Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What comes first - value creating Individual or value creating society

Last couple of months I have been spending time with students in the rural setting, our slum centers, and also have visited locations of other NGOs and organizations operating in the rural areas.  I was carrying forward the question from my previous blog of what holds us back as a nation in creating value.

One such place was an NGO by the name of Samuha in Karnataka.  They have partnered with Foundation for Life (another NGO of course).  They run an English, IT and Life Skills training for complete illiterates from the base of the pyramid and have them ready for BPO in 6-8 months!!! 

What was most interesting for me was that the trainees appeared to be all very responsbile, bright, driven, polite and at the same time not diffident at all.  It could be very clearly and obviously be linked to the environment and community they were being made to live with (I was meeting them after they had been there for over 6 months).  The whole community of trainers, facilitators, and management are very compassionate, driven, very responsible for their own actions.  An almost ideal micro-ecosystem if I may say so.

So then it seemed obvious that we are what we are because of how our society is, our education is -- probably also corroborated by the more observed phenomena of Indians becoming like Americans in the US. But then looking at this NGO setup in the midst of India and in a rural setting - I felt that someone has created the community too -- it is not like it has been there for ages.  Sunil Savara, the founder of Foundation for life - and the main person behind this community training experience, is from a corporate background like most of us.  But that one individual has managed to create a community that I believe is what most of us hope we could be living in - in India.  So then what created value first?  The Individual or the Society?


  1. Individuals make up a society...and value sets created by strong individuals

  2. Interesting question sir !!
    I thought about it and i feel :
    An individual gets a ready-made society as a gift as soon he comes into life. Then the process of conditioning starts which tries to produce a conformist. Values are also present in place and a paternalistic system guides us to pick them in sequence. The critical awareness of the individual always creates tensions and the result is either a more conformist being or generation of a new theme, a new value. No value is sacred, but the impacts may be when it is concerned with human lives. So the result oriented person creates new ways and the process obsessed person becomes Pavlov’s example. But if personal integrity is alive then there will be no conflict between values & creativity. We are fortunate that we had individuals who could think out of the box and that’s why we can see a dream.
    Individual comes first of all, everything comes after that.
    “We are our choices.” Said Albert Camus.

  3. Thanks for the great response! It has created multiple new thoughts for me.

    Society's raison d'etre is the upbringing of the individual. But everything begins with the Individual.

  4. Considering that an estimated 80% of those who go to school do not complete 10th, there must be something wrong with the education system. See Vigyan Ashram Documentary http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7244987184341990763 and see an alternative that might be successful.

  5. I noticed same is doing by one guy, in Bihar. Name - "PAMAL",CEO of Bivha international School. A totally free program for children of Bihar.
    Generally they are providing free of cost Skill development program,without asking or accepting any donation. I hope you guys too,come to improve the education quality in Bihar. Any way "NIRAJ" thanks you for helping mass of India.

    Ankit Chandra

  6. Yes it is Awesome! I am glad to hear that, You people are doing something that can not be explain. But in Bihar, Only Institute is working to provide computer skill.As Ankit you told us. I myself, Impressed with the work of Dr. Pamal.Please share little bit information about "Bivha international School". When i spoke with my local representative they, told us they have center in Bihar but not in PATNA. They provided me the details of -NIIT .But this facilites is not in Patna? Can you explain it?
    One question more?
    Can you provide me the details of Bivha International school.