Friday, 2 September 2016

Inspire to Innovate Storytelling Movement- Letter to Student Series Volume 2 Issue 1

My Dear Student Friends,

This is Dr. Ravi Saripalle, Founder, Inspire to Innovate (i2i) Storytelling Movement. Welcome to “Letter to Student Series- Volume 2 and Issue 1. Hope you enjoyed reading my previous letter. These letters are e-travelling across the country, for one good cause, spreading inspiring stories of amazing people. Our mission is to inspire youth by sharing positive stories of people who made difference in life in various domains. Today these letters are reaching all 686 districts of our country. These letters are  helping to build positive dreams and act as catalyst to youth aspirations.

Why should you read this letter? Your time is most precious.
ü  When an individual hears a Positive Story, it sets vision and provides strength to execute goals
ü  When an individual hears a Positive Story, it invokes his/her natural multiple intelligence
ü  When an individual hears a Positive Story, it acts like Edutainment (Education + Entertainment)
ü  When an individual hears a Positive Story, he/she learns skill on their own rather external push
ü  When an individual hears a Positive Story, he/she tries to create his/her own positive story
ü  When a teacher starts class with a Positive Story, student learning productivity multiplies

In the previous issue, we discussed about Prof. Anil K Gupta, globally renowned scholar in the area of grassroots innovations, Vijaybhai Solanki and Dipakbhai Vyas, grassroots innovators who developed cotton wick making machine, Yacouba Sawadogo,  who developed agro-forestry technique which increases increased crop yields, Dr. Prakash Baba Amte and their family members (dedicated their life for tribal people and wild animals welfare), son of Magsaysay awardee Baba Amte (famous social worker, who dedicated life for the empowerment of people suffering from leprosy), Mallesham , innovator of Laxmi Asu machine,  Dr. Suman Kapur and Team who developed rapid urine culture testing device. They are sharing humongous inspiration. Their dedication and determination cannot be measured. They are transferring the inspiration to the generations and benefits the needy. They are converting adversities to learning and developing the sustainable opportunities. They are rising hopes and aspirations! Every individual reading these bio-sketchs will have positive impact in their thinking and action.       
            In this issue, I would share few exemplary and amazing teachers who are making difference in student's life. First I would like to talk about an young teacher named Muskaan Ahirwar, aged 9 years, living in Bhopal slum. This article was published in TheOptimisticCitizen and Business Standard( or After her school, she collects books and sets up makeshift library in her slum. This is called as Bal Pustakalay. These books are sponsored by Rajya Shiksha Kendra. This library works between 10AM- 11AM in the morning and 5PM-6PM in the evening. She and her sister maintains book records. Students paint and play games during weekends. Inspite of no electricity and water, she is running this library with lot of enthusiasm and dedication. She was nominated for NITI AAYOG award. Muskaan, keep up your spirit. You are making difference to more than 25 slum children.
            Sir C V Raman, renewed inventor & teacher is always inspiration to teaching and research fraternity. Before joining University of Calcutta, Sir CV Raman worked as Government Administrator (Assistant Accountant General) after passing FCS exam. However, he was passionate towards research. Hence he used to conduct research at  Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), Calcutta during free and night times. He produced great results. Later he received offer from University of Calcutta as first Palit Professor of Physics. Though it was low paid comparative to government job but he preferred teaching and research job. C.V. Raman was confident of winning the Nobel prize in 1930. Infact he booked his tickets in month July, though the awards were to be announced in the month of November. Amazing confidence on his work! (
            Anne Sullivan, was an American teacher who made remarkable contribution as teacher to Helen Keller, who was deaf, dumb and blind. Anne Sullivan was also partial blind. Sullivan was not just  teacher to Helen but also great companion and friend. She taught her vocabulary based on Helen's  interests. Anne spelled each word out into Helen's palm. In six months, this method proved. Helen learned 575 words, few multiplication tables and the Braille system (McGinnity, B.L., Seymour-Ford, J. and Andries, K.J. (2004) Laura Bridgman. Perkins History Museum, Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, MA.). The first word taught was water. In order to teach this word, Anne kept Helen's palms in running water and explained this word. Anne was known for her patience and perseverance. She was awarded of honorary fellowship from the Educational Institute of Scotland, honorary degree from Temple University and Harvard University. Wonderful Teacher and Brilliant Student duo!
            Recently I was reading about heroic teachers at yourstory ( Evandro Joao Silva was a Brazilian teacher, who raised money through music and helped poor children to escape them from poverty and violence. On 18th Oct 2009, Silva was mugged and shot to death by robbers. Infact I saw a picture of student Diego, who was crying and playing violin during Silva's funeral. Silva helped Diego escaping from violence through music. This shows how a good teacher impacts students lives.
            Now let me share the amazing story of young principal (16 years old) called Bharti Kumari  who lives in Bihar. She was abandoned as infant at Railway station and with the help of her adoptive father, she got educated. She walks 2 miles to the school and teaches kids of range from 4 years to 10 years. She teaches Mathes, English and Hindi. Bharti decided to dedicate herself for cause of education and teaching. What an amazing little teacher, determination and dedication!
            Similar to this story, we have  Babar Ali, from West Bengal, named as youngest principal in the world at the age of 16. Born in poor family, he doesn't have money and resources. However, Ali was passionate about education. He started a school for village children and doesn't charge any fees from them. He and his friends study during the day time and teach children during night time. He doesn't have any money to pay salaries to teachers. Today this school attracts more than 800 students with 5 teachers (aged between 13 to 18 years old!) who are all students again. He is raising donations and trying to help students. In 2009, Ali won the "Real Heroes" Award, by CNN-IBN. He gave Ted Talk. Currently Ali is 24 years old and teaching students in his parent's backyard. What an amazing teacher Babar Ali? Wish you all the best Ali and bring more laurels to Nation!
            There are teachers with noble heart. Recently I read an article from huffingtonpost. It was about Jen Sculley, a teacher at Denver's East High School, Colorado, donated one of her kidneys to a student suffering from kidney disease. It requires great heart and vision to build better world. Thank you Jen Sculley for your noble effort and thanks huffingtonpost for posting such a noble deeds. (
            Forbes published best teachers across the world (global teacher prize- top 10 in the world). One of them is Stephen Ritz, from USA. He developed food production program at New York City Public School. Stephen students installed more than 100 gardens, to make food production program, a reality. It has created great impact on academic performance and brought lot of health benefits. His teaching is on 2 fold basis- intellectually and morally. Stephen is nurturing students for uplifting social consciousness and empathy among students.
            Forbes also published about Madenjit Singh, from  Indonesia who is an extraordinary teacher and social entrepreneur. He started free school and low cost monthly magazine which promotes life skills for rural and poor Malaysian communities. Madenjit developed system to teach read/write/speak English in 3-6 months to any age group. He setup NGO to teach life skills for disadvantaged youth. As part of residential program, it helps in teaching cooking, community services etc. As of today this NGO spreads across 185 schools in 5 countries, some of them are in remote villages and less accessed locations. The beauty of this system is to mandate boys to bring their sister or another female student to maintain gender balance. Thank you Madenjit Singh for building such a great NGO with noble objectives and goals. Wish you all the best. You can see more at(
            Now let me introduce most famous German educationalist Friedrich Froebel, who implemented revolutionary ideas in the education system and started Kindergarten system. Infact he coined this term, means, a garden for children. Infact he was neglected by his father and step-mother in his childhood and was a unhappy child. It had an impact on him. As a response, he redefined education with full of fun, introduced gifts and play materials. He believed that these tools bring lot of enthusiasm in kids and help in better learning. It allows creativity and helps in identifying student attitude. He believed that every individual student is different, creative and complete in his/her own intelligence. He believed that each child possessed an internal spiritual essence. He says special education environment offers social, cultural and educational exposure to the children and promotes self-realization. He developed concept called 'Froebel gifts', referred to the educational play material devised by him which consists of patterned activity blocks and geometric building blocks.
            Finally I would like to talk about John Amos Comenius,  one of the finest educational theorists and philosopher. He had experienced wars/persecution in his country and witnessed his wife and children die as refugees. He lived in hope of returning back to his homeland, but did not happen. He authored 154 books on education and theology, and most of the concepts in education passed time testing. Though he did not get proper response to his theories during his life time, but his concepts like women's education, drama lessons, educational system division, usage of visual aids, maps, charts and images for children etc became prominent in today's environment.  You can read these stories at's-Greatest-(and-most-famous)-Teachers-/34
            My Dear Friends, Hope you found useful reading these inspirational teacher stories! Inspire through storytelling, Innovate for Life turning! Friends, I appreciate your valuable time. We 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.

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 instill inspiration through spreading positive stories of amazing people in the form of short stories, embedding them in the form of letters (epistolary form) and sending them to thousands of schools, colleges, universities districts administration across India. Also conducting Storytelling Workshops in 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 mission, Ravi worked with Wipro Technologies for more than a decade.  Ravi can be reached at saripalle.ravi@gmail,com or or

Links to previous letters
1.       Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 11 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
2.       Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 11 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
3.       Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 10 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
4.       Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 9 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
5.       Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 8 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
6.       Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 7 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
7.       Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 6 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
8.       Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 5 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
9.       Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 4 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
10.    Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 3 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
11.    Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 2 (Inspire To Innovate (I2i) Storytelling Movement @ Students Of India)
12.    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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