Hey everyone! I hope all are as good and amazing as always. As usual, sorry for the delay since I was caught up with works. Well, this isn’t exactly a motivational post but this has certain lessons in it. This will inspire you for sure.
To start with, What is Great Minds – A student’s Initiative?
Great Minds is an Initiative by the students, of the students and for the students. A platform for a student to learn, share and Grow his knowledge and talents initiated at Bannari Amman Institute of Technology.
As an 18 year old guy, unsure of his own future in his academical career, I had this thought of creating a platform that will give exposure to students talents and will connect the like minded students across the country. The plan was to create an initiative that will function as a club in each and every college inside this country, thus connecting the potential students to share knowledge and grow within, which will take India forward in long term.
( To know more about Great Minds and to initiate it at your college or to support it in some way, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org (+91-9443535752). Your profile or your job doesn’t matter unless you are interested to do something)
Great Minds is a pool of initiatives wherein we start many such initiatives that will help students in some way. The next big step we planned was to make a Revolution. Yup, the initiative was named Revolutionize with the theme Unleash the power of youth. It is planned to have a large summit wherein many great personalities and speakers will come and share their experiences which will inspire the youth present at the summit. As the hunt for the big personalities and speakers began, I, Shariq Fazil Ahamed, being the founder and president, took the responsibility along with my friend Srinish Muthukrishnan, Joint Secretary, to meet the big shots and explaining them about the concepts.
People dream things before they do it, don’t they? I dreamed of everything before I did it. I dreamed of Great Minds before starting it alone. I dreamed of forming a team before I made my own fantastic team. I dreamed to discuss about Great Minds with many inspiring personalities which included Kiran Bedi mam. I sent a mail to Shobha Mam, secretary of Kiran Bedi mam in Delhi office.
She called and inquired about the concept and she was very much impressed by the concept but could not help since Kiran Bedi mam is busy in Pondicherry. That was a sweet NO! Well, I had faced more obstacles and was prepared to face even more. I kept meeting many people and explained them about the importance of Great Minds. One of our very dear friends, Karthi, connected us with Gaurav Siddharth, a cyclist with a Guinness record who had been in contact with Kiran Bedi mam. I spoke to Gaurav and he asked for the content to be mailed again to mam. I sent him and he also forwarded a recommendation mail along with it. Gaurav promised me a response at the least but left the choice open since positive or negative response is dependent on the concept you propose. (Thank you karthi and Gaurav)
One day I got a mail from the Secretary of Lt.Governor of Pondicherry saying that I’ll be receiving a call that day and I had to explain them about the concept of Great Minds. I got a call and I explained him clearly as to what we do at Great Minds and why we do it. He said that he will get back to us and the call was done. No hopes but our work continued. My Great Minds team whom I call my family, were working everyday to make the dream come true. No one knew about the call I had with the Secretary of Lt. Governor of Pondicherry except for Srinish, Sam and Vivek.
(Pic: My team)
It was on the eve of 3rd Oct, 2016 when I returned from college, I received a call from the Pondicherry Governor office. The words I still remember,
” Is this Mr. Shariq Fazil Ahamed from Great Minds?, Hi Shariq! We would like to tell you that Kiran Bedi mam loved your concept of Great Minds and finds it interesting. She would like to appreciate it and discuss more on it in person if you can visit us this Thursday, 6th of October at 4 pm Sharp“. The word Sharp was really sharp.
Wow! That felt good. I agreed and immediately called my friend Srinish Muthukrishnan, an IAS aspirant. We planned to leave to chennai the very next day. However Karthi was a bit concerned as there were some rumors going on about a riot that might happen at chennai due to some political reasons. We had to take a risk (Sorry karthi, Hope you’re okay with this.).We always believed and said that we were changing the country and so we had to do something. We left to chennai with our team’s (Not to forget the professors -> Indrajith, Lokesh and Siddharth) support.
We had other meetings packed for the two days and we were real busy. So the day finally came and we left early morning to visit a personality and then plan was to board the Pondicherry bus by 11.30. However, there was some delay in the meeting and we boarded our bus by 12. It took around 4 hours to reach Pondicherry and we were at Pondicherry by 4.15 and reached Governor house by 4.25. The pure White building had it’s own pride. We showed our identity proofs to the Gate security and went to the reception.
There was a paper on which several names were printed. The third one caught my friend’s eye.
“Shariq Fazil Ahamed – Great Minds!”
When asked for it, the receptionist curtly said it was not possible to meet her as it was past the allotted time. We were devastated and I spoke to him again and requested to talk to any higher officials to get the permission. (We believe in Dale Carnegie Style. 😛 ). He connected me with an higher official and somehow I convinced him to allow us to meet mam. Our mobile phones were taken and we were asked to wait at the lounge. I was observing the surrounding and preparing myself for the forthcoming meet. The hall was huge and pleasantly air conditioned. There were many higher officials in the lounge with a bouquet in their hands.
“Shit, we should have brought a bouquet bud” I told Srinish, who seemed a bit nervous by then.
“Let’s just talk in a fine way. We’ve got Great Minds bro” he said with a smile.
We were called next. We stepped into the huge hall that had some portraits of leaders hanging on the walls and there were two gentlemen along with the amazing woman we had come to meet. The officer in uniform and a man who wore white shirt stood crossing his arms around his chest and the lady whom we had come to meet in her simple salwar Kameez with an additional Coat over the salwar.
“Hello mam. Very Good evening” We both said in unison and she replied with a smile.
“Shariq Fazil Ahamed! Tell me about Great Minds” She said underlining the words Great Minds in the sheet in front of her.
I explained her about the idea and long term goal of Great Minds for around 10 mins. She was visibly impressed.
“The idea is really good. Students should come up with these kind of initiatives. Life is going to push you down hard as you progress but no matter what, don’t be ordinary. Keep doing great things. What do you want to do at Great Minds?” She asked after her appreciation.
“We want to change this country, mam. For the better” I said with a smile.
“You people can definitely change it. Why don’t you have one at Pondicherry? It will save my time and I really want this initiative to reach heights.” She said.
“Financial issues mam, we are still students” Srinish said.
“I’ll connect you with TN Govt chamber and they will make all the arrangements. You will just have to execute it. Start your works and do it well for colleges around here” she said with encouraging smile.
“That would be great mam. We would love to do it here and we would be honored to have you at our program” I replied.
The photographer bro asked us to pose for a pic. That meant the given time was over.
“I am a civil aspirant too mam” Srinish said as we stood for the pic which she replied with a smile and all the best.
“We would love to hear some of your words for my team mam” I asked my final question to her.
“This is a much needed initiative in India and you’ve already started to change this country. Make it here in Pondicherry and I’ll help you take it to the next level. Great Minds shall be the future of Indian Students. My warmest regards to your team” She smiled.
We thanked and returned.
So that was it. Our invitation and meeting with Kiran Bedi mam that lasted hardly for 15-20 mins. We had to take the return ride. A five hour 20 mins bus ride for me and a 11 hour bus ride for him. Tough but satisfied.
I still look back to the day when I had this thought of creating a platform for students and I was all alone. I didn’t know how to start but I am glad I initiated that day.
I don’t know if being invited by Lt. Governor of Pondicherry, Kiran Bedi and scoring her appreciations and appraisals is great but it was something good and satisfying for us since this is just a start and a moment will remember for lifetime.
You know what I learned through this?
A student can dream. Dream to take an initiative, dream to meet one of the greatest inspirations, dream to create a revolution and dream to change the country.
And when believed and worked hard, the dreams actually become reality. I still have so many dreams inside me. But this post is to inspire you to have a dream. A dream that is of value, that will change something for the better.
A very all the best for your future. Dream and work hard! That’s all for today..
Oh yeah, show us your support for Great Minds too.
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