I Have A Dream

23 Nov 2011

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Book: I Have A Dream
Author: Rashmi Bansal
ISBN-13: 978-9380658384

“I Have A Dream” is the third book in Rashmi Bansal’s very successful trilogy of “Stay Hungry Stay Foolish” and “Connect The Dots”. All the three books were sold over 350,000 copies in India and translated into 8 languages. She secured a place for her in infibeam’s list of Famous Authors in India. Congrats to her. In my last review about “Connect The Dots” book, I suggested her NOT to mix Hindi and English in the English version of the book, so that the book could inspire millions of Indians who don’t understand Hindi. But, the same continued in this book as well. Many of my North Indian friends told me that the mix of Hindi gives them the feel of locality and connection with the person when reading. What about me who don’t understand Hindi?. - It’s irritating. I generally do not skip even a single line, while reading any book. But this trilogy from Rashmi Bansal is the exception.

What do we have in this book, this time?. The inspiring story of 20 social entrepreneurs who took up a social cause and made a business out of it. Their motive is not to earn more money, but to make a difference in the lives of people around them. Most of them started small, without knowing their destination or a definite business plan. All they had in mind is to help the people. Eventually, people, money, and resources fell into place and they made it big. The surprising fact is that all of them are middle-class people, the average Indians. If they can do it, any one of us can also do it. All we need is patience and perseverance. This is a different version of Creative Capitalism - defined by Bill Gates. The large corporations should come forward to assist one of these social organization as their means of doing good to the society.

This book is divided into three categories, as usual.


Social enterprises which generate revenue. A new model of doing good, not mere charity. This includes a wide variety of entrepreneurs taking up a wide range of social issues. Bindeshwar Pathak - “Sulabh International” who revolutionized the sanitary situation in India, Saloni Malhotra - “DesiCrew” who set up the India’s first rural BPO, Dinabandhu Sahoo - “Project Chilika” who trains the villagers in Orissa to farm the Ocean, sowing the seeds of a ‘Blue Revolution’, Anand Kumar - “Super 30” who coaches the poor but meritorious students for IIT JEE and Dhruv Lakra - “Mirakle Couriers” who believed in the most neglected portion of the society - the deaf. There are many other inspiring stories, some of which will even make you cry.


Those who cannot just accept what is wrong and make every possible step to change the way the society functions. Anshu Gupta - “Goonj” which systematically collect, sort and deliver every scrap of waste clothing from Urban India to someone out there, to wear with pride and dignity, Trilochan Sastry - “Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR)” who raised a PIL and made the politicians to declare their assets, criminal history during elections and continues with further reforms, Arvind Kejriwal - “Parivarthan” who is an IRS officer, but secretly started a war against his own department and teaches the people to use RTI to the fullest, Bhushan Punani - “Blind People’s Association (BPA)” who is an MBA from IIM, but decided to see if management principles could be applied to the social sectors and create a change, which he did with BPA.

The Spiritual Capitalists

These are highly educated guys from IIT’s and IIM’s who felt that the service to others and the purity of the self is the way to achieve eternal liberation from this cycle of birth and death, thus renounced their material world. With a strong education background, they redefined the way service is done. Vinayak Lohani - “Parivaar Ashram” - a residential facility for orphans, tribals and the daughters of prostitutes. Madhu Pandit Dasa - “Akshaya Patra” from ISKCON Bangalore who feeds one million hungry children every day, in and around Bangalore. I met Madhu Pandit Dasa in one of the bloggers meet happened in Bangalore. I am so happy to read his story and felt the connection with him.

I would say Rashmi Bansal is one of the smartest females in the world, who created herself a chance to interview all those successful people in India. I suspect her next book, would go way beyond India. She would collect the inspiring stories around the world, not just who made it big, but those who made a small difference in a big way. We already have Rashmi Bansal’s series competing with “Chicken soup for the soul” series. To make it big, impact millions around the world and to make a real difference beyond the boundary lines, she must go International. But again - No local language, please !!!

Please buy the book from your local bookstore.

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