Hope. And paying it forward.

Hope makes us do wonderful, strange things. This is my hope.

If you are willing to risk just a little on what Kipling called “a turn of pitch-and-toss”, if you can spend some money for a cause good enough to rack up bonus brownie points for your Karma account, read ahead. Even if you aren’t an altruistic Rockefeller, read on – you might just have a change of heart by the end.
All I have is the hope that springs eternal.

How far would you go to make somebody else’s dream come true? If that someone else is your wife? Or husband? Or a friend..? Or even just a stranger like me?

Before we go any further, how much of your money are we talking? Is this charity? A donation? Or something else altogether?

Rs 800. That’s all it takes. And it’s crowdfunding. An investment – in me. In my ability to make a difference in the years ahead. In my resolve to make that difference.

I got positive feedback when I discussed this idea with a couple of my friends, but I have no doubt this is harder than climbing Everest without oxygen.
Yet, hope makes us do wild, wonderful, strange things.

Am I embarrassed to be discussing my finances with you? Not at all.  I know there are many others out there without a college fund. I want you to be mine. Some of you know me personally, but don’t know this story. So here goes.

This blogpost is about education. And my right to have one. And my struggle to bring Earth and Sky closer to get one.  This is just one step in that direction.

In 2007, right after my graduation I applied for my MA degree in the UK. I got admission but couldn’t go – my wonderful grandparents and extended family who had funded my education couldn’t help anymore, and I had no money of my own. So I went to work instead – I’ve been a journalist for the last five years.
After five years of working, I’ve decided to clinch that duvet of hope yet again. And here I am again, at the same crossroads, looking yearningly at the path ahead, with no wherewithal to take that first step. Yet, take that step I must. This is not merely about my future – it is about my resolve to make a larger impact to society. I have it in me.
I know there are many other ways of making a difference, but this is the path I have chosen for myself. I’m proud of having taught some wonderful students in two Mumbai colleges – I hope with positive impact. Now I want to add to my arsenal of skills to use for good. By getting that MA, in the UK.

With crowdfunding. From you. I am counting on you.
Yes, you – I am counting on you.

You must be wondering why I don’t apply for a bank loan. After all, our dear finance minister stressed the fact that banks cannot refuse an education loan to any eligible student. That’s true – almost. the devil is in the details. For foreign education, a maximum loan of Rs 25 lakhs is available. That is good news but like in a Hindi film, there is a catch. You must produce collateral for any loan over Rs 7.5 lakh. And this effectively means that, like so many students in our country, I cannot fund my college through a bank loan.

Scholarships? Yes. That’s a hope. I have applied to every single one of those I could under the sun. Am I counting on them? Yes.
Am I counting more on you? Yes.

Here is my proposal:
I need to put together Rs 20 lakh ($36,000) in the next six months so that I am able to  go to London for my MA beginning September 2013.

Each of you send me Rs. 800 ($15).  That’s all it takes.
Why Rs. 800? The crowdfunding idea came from my Twitter and Facebook lists. I have slightly over 2500 followers and 600 friends, and if half of them funded me to the tune of Rs. 800 or $15, my means are assured to help reach the goal. Of making a difference!

I won’t get into the conscience stirring stuff about an evening out or an impulse buy, but this much I will say – a small amount to each of you, put together, is a dream realized for me.  Helping proves there is enlightened altruism in this world and that people will come together for someone like me. And in return get back their principal, with 8% interest and the bigger promise of me making use of that education for good. To make a difference.

Yes, I have  every intention of  returning this money to you. Every one of you – in seven years time. With interest. I don’t want you to be an unknown donor. I will tabulate every single contribution in cash or kind, update and make that document public on this blog to ensure transparency.

Please email me your investment in me with your bank account details and complete address and phone numbers. How else will I keep a track of you and return the money when I can?

My email id is shubhashish@msn.com if you have any questions, or if you want to help in any way that you can. I will be more than happy to engage.

And I will pay this altruism forward, all my life, helping others as I have been helped.

I sincerely hope that you will send me the money and become part of a history in the making.
 A history that will change the course of my future. And with me, the world.

Email me if you are interested to help and I will email you my bank details. If you want to PayPal my id is: shubhashish86@gmail.com.
I can email you my offer letter, degree certificates, bank account details, et al to satisfy any questions you might have.


My LinkedIn profile: http://lnkd.in/cKPixb

My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/shubh1608

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Shubhashish

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14 thoughts on “Hope.

  1. Rohit January 14, 2013 at 9:52 pm Reply

    I know how you feel. I got help from someone who was paying forward and now I do the same. Unfortunately, I am really broke right now but will try to manage something.. Gimme a few days.. Also, I saw some amazing individuals who would be willing to help at the payit forward india group. I think thats the link… not really sure payitforwardindia.com/

  2. Kuber Sarup January 14, 2013 at 10:53 pm Reply

    Well I’m in bro… You shall go to UK for your Masters.

    Umeed pe duniya kaayam hai.
    Hope makes the world go round.

  3. Navleen Khalsa January 16, 2013 at 12:24 am Reply

    All the best. I know how it feels. Will do my bit 🙂

  4. Dhru January 16, 2013 at 12:51 am Reply


  5. _common_man January 17, 2013 at 8:13 pm Reply

    I’ve 800 bucks, and maybe 800 bucks every month to spare, and a desire to help. But then there is an inner conflict. Should I help your Masters educations in UK, or a poor child’s basic need of elementary education? What will add more value into the system?
    From ROI point of view, you might in all likelihood return my 800, and this poor child might not. But would helping your need, someone who has almost everything, except this masters degree, any way comparable to helping some poor children?

    Who can help me in deciding?

    • Abhivyakti Singh February 16, 2013 at 7:48 pm Reply

      May be you can help someone like him who in turn will becum capable of funding 100s of poor children in return 🙂

  6. Surekha Pillai (@surekhapillai) January 18, 2013 at 1:17 pm Reply

    you have had that 800 rupees to spare every month till now, but did you do anything about it? you ask now because of #projecthope. if you get into the who-needs-my-800-rupees-more debate in your mind, you might not get a clear answer because someone who is dying from hunger right now could perhaps use your 800 rupees more than that poor child who needs elementary education. shubhashish needs help, so he has reached out. whether you want to help him or someone else is really up to you. doubt anyone can help that decision because it has to come from within. i can however tell you what i would have done. if i had 800 bucks every month, and that realisation struck me after reading this post, i’d give my first 800 to shubhashish and pledge the subsequent 800s to a cause that i would really want to support. good luck with the decision 🙂

  7. Surekha Pillai (@surekhapillai) January 18, 2013 at 1:19 pm Reply

    that comment above was for _common_man

  8. priyanka January 22, 2013 at 3:50 am Reply

    lol.. this is so funny. you surely are hopeful. will u let me know if u are indeed able to get the money this way.. i’ll do a story…haha


  9. Mohd Atif February 2, 2013 at 12:07 am Reply

    I am on.

  10. AD (@anaggh) February 8, 2013 at 4:03 pm Reply

    I think, I was one of the first to get tagged, to read, agree, RT and subsequently forgot, for a stupid reason, that I rarely use cheques these days except for Home loan 🙂 Can I afford 800/- maybe, maybe not. Do I want to give 800/- maybe, maybe not. Will he repay or move it forward, I don’t know. All answers to questions people asked me and eventually getting tired told a couple of them rudely “Don’t contribute, pass the word around”. There are always nay sayers to every goddamn thing/activity you begin. I love the comments these have drawn here and the #slytweets generated online. Everyone has different priorities. Animals, health, girl child, parties. I too have them, but yes will not drink for two months with @shubhashish 😉 and the money will help him. God Bless!

  11. karthikeyan m s February 17, 2013 at 12:03 pm Reply

    contributing is our duty for betterment of others god bless you subhashish

  12. […] Try to contribute to Shubhashish […]

  13. karthikeyan m s February 28, 2013 at 9:51 pm Reply

    small deed done are better than great deed planned ,helping hands are better than praying lips

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