One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world.― Malala Yousafzai

Born in Hindupur, Andhra Pradesh, Naga Viswanath discovered his passion for teaching at a young age. His circumstances were challenging, not ordinary by any stretch of imagination. “My school had a rule that if you failed in any subject, you weren’t allowed to take part in any outdoor games. You had to sit and study,” says Naga; and while he was never interested in playing games, this exclusionary rule didn’t sit well with him. He took it upon himself to tutor his struggling classmates instead. “With my help, all of my students managed to make it through the following exams”, recounts Naga with a hint of pride; and so, began his journey as an educator.

In the coming years, Naga began to pursue his passion in earnest, tutoring his classmates, juniors, and even his seniors. As an exemplary student with a natural grasp of Mathematics and Computer Science, he didn’t encounter many difficulties explaining the most complicated topics to his students in the simplest of ways. In his own words, he “Always explained complex topics using live examples. If my students can’t understand the problem statement at a grassroots level, then they’ll never be able to find the solution. Teaching and explaining in this lively manner is more difficult, but my job is to make things easier for my students, not for myself.”

Having grown up reading the autobiographies of visionaries like Mahatma Gandhi, A.P.J Abdul Kalam, and Sudha Murty, Naga has never once considered monetizing his hobby. “For me, teaching is a source of positive energy and happiness. It gives me a boost every time one of my students does well.” Even during his brief stint as a lecturer at an engineering college, Naga’s hands-on approach to tutoring made him a favorite among students. At THIS, we have witnessed firsthand his practical and lively approach to training sessions; it’s truly a joy to be taught by someone who enjoys teaching.

When asked about his inspiration, Naga said without any hesitation, “It’s my father. He encouraged me to regularly read the newspaper, both in English and in my local language. My grasp of English helped me excel in my field, and my familiarity with local languages helped me connect my dreams to the collective development of my community.” It’s a humbling experience to meet someone who gives his all to a full-time job and still has something left to give to his community. When we asked him how he balances his social activities with his work, he said, “You should always put aside 10-15% of your time to develop your passions. Even if that means your work pressure will increase, you should always develop your passion, whatever it is. Once you can find meaning in your passion, it’ll automatically reduce stress on other fronts.”

And that’s precisely what Naga has done. He has learned to read and write in Kannada in order to explain the critical concepts of Mathematics and Computer Science in the local language. Driven by his desire to help, he collaborates with religious institutions to arrange free blood camps, health checkups, etc. He also lends his technical expertise and acts as a consultant for schools, colleges, and healthcare and religious institutions. He has also helped develop a donor management system (DMS) for a temple in Andhra Pradesh, to track and manage donations. He’s creating a temple portal for more than 200 temples, spanning hundreds of towns and villages, where devotees can offer their prayers remotely. “It’s my dream to build the world’s largest temple portal and spiritually connect people from all around the country.”

At THIS, we are extremely proud to have such talented and compassionate individuals as Naga in our family. It’s important to be reminded from time to time that it doesn’t take a lot in life to be happy. Sometimes, it’s in the simple things; a few words of acknowledgment from a student, encouragement from a mentor, and appreciation from our loved ones. Coming from a middle-class background, he has successfully pushed beyond social and financial limitations to give meaning to his passion. His dream of a digitally and spiritually connected world resonates strongly with our core values at THIS.

At the end of the day, it's not about what you have or even what you've accomplished. It's about what you've done with those accomplishments. It's about who you've lifted up, who you've made better. It's about what you've given back.

― Denzel Washington