"That's your father's
school," grandma said, pointing as we gazed at the decrepit building in the
village. Sitting on black stone steps to the school, I imagined my dad's tiny bare
feet climbing them years back.
She told stories of how
dad would finish all his books during vacations, how he taught himself English
when school didn't. And I thought – wow, dad really liked studying! Forcing myself to study, teenager-me
continued to dismiss him as a nerd. He was just so obsessed with education.
Of course, I was
fortunate that he was – he became the first engineer from his village, educated
his daughters rather than marrying them off, guided his brothers, supported his
family. I wondered how his life would have been had he not studied – how my
life would have been.
Power of education
dawned on me at HBS as my mind opened up to new ideas. Entrepreneurship, business
solving institutional failures, innovation – mere business buzzwords, or was my
education showing me ways to the world I wanted to see?
disempowerment, corruption, failing democracy – every challenge that my world
faces, my brain's algorithm reduces the solution to education. I know it's
over-simplified, but I don't care. I guess I am the one obsessed with education
In my country nine out of
ten children don't complete school.
I will open schools. I
will educate India. I will hold as many hands and get as many kids to school as
After all, all that it
takes is two tiny bare feet climbing on stone steps to a school.