The Power of One

Wael Ghonim led two lives. He spent his mornings at the office of google as the marketing head, and he spent his nights on facebook.

Dear readers, like us he did spend his time on facebook. But unlike us he did not while away his time by checking out people’s pictures, commenting on friend’s status and chatting. His facebook hours were devoted to making Egypt a free and fair democracy!

Let me warn you, the first time I heard this story, I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that one ordinary man could alone trigger something so incredible. Today I am going to share with you two life changing stories

For those of you who don’t know there was a recent uprising in Egypt which led to the overthrowing of President Mubarak, a pressing and unfair dictator.
Now when you think of protests and uprisings you think of activist giving speeches, putting up posters, gaining public support. But when you think of THIS protest, you think of an anonymous, invisible leader, one who doesn’t care for power, but cares for freedom for his country.

Wael Ghonim organized the revolution on facebook. He created a facebook page in the name of a late popular Egyptian leader. As people went on liking the page, he gained support. He managed to get 60,000 people to like the page.  Any status update that he put up on the page, would appear on his supporters home page. He used it to organize events and reach out to a wide range of people. That is how he organized the protest at Tahrir Square which led to the overthrowing of Mubarak.

As soon as the Egyptian authorities realized that a movement was underway, they tried to sabotage it. Now normally, these people would have caught hold of the activists, put them in jail and open fire on the crowd. But here, there was no activist who was leading the movement, and alas, the troops were on the side of the public. So here’s what they did– they cut off the internet and phone connections in an attempt to halt communication. Infact, when the authorities found out that he was behind this movement, they secretly detained him for 11 days. But despite all that, the message had reached the public and the protest happened with a 50,000 strong crowd.
What followed was a free country. This man alone changed the scenario of Egypt’s political system. Not only that but he managed to awaken Middle eastern world! Inspired by Egypt, there were uprisings in Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Tunisia, Iraq, Jordan, etc
Now if he could use facebook to bring change why cant the rest?


Now coming to India..Narayan Krishnan is another such man who resides in the town of Madurai.
Narayan Krishnan, an award winning chef of a five star hotel in Mumbai was offered an elite job in Switzerland. Before going to Europe he decided to make a quick visit to his hometown, Madurai. Well, it turned out that the trip would be much longer than he intended it to be.
He saw an extremely old man eating his own waste. He was dying of acute hunger. Narayanan got him some food and that old man’s eyes filled with tears of happiness as he gobbled it down. So Narayanan Krishnan immediately decided that he would feed the poor and the homeless for the rest of his life.

He started in 2002. He feeds breakfast, lunch and dinner to the people who live and die on the streets, to elderly people and to those who are mentally ill. Has fed over 1.6 million meals since 2002. He feeds about 450 people everyday in Madurai. He went on to found  trust called the akshaya trust. Apart from feeding the underprivileged, he gives them shaves and haircuts with the aim of restoring their dignity and is also in the process of constructing a home for all these people.

This one man changed the life of so many just by caring for those who are uncared for.

Such is the Power of One.

If Wael Ghonim could change the Arab World and Narayanan could go from feeding highly paying elites to helpless roadside dwellers, why cant we? They didn’t have a huge amount of money or a powerful father!

One tree starts a forest, 
One smile begins a friendship, 
One candle destroys the darkness, 
One star can lead a ship. 
One life can make the difference, 

..and that one is YOU



  1. Thank you for this inspiring post. The faceless happiness workers who commit their lives to making a better world without any expectations of fame or reward are the ones who make all the difference. No amount of pomp, publicity or governmental programs can match up to the value of what these people do. And you, by virtue of your showcasing their efforts, are now “one” among them. Keep the faith, no matter what happens, and polish yourself, and you will find the world around you changing.

  2. Payal Lal says:

    Thank you Subhorup.
    There are few who comprehend my article the way you did.
    The power of one is extremely strong, but rarely understood.

    Thanks again!

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