The best job perk you could have

The best job perk you could have

23 Jan 2017

A front row seat to the good being done in our world - that’s the best part of my job.

A front row seat to the good being done in our world - that’s the best part of my job.

Not many people can claim this. I get told many powerful stories from different people across Asia who are impacting lives in their communities.

A recent trekking holiday in Nepal gave me the opportunity to visit the Shree Saraswoti Secondary School in Gorkha, where one of our stories unfolded 20 years ago and continues even today.

This is Our Better World's first animated story, In His Teacher’s Footsteps which became our highest voted story in Good Story of the Year 2015.

Imagine how thrilled I was to visit!

It was a sunny yet chilly autumn morning. Students scrambled to get in line for assembly and sang their national anthem in unison amidst the snowcapped Himalayan range.

Standing in close proximity, a sense of awe overwhelmed me.

Impressionable hearts and minds with so much potential to fulfil their dreams. Perhaps this was a glimpse of what our story subject, Krishnan, saw in 1996 as a volunteer teacher here.

The school’s headmaster at the time, Mr. Netramani Kattel (Netra), was someone who shared Krishnan’s passion and dedication in educating the young.

Meeting Mr. Netra for the first time on this trip made this crystal clear to me.

For both Krishnan and Mr. Netra, teaching is not only their profession, it is their way of life. How they nurture the young for life ahead is really unique and precious.

After his Nepal stint, Krishnan led Singapore students on volunteer trips to Saraswoti and continued to rally support for the school amongst friends and family.

Over two decades, Mr. Netra and Krishnan became like family.

A week after the 2015 Gorkha earthquake, Krishnan was there with Mr. Netra, helping with disaster relief. Mr. Netra also affectionately shared how Krishnan’s daughter addressed him as the grandfather on her first visit there. This touched Mr. Netra. They were indeed family.

Years later, one of Krishnan's students, Kumaran, followed in his teacher's footsteps. He raised funds for the school to set up a computer lab, the first of its kind for a school in that area.

Kumaran fell in love with Nepal and its people, just like Krishnan.

He continues to lead a group of Singapore medical students annually to conduct a medical camp at the nearby Gorkha hospital.

Krishnan shared with me how it was priceless to witness a former student of his continue contributing to the same community.

Distanced by borders and cultures, yet connected by a deep commitment to educating the young, Mr. Netra and Krishnan imparted wholeheartedly to their students.

They’ve inspired many to follow suit.

Without a doubt, being witness to such impact has been the best perk of my job.

It motivates me to get better at the work I do. Flooding the digital space with stories that matter, and challenging mindsets, attitudes and actions for a better world.

Watch Kumaran and Krishnan's story here.