Ashwin :”It was 3 am at night, during our semester end exams. He got a call from this really rude stranger. The guy on the phone told him, “You walk around as though you are a messiah , trying to save our society. If you really are what you claim to be, there is a dog injured near my house and has been wailing all night. Come and attend to it.“ He texted the address after hanging up the call. The address was quite far away from where we were and we had an exam in six hours.
What happened next was quite unbelievable. Anirudh left, and said he’d meet me the next day. After the exam, I met him, not only had he attended to the dog, spoken to the stranger politely, but he also had done the exam really well. And as he narrated the story to me, he was on the floor doing push-ups.”
When I heard this story, I just had to meet this guy. He seemed too good to be true. And oh boy, when I finished my conversation with him, I had my eyes wet and notepad full.
You know how most of us, switch off the lights when we leave the house, and put up a facebook status about it? Or help a blind man cross the street and immediately instagram it with #change? Some people do these things ‘just’ to put it up on social media, or worse, so it’ll look good on their resume. And in this selfish world of ours, one boy will tell you,
” Sakkath attachment namma naadu andre. Future bagge maatra kelbeda. ZEEEERO plans. “
That translates to, “I am way too attached to my motherland. But don’t ask me about my future plans or my livelihood, I have zero plans made.”
For the first five minutes I kept thinking, this boy is like those unbelievably dramatic kannada movie heroes, making heroic statements for footage. But in a while I was eating my own words. Here is someone who lives for community service. Ask him why social work is so dear to him, he says,
” I have grown up in an environment where everybody always wanted to leave. Leave the house they grew up in, to move to the suburbs. Leave their town to move to big cities. Leave their country, to move to the West. Leave their family to make big bucks. It appalled me. I have always, since I was a child, wanted to make where I am, a better place. Make the people I’m with, happy. Make the most of who I am in that moment. I hated people who went abroad and said, India needs to change. I wanted to give them an answer. And thus began ‘Let’s Be the Change’. ”
Meet Anirudh Dutt, my fourth feature on Re-Engineer Yourself, and he plans to Re-Engineer Society.
Stuck in a B.E course he laughs at, if Anirudh had the opportunities, he could be studying community service as a subject. Community-service UnderGrad Stanford , Princeton Research : click on these links and you’ll know.
Why is it that an Indian student has to first finish his B.E and then figure out his career? This boy is now the proud founder of an NGO called ‘Let’s Be the Change‘ and has over five thousand people bowled over his work, on social media alone. I am not even going to start thinking about how many hearts he has touched, how many homes he has made a difference to.
Here are some pictures of their work.
Lets Be The Change received the Best Visionary award from Youth For Seva Warriors Of Change and also are finalists at the ‘Namma Bengaluru Awards’. Anirudh Dutt has been featured in The Hindu among other newspapers to talk about the organisation and does interviews with Tv channels round the clock. It is people like Anirudh that remind us,
We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
If you want to join LBTC or have anything to say to them, you can get in touch with Anirudh Dutt on www.facebook.com/AskAshi , leave a message and your word will reach him. The lesser we complain, the more we achieve. A boy with no future plans, stuck in civil engineering classes is re-engineering our city, imagine what a country full of focused young people can do. As Teddy Roosevelt told us,
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
You can write to me with your story if you want to be featured on Re-Engineer Yourself , here at : www.facebook.com/AskAshi 🙂 cheers!