Ramesh on his first day of training, September 2007
In fact, it was only the beginning of problems Ramesh and his friends were about to face. They had never been to school and had never held a pencil in their life. It took Ramesh and his friends about two weeks just to learn English alphabets.
But they were resilient.
After three months, they had started conversing with one another in basic English. They were able to use computers to send emails and even search for information using Google.
Fast forward August 17, 2011
Well, if somebody had told me that Ramesh would be speaking to the likes of Mr. Mukesh Ambani impressively in English, I would have not believed it then.
Ramesh and I with Mr. Ambani
Not only did Ramesh speak confidently to Mr. Ambani, he expressed himself so eloquently on stage during the Real Heroes awards ceremony in front of an audience consisting of the most well-known people in India!
There were more than 7 cameras in the room at the event at The Trident, Mumbai. I think I experienced more stage fright (I had to call my wife for a pep-talk before the awards presentation) than Ramesh who looked both calm and jovial. He was enjoying every moment, being in a ‘Five Star hotel’ for the first time in his life.
For all of us at Head Held High, it was a like a movie unfolding. Our work with rural development had been a long and arduous one. Watching your dreams materialize day by day is an experiencing more spellbinding than any movie.
Our dream is to enable millions of villagers who are zero or lowly educated like Ramesh, to live a life with dignity by giving them equal access to education and opportunity.
I take this opportunity to thank our partners, ambassadors, interns, families, students and everyone else who has been with us on this journey for the last four years. Receiving this award was on behalf of all the real heroes in our team who have poured their passion and dedication into this project.
We invite you to partner with us on this journey – by creating employment in the villages, by funding one of our projects/trainees or by interning/volunteering with us.