The man behind the Vision
One man, one dream, and one decision are what made Team Everest. What started as helping 40 rural kids has grown to touch 40,000 children every year.
14 years ago, Karthee Vidya started Team Everest NGO with a vision to make every Indian volunteer.
This is a story of how a single man's dream is changing many lives!
Karthee - The school boy!
Karthee was born and brought up in Arni, a small town in Thiruvannamalai District in Tamilnadu, India.
He did his 7th to 10th std in a school in rural place where he came across many students from financially poor background. Karthee often recollects about one of his friends, who struggled to get even a long size notebook, which cost Rs 25.
Karthee in a new school
In 10th grade, Karthee scored good marks. So, his mother borrowed money and put him into the best private school in Chennai to score good marks during his 12th grade.
Karthee found that many of his new school friends were from well to do families which is a complete contrast to the kind of people he met in his old rural school.
Also, the quality of education he got in the new school was 100-200 times better than what he got in his rural school.
The fact that only privileged children can get the best education broke Karthee's heart.
He always says, "If you have money, you get one kind of education. If you don't, you get a different one altogether".
He believes every child deserves equal access to education irrespective of their background.
He decided that one day he will change this all. It was the first tiny spark during his 11th std. That many years later led to the start of Team Everest NGO in 2006, a nonprofit organization he founded to promote volunteering and provide education.
Karthee's volunteering journey: The beginning
In his 11th and 12th, Karthee was in hostel, so he could not do much about his volunteering thirst.
In 2002, he joined Metallurgy Engineering in Salem. In his 4 years of college, Karthee volunteered locally. From old age home to orphanages, he was helping in every way he could.
In his final year in 2006, he was campus recruited by Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTS), an IT company.
Karthee's First Salary
Karthee joined Cognizant on Aug 21, 2006 and got his first salary on Aug 30, 2006.
He decided to give part of his salary to educate children. He also reached out to 3 of his friends and raised Rs 4000. They went to a village called 'Sirumoor' in Tamil Nadu. There they identified children and gave them uniforms, notebooks, and dictionaries.
This was the first activity of Team Everest.
Karthee quits his high paying Job
Ever since that first activity, Karthee never stopped volunteering until this second. He continued doing many activities from there on.
During his Cognizant days, he had to manage both office and Team Everest work.
To balance both, Karthee spent his time before and after office hours, weekends for volunteering. He used to work like 12 to 15 hours a day to manage both the work.
Precisely after 100 months, on Dec 31, 2014, Karthee quit Cognizant to take up volunteering full time.
Karthee joined Cognizant as a java developer, and after 15 months, he moved into Cognizant's CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) team. By being in CSR, Karthee and his team made nearly 40,000 employees to volunteer. "If I can make 40,000 employees volunteer in one company, I sure can motivate many people to volunteer outside this company as well." It is this belief that led him to quit his well paying corporate job.
The Rise of Team Everest 2.0
Till his Cognizant times, Team Everest had no employees and office. Everything was managed only with the help of volunteers.
From Jan-1, 2015, Karthee gradually started building a team, thus the birth of Team Everest 2.0.
Today, Team Everest has around 25 full-time employees and 25,000+ active volunteers working towards the dream of making India one of the biggest volunteering nations and a mission to provide quality education to every kid.
The impacts of Team Everest
Currently, Team Everest is helping 40,000 children every year.
We provide scholarships to school, college, and rural students. We do a school adoption program where we give uniforms, books, and infrastructure support to aid quality education to children.
We run a digital literacy program through which 5500 students learn computers every day.
We also do English & soft skills classes for students.
Team Everest is recognized as 'Leader in Volunteer Engagement', a unique award which only 1 NGO in entire India can receive in a year.
The journey continues You can watch our impact stories on our YouTube here.
Keep supporting. Volunteering truly can make a big difference in this world.