Startup by a school student - Vajresh Balaji, Project DigiKnowledge
At the age of 14, he was the youngest volunteer to ever get recruited at Make a Difference to teach English to underprivileged children, at 16, he is the licencee, organizer and Curator of TEDxKids@RSPuram.
It's not everyday that we come across students like Vajresh Balaji who’s in Class 11 at Shri Nehru Vidyalaya, Coimbatore and also spearheads the Project DigiKnowledge which is an organization specializing in promoting the accessibility of knowledge to people in the process giving a platform to people who are interested (Crowdsourcing Knowledge).
I first met him at TechSparks 2013, where it came to me as a shock, and my first question to him was “What’s your age? “ Vajresh: “I’m 16”.
I was quite surprised to see such a young chap come all the way from Coimbatore to Bangalore, just to attend TechSparks.
Me: So what do you do Vajresh?
Vajresh: I’m studying in class 11 and I’ve started my own NGO.
So I got interested and we decided to connect again after TechSparks. We got on a call yesterday evening to understand more about him.
Me: So Vajresh, what is your NGO about ?
V: We are working on a platform for all students to have access to mentors, to clarify all their queries and doubts. We believe that having a conversation and talking with a person is much more effective and students retain that conversation rather than interacting with mentors over mails online.
And, in between the conversation, he quickly interrupts me and says, “Sathya, please give me two minutes, my mom is calling me for something, she needs help, I’ll get back to you”. I just couldn’t stop smiling at his politeness.
We got back again after 10 minutes and I was interested to know the force behind his passion at an early age, where other kids at his age would generally spend time playing video games, surfing online.
He says, “The main motivation for me came from my grandfather, who used to take me to Rotary meets from the age 10.”
When asked what he wants to do next, he says “ I wanna start up in education sector through computer science, so I want to graduate as a computer science engineer and with the money I get from my startup or where I work from, I want to run on my NGO. “
Me: How do you manage your time between your school, assignments and at the same time running your NGO?
V: I make time table and follow it on a daily basis.
Only if we take this learning from Vajresh and follow this, I’m sure we will never have to complain about not having enough time for anything.
When asked about his advice for school students, he says, “You have to go out there and discover for yourself, you have to make use of every opportunity available and you never know which road that opportunity can take you”.
Vajresh Balaji also blogs regularly at Vajresh Balaji’s hub.