"if someone says according to your economic situation and from the last few years of historical data" You can't do anything impactful. Give them a sweet and tiny slap in their face, and tell them "Here is something, the impact starts from now.", says Imran Saif Mohammed.
In our conversation with Saif, we discovered that there is always room to be a better person, always. Here are the excerpts from our chat with Saif Mohammed, he truly sets an example for a lot of people and proves that Out of difficulties, grow miracles!
What was the one thing that motivated you to start learning?
I believe that learning can help all of us grow. I was always looked up as a slow learner and was criticised as a kid who doesn't understand numbers and can't do anything big in life. Despite the hard criticism, I learned, worked hard and stood second in the board exams of my school. It wasn't a win for others, but it was a win for me because I was learning and I did it well, from being nothing to topping the charts of board exams felt great as a kid. Since then, I started believing in learning things. What motivates me to learn I think, is the factor of making a difference and anything that I believe can benefit a cause or prove the cliche assumptions to be wrong. I worked with an NGO called SAFA in Hyderabad for the underprivileged kids. I wanted to prove that the cliche assumptions of the kids who are underprivileged can't really make a big impact to be wrong.
The first few things I taught the kids I could recall was hilarious. One of them was, "if someone says according to your economic situation and from the last few years of historical data" You can't do anything impactful. Give them a sweet and tiny slap in their face, and tell them "Here is something, the impact starts from now." While I motivated them, I learned to stand as a hope for someone in need. I think making a difference and impact motivates me to learn.
Would you like to share a story which is close to your heart?
When I was a kid who was just out of school, my family suffered to get food on the table as my dad's business incurred huge losses. As a kid I started working as a courier delivery boy. I learnt a lot while working and doing menial jobs. I've had amazing experiences interacting with a lot of people whom otherwise I would've never met. It was painful and our family suffered throughout the days, I cycled for around 80 km every day through the city. As a kid having to go through this made me learn to take huge risks by challenge the status quo and ride against the tide.
How did you implement the learnings?
As I learnt through my personal experiences and difficulties, I figured the best way to implement these were to contribute to the society in some way. I work for two NGOs both who teach kids in need. I contribute my skills to the NGOs by providing them my time and skill to help them grow in the digital space.
What motivates you to help kids?
I believe that giving is something that is not associated to financial aspects it is much more than just a few cents. I give them my time, I teach the kids, teach NGOs' how to handle digital media, how to hack growth in their organization, I take my skills and utilize them for good because that's how I believe giving and contributing to a cause works.
I believe in making a direct impact, you see a problem, solve it!
Don't sit in a chair and throw some cents or facebook likes. Liking a poor kid's picture on facebook and thinking you are making a change by giving a like?
My way of giving is to find a problem, use your own skill sets to contribute to solving the problem if you don't have the skill set to solve it, learn it. I really love the concept of ILearnIGive because anyone with any skill set can participate in the campaign, be it football, music or dance. I booked a dance class for my niece and in return I'm gifting a kid in need to learn.
What would you suggest kids these days to learn?
In my opinion, kids should try out various areas that they're interested in and take risks which may challenge the assumptions made. I believe kids need to learn to figure out what is best for them by trying out and exploring various areas of interests. If the willingness to explore is more, the ability to take risks also increases. The one thing I suggest kids to learn is to learn taking risks and explore the horizons of opportunities.
How do you think kids can find their passion and follow their dreams?
This is a tough one. I can say the willingness to explore different opportunities and finding what suits the best is a way to figure out their passion. Once they get to know what excites them they can work towards making that dream come true. I figured contributing and changing kids lives is what really excites me. Using my skills that I learnt and contributing to the kids future is what drives me to work hard.
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