How These Young Social Entrepreneurs Refurbished a Government School

by on Feb 14, 2016
Millennial social entrepreneurs

Everyday, we get to read inspiring stories about how tech entrepreneurs successfully raised series A…B…C… rounds of funding, or how they crowdfunded.  They make for interesting reads.

But let’s take a break to read the story of a bunch of young  social entrepreneurs in Hyderabad. It’s a story of initiative, a story of thinking differently.  And it’s a success story.

The problem

A government school in the Filmnagar locality in Hyderabad was in “troubled waters.”  Well, literally and not figuratively.

Flooded with rain water,  the school premises had more frogs and other small animals than students. And the stagnant water made it a breeding zone for mosquitoes and other insects.

Srinivas Salladi, a civil services aspirant, tried to get the government authorities concerned to act on the situation, but in vain.

Srinivas then put up a post on his social networking page, highlighting the sad state of affairs.

The post caught the attention of Kiran Devata, a member of a student group, NARMY (Nature’s Army).  Kiran and his team visited the school and were appalled by the horrible condition it was in. His team approached the government officers just as Srinivas had done,  but got no response just as Srinivas hadn’t got.

The solution

They decided to resolve it themselves and went to a contractor who said renovating the school would cost Rs.120,000 (about 1,800 USD).

The next step…how they raised the funds

The students decided to raise the money by collecting old newspapers from households across the city.  Twenty-eight students went door to door and collected old newspapers to the tune of  10,000 kilograms and sold them to raise Rs.120,000.

Students from colleges like BSIT, Spoorthi Engineering College, Aurora Engineering College, Kamineni Institute of Medical Sciences took part in the project.

The result

No merger or acquisition or an IPO.  Just a problem gracefully solved.

The entire flooring of the school was redone and the faulty sloping that was causing the stagnation was corrected. The school’s floor was raised by a few inches to prevent water-logging. The students cleaned the moss from the walls and later got them white washed.

They also constructed a special platform to plant trees.

When the trees grow up, they will stand as a tall testimony to the grit and tenacity of those millennial social entrepreneurs who cleverly solved the problem they passionately felt about.

While the trees take time to grow, we have some photographic testimony of their achievement.

Before after images

What it means for marketers?

Here’s more insight into the mindset of millennial consumers.  They are intelligent, full of initiative and care about social causes, than fall for celebrities.  So when you market to them, keep that in mind.