CHANGE leaders do great things, and often that is all we know about them. Here we want to get a different glimpse of the personalities that constitute the development space. Every month we get one leader to answer four quirky questions. This week we catch up with VIRENDRA ‘SAM’ SINGH, the founder of Pardada Pardadi Educational Society.
In Hindi, Pardada Pardadi means “great-grandparents.” An integral part of ancient Indian wisdom revolves around family; the value-based knowledge and education a child receives from an invested community is a crucial component of her successful transformation into an adult.
Since 2000, Pardada Pardadi Educational Society (PPES) has been improving the lives of women and girls in rural Uttar Pradesh. Their mission is to empower community women from the poorest sections of society and to this end they provide free education for girls at their school in Anupshahr, and job opportunities for women – thereby creating a new generation of self-reliant, educated young women who will break the cycle of poverty in the region.
Small Change: What’s one self-improvement goal you are working on currently?
S.S: I would like to be more in touch with people. Because of the organisation’s expansion, I think my personal touch with individuals has reduced. I would like to get back to when I knew every person and in most cases their family members too.
Small Change: What’s your idea of ‘dressing up for an evening out’?
S.S: At my age and stage in life I don’t dress up for evenings out or for any other time. Whatever I am wearing in the office or school, is what I wear for evening or any other function.
Small Change: What are three things you would take with you on a 16-hour flight?
S.S: A book and my phone, these two things are more than enough for me.
Small Change: Do you think humans have souls? If so, tell us more about what you think. If not, why?
S.S: I don’t think humans have souls. What we do have is the ability to do things not only for oneself but for others as well. I believe that it is all about doing things which will help improving the quality of lives of humans.