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Mehmood Khan – Part 2

9 January 2012 3 Comments

Hi All,

The first part of the interview with Mr. Mehmood Khan can be found here.

Me: How do you ask a young kid to go school when they dont have food to eat.. I know education adds value.. but the returns are so long dated.. The current problem should be resolved first right? I always have this thought in my mind..

MK: Parents are actually convinced that education adds value. Now the rest boils down to the education system. The most of the parents want their kids to be educated today.. As I mentioned earlier, society is now ready for the change. Now the government has to be pushed to provide the service.

Now there is an act passed called right to education. All children from age 6 – 14 are provided with facilities and training in reading and writing skill.. Ofcourse there is scope for improvement. The skill gap will continue. Slowing down of the economy leads to some soul searching.. We have 100,000 children coming in every year.. 95% of those who go to school come to job market.. How do we make them relevant to the market.. Extrapolate this to the whole country.. We have one australia coming into the market every year..

Me: Do you think the model which RKK trust is developing, is a scalable model which can be transported to other villages? or should each village be analyzed independently and model should be customized depending on its needs?

MK: Model can be applied any where. Somthings have to be tweeked to the local environment. Farming for example, might depend on the region.. Rice and paddy will require water.. So it has to be customized. But the model will scale.. We have to work with the community.. Bring partners… Technology, finance, marketing etc.. So.. sustainable model has to be tweeked based on the needes..

Me: What do you see are the current challenges..

MK: Well many.. Firstly, Talent.. Rule India has a lot of raw talent.. But they have to shaped and moulded to be productive.. A lot of such talented people leave the villages and go to city.. We dont have IITs and IIMs there.. We have to retain talent there..

Second challenge is the local stake holders.. There are always hinderances and blockages to positive forces.. A lot of beurocracy feels uncomfortable or out of comfort zone when such initiatives taken. But when they see that it does have positive impact, they join the force.

Me: How did you find your purpose..

MK: Well, I would say it is a part of the learnings from the vedic period. What is the meaning of life? It has various parts. Initially you build a character in the age of Bramachari. Then you move on to the family life. You earn enough for family etc. Then you reach a stage when you realize enough is enough for yourself.. You start thinking about the society as a whole.. By then you would have raised children.. saved money for wife etc.. Now you want to put youwr body to use for the society.. I think I am in this stage in my life cycle.. I want to put my time to society’s use. This keeps me happy.. It is a process of mind I think

Me: Why didnt consider settling abroad?

MK: Well, I have a base in London, Mongolia, USA etc. I can go whenever I want. But I belong to the villages. Whereever I can add value, I belong there.. To be honest, we are in this virtual world.

Me: What is your message for Indian Youth sir?

MK: Today the Indian youth are in their 20s.. When they come to my age.. India would be the world’s no.1 economy.. Within the next 30 to 40 years.. it will be No.1.. There is no doubt about it.. But the question is.. do the youth want a choatic way to reach that stage or do they want to reach it in a planned way..

The real challenge is what role they want to play.. How they want it shaped.. Every body will add value.. You will prosper along the way.. Just how you want it to be is a choice that you have to make it..

I made no sacrifices.. No favour to any one.. I am doing these activities for the peace of my mind.. Youth can contribute to the underprivileged in a number of ways.. through jobs.. through education.. monetarily .. Infact, it is in ones own interest that we contribute to the upliftment of the society.. to make the democracy work.. otherwise, we will have unequal distribution of wealth and serious problems on earth..

People abroad can also contribute.. World has become a single place.. There is no difference between India and abroad.. Technology is uniting us.. You are in London now. but I can see you taking notes real time… People can contribute to the society wherever they are.. and in whatever way they can!

Good luck!

Me: Thank you very much for your time sir!


Readers, hope you enjoyed this edition of Coffee With Experts.

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