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What is true ‘Impact’?

Oct 7th, 2017

By Ali Asgar Kagzi, Co-Founder.

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Impact is a ubiquitous word. The impact of the word impact itself varies from person-to-person and situation-to-situation. Entrepreneurs believe that impact is creating an innovative product; Teachers say impact is imparting good education; Politicians would say impact is introducing a novel policy and a Motivational Speaker may regard an inspirational speech as one which could create an impact. Until yesterday, I would have completely subscribed to these thoughts. For, I equated ‘giving’ to ‘impacting’. But, the experience I had yesterday took my understanding of ‘Impact’ to a whole new level. And, I have come to realize that true impact is not just ‘giving’. It is much more than that. Intrigued? Read, on.

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My ed-tech start-up Genext Students has its foundation on the vision of spreading education to masses. While we offer unique hybrid learning experience to our students in four cities – Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune and Lucknow, we understood that to truly realize our vision, we should also cater to the students in rural India. After careful research, we adopted schools in two villages – Palas and Kharpale – in Raigad district of Maharashtra. Our ‘Tutorpreneurs’ visit these schools every week and train the kids in English using specially designed course material. In addition, the ‘Tutorpreneurs’ train the village teachers to equip them with better learning tools and techniques including use of digital content. After we adopted these two schools, I thought we were offering a huge impact – to the students, the school and the village alike. I was only partially correct.

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Three months later, I, along with my team visited these schools again to partake in their Diwali celebrations. And, what happened there has touched, moved and inspired me in an unprecedented way. These kids who couldn’t speak English three months back were now giving their introductions to us in English as we handed over them their Diwali gifts. They were talking about how they’ve studied Articles and Nouns and Pronouns. Even those who weren’t as articulate were trying their best to speak up. Their enthusiasm was unparalleled. We learned from their teachers that these kids have had a remarkable improvement in their interest toward school and studies. They eagerly wait for the sessions from our ‘Tutorpreneurs’ and take extra efforts to practice the English lessons. The teachers were exceptionally happy with the positive change in the students’ attitude and were showering us with blessings. Witnessing all this made me experience an inexplicable feeling of content. It is then I realized that our work has truly made a meaningful ‘Impact’.

For, just giving something to someone is not impact. When that someone receives something meaningful from what we have given to them, we can say an impact has been created.