In the end of my last post, I wondered whether the stark difference between Haripuram and Bhogapuram would make working in Bhogapuram easier. Turns out, it did, thanks to one guy: M. Dharmaraju.
Dharma is a remarkable fellow. The guy has done so much for his village already, and there is no doubt in my mind that he will continue to change Bhogapuram for the better. The most amazing thing about the guy is how modest he is. I already talked about how, when the government wouldn’t clean one of the village’s dirtiest streets, then filled with garbage to knee level, he told the village youth, and ultimately the whole village, to do it themselves! He didn’t leave for a post he was offered in Hyderabad because he wouldn’t be able to serve the community anymore. He got into fights with his family because he would do tutoring for free on his house’s rooftop. I really look up to him, and I’m glad he agreed to take up the battle with me.
All the problems I ran into in Haripuram were avoided. He knew the kids, he got them into a line, he got them to listen, and he told me at the end when I asked him how he thought we should continue, “Don’t worry, if I say they should do it, they will.” I don’t think his equivalent exists in Haripuram. There are a couple of guys who took up the responsibility there, but not to this level.
I’m glad Dharma is guiding me. He said that he’s happy to have a new project to work on, and that he’s glad I brought this to Bhogapuram. That in itself made my day. I’m glad I found some support after feeling a little isolating the past couple of days.
Tomorrow’s going to be fun. As a side project, we’re making a short film about BCT’s educational initiatives, so I’ll be running around getting footage.