Sunday, 1 May 2016

Inspire to Innovate Storytelling Movement Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 9

My Dear Student Friends,

            This is Dr. Ravi Saripalle, Founder, Inspire to Innovate (i2i) Storytelling Movement. Welcome to “Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 9. Hope you enjoyed reading my previous letter. These letters are  reaching almost all districts across our country- North to South & East to West, for one good cause, Inspire to Innovate. Your time is most valuable. I truly respect your time. What is the benefit you will get reading these letters? These letters are written in epistolary form and presenting most wonderful people experiences, products and progress. Often these experiences answer our questions. They sprout curiosity. These letters nurture our critical thinking. They promise our wishes. Sometimes, these letters bring smile, sometimes boil our blood, sometimes becomes torchbearer but for sure, raises our hope. Hope you agree with me. 
            In the previous issue, we discussed about City Pride School at Nigdi Pradhikaran in Pimpri- Chinchwad (how they are saving water innovatively), Rajendra Singh, water man of India, Manoj Bhargava, who is working on technical innovations for social cause, Dr. Peter Morgan, who contributed towards water technology and sanitation, Yuichi Katsuura, who developed Bicycle type water purifying system, Dr.Bindeshwar Pathak, an Indian sociologist, founder of Sulabh International. They are amazing people. They created wonderful and impact stories and created conceptual path for vision setting in us. Can you imagine yourselves in their shoes? What if, you are able to create your own similar impact story and create an opportunity to the whole world to read, hear and learn from you! What kind of experience that could be? Please think about it.  

            Before I start my story messages, I would like to acknowledge couple of responses received from the esteemed i2iSM letter series readers. Recently I received a wonderful mail response from a first year student named Shivam Kumar of BITS Pilani (Pilani Campus). Shivam says, he reads  i2iSM letters and also pens his own blog. I read his posts. Shivam seems very inspiring student! At this young age, his thinking is matured. In one of the posts, he advices JEE aspirants on time management, in another post, he appeal students and parents to follow heart but not market trend. He advices not to become jack of all trades but masters of none. He appeals not to entangle into rat race and lose your original natural intelligence and talent. I really thank and wish Shivam for inspiring students through his ink. His blog can be accessed at In another response, I received a call from Prof.Dr.P.Geervani, former Vice Chancellor of Mahila University, Tirupati and trustee, Chinmaya Mission, Hyderabad. We had constructive discussion. Madam gave me wonderful suggestions and concur that these letters can be great tool for maximizing learning process. Teachers can use these stories to begin class and make teaching-learning process most productive. Thank you madam for your esteemed vision and inviting me  to conduct physical workshop at your institutions. 

            World is wonderful place. What goes out usually comes back! Wonderful quote right? Recently I found fantastic story of Herbert Hoover and Ignacy Jan Paderewski at Hoover, when he was 18 years old, he was struggling to pay fees at Stanford. He was poor and orphan. Hoover along with friends decided to conduct musical concert, earn money and pay fees. They approached famous pianist Paderewski to conduct concert and took loan of $2000 from him to organize the same. Concert was successful but they were able to raise only $1600 through tickets and short of $400 in loan amount itself. What about paying fees? Being honest and genuine, They paid $1600 and cheque of $400 to Paderewski. A kind hearted Paderewski tore the cheque, returned $1600 and asked them to give the amount left after paying fees. Later Paderewski became Prime Minister of Poland. During world war, Poland got devastated. Paderewski reached US Food and Relief Administration for help. The head of the department was Herbert Hoover. What a surprise! Hoover helped in such crisis and saved people from starving. Infact later Herbert Hoover became President of America as well.  Paderewski personally visited America to thank Hoover. In that conversation, Hoover said, "Mr. Prime Minister, long back you helped 2 young boys, I am one of them"! What a cycle? Every action has some reaction. It is true example of this philosophy. The message is clear. Any help you do, becomes return gift!    

            Often we become complacent after achieving something and receiving rewards. But it is fact that if we don't take risks in that moment, rewards get reversed! We need to strive hard. It is always tight rope walk. There is no reward for complacency. Recently I was reading about P C Musthafa in Musthafa born in poor family (Wayanad, Kerala) and struggled a lot during his early life. Had to walk 4 kilometers during his high school days. Father works as coolie, mother is an illiterate and having 4 siblings. Failed in Class 6 (no electricity at home) and lost interest in studies. However, that point of time, his mathematics teacher Mr. Mathew counseled, inspired and mentored. He got first in Class 7 and records continued. As he is coming from village background, he faced difficulty in English. With the help of friend, he managed to learn. You know what? He got 63rd rank in state engineering entrance. Joined NIT Calicut, campus placed Manhattan Associates, later worked for Motorala, travelled to Ireland, later joined Citibank Dubai, cleared Loans, sent 1 Lakh to his father (cascade of successful events). Father cleared all debts and made arrangements for sisters marriage. Musthafa built home for parents, returned India to live with parents. Quit well paying job, wrote CAT and got into IIMB. He wants to do something on his own. His entrepreneurial mind made him unrest to do something novel. Started small business (supplying dosa batter to hotels- Name of the company- ID Fresh) along with his cousins. Started with 10 packets per day and in 9 months, reached 100 packets a day. After MBA, joined as CEO, increased capacity to 3500Kg per day, and by 2015, reached 50,000 packets a day with 1100 employees in 10 years time frame and crossed 1 billion rupees (100 crores) revenue!! This live story is so inspiring to many of us! Mr. Musthafa is not just teaching us entrepreneurship, but it is more than that. He is teaching us the sense of responsibility as son. He is teaching us how life has to be designed inspite of hardships, he is teaching us how risks are rewarded when you are sincere in your approach, he is teaching us the importance of inspiring teacher in our life, value of mentoring, respect towards great teachers, he is teaching us how you can give back to your country. I really thank for publishing such an inspiring story. Today in our society, we are forgetting our basic responsibilities as son or daughter. Taking care of parents not just responsibility, but it is beyond. Students are taking extreme steps in the event of failures. I am truly inspired to write this story to remind of duties, managing life and converting problems to rewards!     
            I would like to share another inspiring story of a school going girl. Recently I received a forwarded mail of UNICEF India, in the context of success of Swachh Campaign. UNICEF lauded the committed effort of school going girl, Lavanya, from the village called Sira in Karnataka. After attending an awareness campaign on Swachh Bharat Mission, made 48-hour hunger protest at home, compelled his family to build toilet in her home and inspired entire village to get one. What an amazing commitment of Lavanya. If India blessed with 100s of such wonderful daughters, no force can stop our progress. Thank you UNICEF for posting this inspiring message and wish Lavanya to continue her positive spirit for different causes.

            In this context, I would like to share my own experience with a college going student. I was trying to inspire one boy with various stories. After hearing all the stories, he told me I am too young to start something what I wish. I will do something great after I settle in life. I cannot blame this boy because, 20 years back I was also thinking like this. This is traditional middle class growth mindset. After my college, I joined Wipro Technologies, got into wonderful assignments, travelled few countries, received decent remuneration. 10 years back itself, I was thinking quit my job to start Inspire to Innovate Storytelling Movement, but I was unable to take huge risk. My family consists of mother, wife and 2 kids. Family did not have any history of quitting comfortable jobs and venture into unknown territory. However, in 2008, my fever sore high. Something I have to do in life. That point of time, I read a quote from unknown source, which connected to my heart. I want to share with you, which has lot of meaning. Once there was boy asking a wise man, which is the best day to pray Lord? Wise man tells, the day before you die! Boy asks, how do I know that day? Wise man replies, hence Start from Today. Tomorrow is not ours. In 2 years time, I gathered courage to quit job as my wife gave me emotional and financial support, returned back to my home town, Vizianagaram, AP. Couple of years I was going school to school, college to college, alerting the importance of inspire to innovate in the institutions. Few of the appreciated, few of them implemented, few of them are not yet ready. GVP College of Engineering (A), Vizag recognized the importance of this movement and funding me till date. What I am trying to say, when you hit the bottom with force, you are bound to raise high (Newton's third law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction). Calculated risks are always healthy in our life. Fluke risks are dangerous. We should able to differentiate calculated risk and accidental risk and take risk accordingly. In such situations, good inspiring stories help us in differentiation and decisions. I wish you give deep thinking and take calculated risk in your life accordingly.  
            This scorching 2016 summer is touching 45o to 50o temperature in many parts of the country. Ground water levels are depleting to core. Water is becoming scarce product. Working for this cause is always noble and visionary. In this connection, I would like to share an article posted in 25-year-old Shashank Singh Kachwaha, who studied mechanical engineering, working with Hero Cycles, quit his well paying job and started working on building a pond in Chota Naraina village located in the Ajmer district of Rajasthan. Shashank found that four ponds in the village were not being utilized (either broken or no water). He identified catchment area for pond so that rain water can be captured. No machines, no heavy equipment used but it is done completely with the help of people power. It is completed owned by community. He could able to convince villagers, gained their trust, won their hearts and built the pond. After this project completion, Shashank, hailing from Bihar, wanted to go back to his home state and participate in rural development programs. Best wishes Shashank in your future endeavors and Thank you for posting positive stories and inspiring people.

            Recently posted an article on most needy product which world is looking for - A product which converts saltwater to drinking water using Sunlight. In our childhood, we heard this ryme by ancient mariner (Samuel Taylor Coleridge): Water, water, everywhere, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink. India is having long  coastline of 7,517 km. Inspite of this, there is acute shortage of freshwater including in costal areas. Gabrielle Diamanti’s solar powered saline water purifier is one good solution to solve this crisis. It is personal desalination device requires no fuel, no electricity and no maintenance. This can be devised with readily available material like ceramic. It purifies about five liters of water per day and costs less than $50. Thank you Gabrielle Diamanti’s for your social innovation and logicalindian for publishing. World is looking for people like Gabrielle who solves basic problems in constrained environment and maximizes utility. Sometime back McKinesey published an article- More from less! Infact SRISTI (Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions)  announced an award called MLM ( More from less for Many). My Dear Student friends, if you have any such ideas, please submit your proposal. If you want to know more about it, visit

My Dear Friends, Hope you found useful reading these inspirational stories! Hope you got inspired to do good for better society! Inspire, Inspire and Inspire!!! Friends, I appreciate your valuable time. I will again see you in my next letter. Thank you for giving me this great opportunity to write to you and help me to learn, unlearn and relearn in this process. I personally thank all websites, authors who are publishing / writing such an inspiring stories for common good and contributing for better world. Thank you Authors and Websites.

With Best Wishes
Dr. Ravi Saripalle

About Author:    Dr. Ravi Saripalle is Founder of Inspire to Innovate (i2i) Storytelling Movement. He is also Director, Center for Innovation, GVP College of Engineering (A), Vizag, AP, India. As part of Inspire to Innovate (i2i) Storytelling Movement, Dr.Ravi is trying to spread inspiration through real time case studies in the form of short stories, embedding them in the form of letters (epistolary form) and sending them to thousands schools, colleges, universities across India. Also conducting Storytelling Workshops to inspire students for select institutions. Providing customized mentoring to specific inspired students. Dr. Ravi is having 18 years of experience in Industry, Consultancy, Training, Mentoring and Research. Prior to this current role, Dr. Ravi worked with Wipro Technologies for more than a decade. Dr Ravi can be reached at saripalle.ravi@gmail,com or or

Links to previous letters

1.      Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 8 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)

2.      Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 7 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)

3.      Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 6 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)

4.      Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 5 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)

5.      Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 4 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)

6.      Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 3 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)

7.      Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 2 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)

8.      Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 1 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)

Disclaimer: The goal of this i2iSM letter series campaign is to inspire students / youth through storytelling and develop innovative leaders to build strong nation. In this process, I have taken several data points from various websites, NEWS articles, books, videos etc. I sincerely thank all the editors for providing such an insightful stories and information. To the best of my knowledge, I tried to acknowledge all the sources. I sincerely apologize for any omissions, grammatical mistakes and hurting any reader’s sentiments. I request all the readers to understand the spirit behind this effort. This effort doesn’t involve any commercials. Letter series is for free distribution. 

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