Letters from Commodore

Reap Benefit
May 6 · 3 min read

Hello, my friend

I’m quite alone in Head Quarters today as the others have gone home for the holidays. Platoon leader Kuldeep is pacing around downstairs. I try to avoid him whenever I can but today I have no choice as I need to get my plans
verified by him. Today, at noon, we are getting 8 tables and chairs delivered
for the new recruits coming in. As I heard this news I realized that its’ been a
year since my first day.

Platoon Leader Kuldeep leading the way

I remembered my first day like it was yesterday. There was an air of tension
in the room. As I walked in, the one they called “Sanky” was giving me the
side eye while platoon leader Vinod was etching his name onto a chair. I’m
no Sherlock but I understood the source of this tension was the lack of chairs
in Headquarters. I walked around to find a place to sit and that was when I
saw platoon leader Rizwan plastered onto a bean bag. The seven values that
Reap Benefit holds sacred was hanging across the room. I have fooled my
parents for twenty odd years that I’m religious so I wasn’t too bothered when I
saw it. That was my first day and whoosh, one year has passed.
I have learned a lot, had many first times and met some great people. Not sure
if I can explain everything in this letter but I can tell you about my very first
task.

Every year we hold a boot camp at headquarters, if we cannot take the war
outside during summer then we bring it here. 40 odd Solve Ninjas have come
from around Bangalore to fight for what’s right and they get 15 days to do it.
They choose a problem they want to solve and they go through the familiar
DISS process to solve it. My task for the day was to use my mysterious
special set of skills for printing out documents. I know how good I am on the
photocopying machine so I felt pretty confident. As the day went by, I tried
to make myself useful and started listening to the Ninjas as they made their
plan of action. This is when I met Aarushi, a thirteen-year-old, wanting to rid
the potholes on the road on the way to her school. She came up with an
ambitious plan of reporting the severe potholes, filling the small ones on her
own with mud and stones. She also planned on speaking to the shop owners to create awareness on the problem. I wasn’t exactly sure if she would be able
to complete everything in these 15 days and doubted she could go out and
campaign like the way she planned. I tried to explain to her that even I would
not be able to do this and asked her to focus on only one part. She called in
two weeks later to inform that she could not complete the tasks. I felt bad
because I thought it was my responsibility to make sure that she completed
her “solve”. That’s it from me, on May 4th a new edition of the Bootcamp is starting and I hope I can help these ninjas in a better way this time. I better start planning my tasks for the Bootcamp or else platoon leader Drishya will not let me sleep.

Goodbye,
Joseph.

Reap Benefit

A social enterprise that works with young people to solve environmental and civic problems using local data and affordable civic solutions.

Reap Benefit

Written by

Engaging youngsters in solving local environmental problems with data and solutions #energy #waste #water #sanitation

Reap Benefit

A social enterprise that works with young people to solve environmental and civic problems using local data and affordable civic solutions.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade