Posted by: greatfoundation | February 7, 2011

Making a difference

Making a difference  – Utpala Joshi

This is a story that has been narrated in many motivational seminars.

Curious to see why, on that quiet seashore, a boy is picking up something and throwing it back into the sea, the story teller approaches the boy to ask him. The boy says that the high tide brings many starfish to the shore, that later find it difficult to get back into water. He points around him. There are many starfish out of water that are half dead. The boy picks one up and throws that starfish into the sea. The water carries it away giving it its life back. The story teller sees the boy doing the same task over and over again yet the dying starfish around are hardly reducing, so he asks the boy again, why is he taking the effort? What difference does it make? The boy smiles while tossing another starfish back into the sea to say, ‘it made a difference to that one’.

I’m reminded of this story many times when I teach math to class 10 B. I may not be making a big difference with my teaching but there might be one student in the class who would get a math concept completely clear during the class and that concept would stay with him forever. That’s the difference I hope to make. It is not big but it matters to whom it affects. Who knows, afterwards, maybe the student who gets the concept gains confidence, passes the math exam, decides to study further, enrolls into college and the story continues .. I was asked on last Saturday that with a small group of volunteers, how can I expect to make a difference. This is my answer.

Do you agree?



  1. Hi,

    Nice to read about the motivational story & your experience of teaching Maths to backward area children. I also love Mathematics & can share Vedic Maths (basics), some Maths puzzles/ tricks for the children to increase their interest in Mathematics.

    Do keep communicating.

    Best Regards.

    S.M. Chakradeo 9850966474

    • Dear Mr. Chakradeo,

      Thank you for the help extended. Could you please share with us the Vedic Maths (basics) and puzzles. I believe they would be very helpful. Please let us know in case you reside in Pune and could join as a volunteer. We teach on Saturdays for an hour. Look forward to your response.

      Jaslene Bawa

      • Dear Jaslene,

        Yes, I will like to share Vedic Maths (basics) & Maths puzzles. But I am slow, please give me some time (about 4-5 days). Although I reside in Pune- Kothrud area, I can’t spare time on week days including Saturdays.

        Best regards.

        S.M. Chakradeo

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