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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

'Karma Kurry' book series aims to inspire young Indians

Jeroninio Almeida's Karma Kurry - The Hero in Me, published by Jaico publishing, showcases real people who make a difference to society. In a chat with Prachi Rege, 'Jerry', as he is popularly known, talks about the concept of 'real heroes' and how to live life with a definite purpose.

What does the Karma Kurry book series constitute of?
The first book was published a year ago, which we sold purely through word of mouth and social media. It constitutes stories of real life heroes, a combination of eminent personalities like Anu Aga and Meera Sanyal to ordinary people like Sailesh Mishra, Laxman Singh and Suhasini Mistry, who chose to walk an extra mile to change the lives of other people. Steadily our society is promoting the idea of materialistic values which is essential to a certain extent. However, we fail to imbibe value-based education, it is all about fame and fortune and attaining success at any cost. Stories in Karma Kurry seek to change this perspective, and divert the attention from glamorous celebrity idols to real life unsung heroes.

What gave you the idea to write the book?
I conduct training sessions with parents and teachers on a regular basis. A parent once asked me, 'If your concept of heroes is not celebrities, then who is it?'.  To this I replied, 'It's the people who give back to the society.' I want youngsters to understand, there are so many people who haven't been to school and are yet capable of contributing to the benefit of society, then why not us? Unfortunately, we have copied only frivolous practices like reality TV shows from the West, but failed to take in its spirit of volunteering.

How many such books are planned in the series? Does it fall in the self-help genre?
Ten such books, illustrating stories of real life heroes are in the pipeline. I would not like to position it as a self-help book, but more of a spiritual one, because we are celebrating the spirit of life. Human beings have the same gifts, but most of us don't open, or overlook them. We put unnecessary constraints on ourselves and complain that government agencies and institutions are not doing enough. It is time we shed that 'victimising' attitude. For example, after reading the story of Subhasini Mistry, I want my reader to think, if a maid can turn around a tragedy in her life into an opportunity and build a hospital that provides affordable treatment, then why not me? It is time we inspire each other. Most parents ask their children to chase success, however, I believe that one must focus on chasing a purpose, success will follow automatically.

Who should read it?
The stories are told in simple English, so anybody from the age group of 10 to 70 years can pick up a copy. There are plans to further simplify it with the help of caricatures and 100 word condensed stories that can reach a younger audience. We are in talks with TV channels to bring out a reality show with these heroes and also have plays that depict their lives.

Who is you hero?
I lost my father at an early age, my mother raised us with humble means. By the time I was 17-years-old, I was sulking about not owning Nike shoes and felt left out and alone in this world. However, while volunteering at Kamathipura, during my student days at St Xavier's college, Mumbai, my perspective of life changed completely. We used to teach children of sex workers every week. A sex worker, who I used to call Sunni didi, told me that I had good teaching skills and that I should pursue it as a career. Today, I train 70,000 people through my training sessions, I want to thank her for being my hero, as she spotted a potential in me. It certainly gave me a sense of direction, when I was a lost soul.

Courtesy: DNA

Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/lifestyle/books-and-more-karma-kurry-book-series-aims-to-inspire-young-indians-2056041

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