networking with people. Hope this will change in 2016 when I start going out and meeting new people.

You miss your Desk: Yeah.. The first day after I quit my job, when I started my work, I was quite confused where to sit and work. Since, you always have a nice cubicle in office, you don’t require a desk in home. The first week after I quit my job, I was sitting on sofa, over the bed, and even on the floor with my laptop. Looking at my poor postures, my wife decided to buy an office table and a rolling chair (Yeah, the one similar to the chair in corporates with confusing multiple screws across it).

My home office is set up now with a cute Buddha statue smiling on my desk🙂. All I need to reach my office now is to walk from one room to another.

You miss your coffee: I still remember my Day-1 in the company. My friends told that coffee and tea is provided free inside the company. I had 6 coffees on Day-1. Slowly, I started hating the machine made coffee. But still, I ended up having 2 coffees (11AM and 4PM) a day during my 8 years of corporate life.

Now, being in home all alone, you need to prepare your own coffee. So, I have my morning coffee by 8AM itself when my wife is in home and I prepare my 4PM coffee every day.

Yeah! AC: I still remember those days where I run to office earlier just to avoid the scotching Chennai heat. Gone are those days. Now, I sit inside my room below a ceiling fan. With low voltage playing the role of culprit, I have bought a pedestrian fan to have some air in the room. Though we have an A/C in one of the rooms, I rarely use it.

Have your lunch all alone: Going to lunch with friends is always fun. Your mouth is busy talking than eating. You consume more stories than food. You get to share everyone’s food and end up eating 5 to 10 different items than what you bought.

Now, it’s all alone. My wife keeps my lunch ready on the dining table. It’s only me and the lunch now. Sometimes, our TV accompanies me for lunch.

You miss those minimal walking too: After joining the corporate in 2006, my physical activities have reduced a lot. The only exercise I had was walking from one block to other block, walking from your seat to cafeteria or a pantry. If you are in a big ODC, walking from your seat to a nearby water cooler and rest room is considered as a big exercise. Rest of your movements is taken care by internal shuttle, office bus and cabs.

After quitting the job, my minimal walking routine during office time has also come to an end. There is no need to walk till bus stand to catch the bus since my office is inside my home itself.

My water cooler is just 5 feet away and rest room is 3 steps away. I’m trying to incorporate the habit of walking for 30mins every day now to keep myself physically active.

You miss your ID card: For the first one month after quitting my job, whenever I’m travelling out, I keep checking for my ID card to ensure that it is in place, forgetting that I don’t have an ID card any more. While in corporate, the ID card is your licence to enter the office. It’s your sacred Mantra. Having it with you gives you all power inside the company.

I weigh 20 grams less now since I do not wear an ID card nowadays.

These are few little things which you miss to have what you want in your life. I thought, I can write this blog post to let you know what you will miss when your time comes to quit your corporate job🙂.

Till then, happy working…

To be part of the volunteering journey and to get updates, whatsapp as ‘Update Me’ with your name and city to +91 89399 12365. You will get individual whatsapp msg each week about volunteering opportunities in your city. Happy Volunteering!

Want to know what I did after quitting my full time job?

Read my first 6 months report card here – www.bit.ly/karthee2015h1.

Note: I’m planning to have an office for Team Everest in Chennai from March 2016 which can provide space for 4 to 5 people and a small meeting room for discussion with volunteers. In case you have a place which you are ready to provide for Team Everest office, please let me know. Thank you🙂.

About Me: I’m Karthee Vidya with a dream to promote volunteering in our country. I have a dream where every person volunteers at least once a month (12/365). I love kids and volunteering. Education and Volunteering is very close to my heart. I’m 30 years old on this planet and 9 years old to volunteering as of 2015. To know more about me, check my Facebook page.