Everyone is necessarily the hero of his own life story
I take inspiration from everyone and everything. I’m inspired by current champions, former champions, true competitors, people dedicated to their dream, hard workers, dreamers, believers, achievers.
~ Conor McGregor
A brief note from the REX Karmaveer Global Fellowships Founder Jeroninio Almeida
~ The Rex Karmaveer Global Fellowship is not just for people who are leading social change but also for people who are changing mindsets and pursuing their passion by doing alternative things.
I believe everyone can create impact in their own small way and the greatness of that impact is felt only when it ripples out through our own small circle of influence into the world impacting 100s of thousands human lives. For instance, 5 years ago while dining with my family at a restaurant, I overheard someone at the neighboring table, recite a poem to his friends. The poem was about how people are treating their old parents. I went up to the gentleman and requested him to recite the poem again and was moved by the poem. I felt and knew that the poem if recited in the right circles would stir-up emotions and bring about change.
The poem titled Peeche Walla Kamra (The room behind!) is about how a young couple has isolated his old parents in the room behind. I told the gentleman Mr. Anhsuman Bhagwat that I am nominating him for the fellowship and Karmaveer Chakra award. He was surprised and after a GOOGLLE search about the awards on his phone, came up to me and said “Sir, I am in the events and exhibition business and have not done anything much to serve society. I said to him Anshuman the idea of the award is to empower champions of change like you to shoulder more responsibility and get you on the path to serve society simply by making an impact with your poems. I told him that The council of fellows would process his nomination soon and then I said Adios after dinner. When Anshuman received his nomination, after his initial hesitance, he decided to complete the form and accept the fellowship and award. After filling up the form he wrote to me that the fellowship form itself is an award and made him aware of all his strengths and potential that he had ignored over the years.
At the REX CONCLIVE Anshuman received his fellowship and award. He also recited the poem when he was invited to speak. Seated in the audience was Karmaveer Puraskaar award recipient and son to a million elderly parents Sailesh Mishra who is the founder of Silver Innings that works with the UN for Elder Rights. Sailesh collaborated with Anshuman and REX Karmaveer Global Fellowships to produce a video of the poem for The World Elders Abuse Awareness Day event organized every June 15th by The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) and United Nations . From 2015 the poem is played in several forums and events for Elder Rights, organized by UN and other groups around the world and is impacting millions of lives. This is the impact and THE POWER OF ONE. We at REX Karmaveer Global Fellowships sincerely believe that each and everyone of our 7 billion people in the world is a champion of change and Anshuman’s example proves that.
Each and all of us human beings are blessed with the ability and potential to be the change and make difference to create a better, safer, egalitarian, just, humane and responsible world. Our endeavour at REX Karmaveer Global Fellowship is to bring one and all together so that we can make a HUGE DIFFERENCE collectively. Thus my fellow curators, council of fellows and I are always on the lookout for people making the big difference with their small actions, besides the social crusaders and people working for social change.
Here are some examples of our fellows who are creating huge impact.
Murali a Cab Driver in Bangalore who never allows his passenger to urinate in the open and takes them to public conveniences and even keeps change for them to pay the people managing the public conveniences.
(Uday Jadhav auto rickhaw driver, who inspires his passengers to pay it forward is our Fellow)
Sashi is a senior IT professional working with HP (Hewlett Packard) , who in her non-working hours volunteers and encourages people to pledge and donate their organs for the benefit of others. She has been doing this for a while and had signed up around 65 people to donate their organs. After being chosen in the second cadre of the REX Karmaveer Global Fellowship, She shouldered more responsibility and signed up over 500 people within and year. Thus she was then chosen for the coveted Dr. Verghese Kurien- One vision to make a difference in our world Karmaveer Puraskaar award.
Karan Sidhu is a young MBA who decided to refuse campus placements with top consulting firms and runs a small Saloon in Chandigarh. He calls himself an artiste- Hair and Face stylist who makes people happy by helping them feel and look better. He has inspired 4 other friends all graduates to join him and aspires to have global franchise someday. He is influencing parents to understand that there is a career beyond corporate jobs.
Sherry Rajan is a housekeeping custodian in a 5 star hotel. When she makes up the room, she leaves behind a hand designed card with a BIG SMILEY and a GOOD NIGHT note for the customer whose room she has cleaned. May customers at the hotel insist on a room that has Sherry as the custodian. Sherry is also an inspiration for other housekeepers. Sherry is now being promoted as a Manager.
Shweta Kumar Katti is the daughter of a commercial sex-worker from Kamatipura the sex work district of Bombay. Shweta decided to learn entrepreneurship and has inspired several young daughters to become entrepreneurs rather than taking up sex-work. Shweta’s hero is her mother who worked hard to give her a good schooling and education and inspired her to graduate. Through the efforts of some of our Karmaveer Puraskaar award recipients, Shweta received a full scholarship to pursue her Masters in Liberal Arts at the Boston University. Shweta and her mother are both nominated for the REX Karmaveer Global Fellowship and Karmaveer Chakra award.
Nikunj Jha does home-deliveries for food orders. With every food order he delivers, he includes an inspiring thought (changes everyday), on a card that he staples to the bill. The thought inspires his customers to think more, be more and do more. Many customers leave him a huge tip and also insist on having food delivered only by Nikunj. After his nomination for the REX Karmaveer Global Fellowship, Nikunj is inspired to learn more and is now studying while working. He intends to graduate soon and is also learning English speaking and writing.
Abhishek was the HR and OD head of Indiamart. While attending leadership coaching session with Jerry, Abhishek spoke about some trips he organized to connect corporate executives with people in rural India. Abhishek was nominated and chosen for the REX Karmaveer Global Fellowships for his idea to BRIDGE THE DIVIDE. While attending the last REX CONCLiVE, Abhishek was inspired by other REX Karmaveer Global Fellows, to quit his bob and is now an entrepreneur who is organizing trips with a business plan and revenue model.
Sudeep Nagarkar is an engineering school dropout. He left E-school after a break-up with his girlfriend, underwent depression and contemplated suicide. During this period he started writing a diary and this emerged as a romance novel. Hos parents who were distraught by his actions of leaving E-school could not understand his state nor saw any future in writing novels even though the publishing company Penguin had agreed to publish his first novel. Sudeep’s lovey-dovey novels became a roaring success and he is now a professional author. Sudeep has paved the way for his friends and cousins to pursue their passion, rather than being forced to stay in E-school or B-school. Sudeep also conducts talks in schools and colleges for parents and teachers who are now seeing a career beyond engineering and realise the cope in literary and liberal arts. Now that’s a huge mindset change for parents in India.
Kartik is a senior steward at Delhi Airport lounge. I was waiting at the lounge looking for a bin to throw the tissue paper I had used. Kartik offered to dispose the tissues and I told him that I would prefer doing it myself since I do not like to leave tissues behind for someone else to clean up. Kartik told me the bin was in the pantry and that I could give the tissues to him. After much reluctance I agreed and while giving the tissues, noticed that Kartik covered his palm with two tissues. He then accepted the dispose which he carefully crumpled and then threw away in the bin inside. He then washed his hands and came back to serve me my fresh lime soda. I was impressed with his discipline for hygiene and started speaking with him. I realised that Kartik had huge integrity to follow high standards of hygiene, since he feels responsible for the health of customers, he serves. I also learned that Kartik educates other stewards and staff to practice hygiene standards and best practices. Kartik is now being nominated for the REX Karmaveer Global Fellowship. At REX Karmaveer Global Fellowship we also salute people who take pride in whatever work they do and are thus championing change to love what we do.
Mubeen Khan runs a catering business. Besides running his business, Mubeen also collects leftover food from his own kitchen and other caterers to feed stray dogs. Every night he personally goes to different areas and feeds the dogs. He also makes time on weekends to send local veterinarians whom he pays to go to different areas and sterilize dogs.
Sushma Veer is a popular Kannada Film actor and a theatre performers. Besides experimenting with different forms of theatre to keep old traditional theatre practices relevant in modern times, Sushma also plants trees and nurtures them with students from schools and colleges in Bangalore.
The Shriram School Children
The REX Karmaveer Global Fellowship in 2009 awarded a group of children from Class 3 to Class 12. Some children were saving tigers by educating communities about how the Tiger s important for the ecosystem. Some were feeding and sterilizing dogs in their locality. Some were planting and nurturing trees. Some were selling lemonade to raise funds for a cause they support. Some were teaching their househelp English and also making time to teach the children of their househelp. That’s all it takes to be a REX Karmaveer Global fellow because our simple ideas for action will make the big difference.
He is a young pre-teenage boy who is leading CSR initiatives for his father’s company.
The Chikarmane Family
This is the first time in our 10th Karmaveer awards ceremony , an entire family of Mum, Dad, Daughter and Son were awarded the REX Karmaveer Global Fellowship honour. Deepa and Vineet Chikarmane lead a export garment manufacturing and designer retail business and empower their workers with life and financial inclusion skills. Inika Chikarmane a young teenager curates and mainstreams young entrepreneurs to boost their start-ups and business models. Ved Chikarmane our young pre-teen leader, who is hearing impaired is a brilliant orator and an inspiration for several children to be more and do more.
The Kudle Couple
For the first time in our 8th Karmaveer awards ceremony, we awarded the REX Karmaveer Global Fellowship to a couple Sunita and Amarjit Kudle who own homestays and have empowered all their workers to be more and do more and be financially secure and responsible for their lives and their children. Amarjit and Sunita who are also inspirational leadership coaches, also inspire guests and others all over about character-rooted leadership.