Joyfest 2013: Guest Lecture by Mr. Venkatraman K

The chief guest for JoyFest 2013 Mr. Venkatraman K conducted a guest lecture for PGP-1 students on how as management professionals, we can make a difference to society. Mr. Venkatraman is a multitalented person whose philosophy in life is four dimensional- Personal, Professional, Spiritual and Giving back to society, and also “Be flexible and give time as per the need of the day”. A Chartered Accountant and Cost Accountant by profession, he is a partner in a CA firm in Mundle, Venkatraman Associates, Mumbai. He along with his wife Neela, also a Chartered Accountant, established an IT Business Solution firm “Mohd Al Humaidi Computers LLC (MAHCE)” in 1991 in Dubai. MAHCE is an IT Business Solution Provider to Business houses in UAE, Middle East and African countries. A self-proclaimed humble beginner to giving back to society with his initiative www.education4all.info, his initiatives serve in the field of Education and Saving the Planet. A Rotarian, a member of IBPC and Dubai Chamber of Commerce, a member of ICAI Dubai and a member of CSR committee ICAI Dubai, he is a competent communicator and a leader of Toastmaster International USA. He is also a painter, a poet and has published for private circulation in 2010 -“Seeds of Thought, Beads of Thought, Pearls of Thought”.

Mr Venkatraman started his humanitarian journey by finding an idea. He went to hospitals, old age homes and other charitable institutions but felt that would not be his cup of tea. The idea of education took shape in Dubai and he began with pencil collection. In the first week he could collect 1000 used pencils and gradually the numbers grew to one lakh and seventy two thousand as more schools joined in to donate pencils. The next stage was the completion of supply chain when for the first time delivery he negotiated with Air India flight cargo carriers. The pencils were distributed to children in villages in India, where his vans would go and distribute to schools. The principals and teachers being elated sent very positive reviews to Mr. Venkatraman which motivated him to proceed further.

He even had to face rejections when he approached the Government and other freight forwarders who denied accepting old materials. The next step was collection of discarded school uniforms. For distribution, the Rotary helped and thus the network increased. His collected items reached 12 states in India through 30 NGOs. He got the answer to his question as to whether an individual can make a difference by giving. The answer according to him is affirmative as many people join in the path and are there to support. Different schools and associations approached and also articles were published in newspapers which helped them to collect further still. Now, he has stock and surplus of some items in his warehouse. He credits his wife for her immense help throughout.

Another idea struck him when he went to a village in Tamil Nadu in February 2010. While having lunch, mid-day meal was served which made him aware of the standards of food offered to children. He made an economic plan and gifted a cow to the school. The school gave cows to villagers who would provide milk at subsidized rate. The whole aim was to provide quality food to children and improve the standards of living of the villagers. Nineteen cows have been gifted till now to the villagers from different sources. The idea is so appealing that some celebrate anniversaries by gifting cows and other economic senses.

Also he took up the challenge of improving the practical knowledge imparted in schools in villages. The lab teachers of some schools were gifted free experiment kits on Teacher’s day in September 2013 and also given training. Till now 38 schools have been gifted and are being trained.

He also teaches communication skills to labourers in labour camps in Dubai.

Praising TAPMI for its marvellous celebration of Joyfest, he was overwhelmed by the participation of management students in giving back to the society from a very early age. He concluded by saying that these three days of training by students, which brought joy and smiles on the faces of the kids was phenomenal.Image

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