We may long to make a positive impact on someone’s life. But that often happens when we read about a Hurricane Katrina or about a Tsunami. Why do we wait for a special calling? Can’t we do our bit to spread a smile on someone’s face? To make a difference?

Make a Difference Paalaguttapalle Bags writetribe.com


Today, I want you to read a story. Or rather two. The first story goes like this.

One day, as a man was walking along the beach. He noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. He approached the boy and asked, “What are you doing?”

The boy said, “Look! These starfish are stranded on the beach. I am saving all of them”.

The man noticed that the surf was up and the tide was going out. So yes, the boy was making sense. But then he also found that there were miles and miles of beach and thousands and thousands of starfish.

He said to the boy, “Well, you won’t make much of a difference, will you?”

The boy smiled at him, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the sea. Pointing towards it he said, “There. I made a difference for that one”.

This is the answer to those of us who wonder “Will my choices make a difference in this world of 7.6 billion people?”

Let’s read another story.

There was this girl who took up a job after doing her Engineering degree. She worked for three years but then decided to go for a more meaningful and socially relevant work. She didn’t want to start an NGO. Her search led her to a small village called Paalaguttapalle (Dalitwada) in Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh.

It was a community of landless labourers. Recurrent droughts had struck for the last few years and agriculture became no means of livelihood. They were trying to find ways to make both ends meet. She found that a handful of women knew how to make excellent pickles, some basic stitching and others were willing to learn.  She decided to guide them, and that led to making perfect eco-friendly, sustainable cloth bags. Orders started pouring in and the women are now sustaining their families.

That was in 1995 and the work still continues.

I am talking about Aparna Krishnan, and the beautiful creations of the women of Paalaguttapalle. From bags with the traditional Kalamkari panels, hand embroidery, and screen prints, you can find them all. Like Paalaguttapalle bags, the pickles are also widely appreciated. The tomato pickle made with sun-dried tomatoes is unique to this region.

Aparna Krishnan says, “The women have been working hard, with complete commitment to quality and neatness. When I tell Rani that the quality is uniformly appreciated, she tells me, “That is what we need. Money is secondary.” And every customer has uniformly appreciated the work.”

Paalaguttapalle bags will cost you between Rs.55 to Rs.150 (Yes. Seriously!).

Think for a minute. What would have happened if Aparna Krishnan hadn’t taken that initiative?


We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love” – Mother Theresa

Don’t hesitate to take that step, however small it may seem. You may never know how huge a difference you would make in someone’s life.

That said, here’s a contest for you. Read the rules below.

  • Write a post on the prompt “If I could make a small difference today, I would ———–” We invite today to blog for a cause to make a difference.
  • Use the hashtags #writebravely and #writetribeblogsforacause
  • Follow Aparna on Twitter and like this Facebook page.
  • Add your post to the linky below.
  • Visit and comment on the posts linked.
  • The last date to add to the linky is 21st December.
  • Oh and share the love!
  • And yes, there will be small Christmas presents for the best two posts.

Make a difference today.

Published by corinnerodrigues

A lover of words. A self-acceptance blogger. A blogging coach. A book reviewer. A woman happily journeying through midlife, moving from self-improvement to self-acceptance and enjoying being herself. Corinne writes at Everyday Gyaan, reviews fiction at CorinneRodrigues.com and encourages writers and bloggers at Write Tribe and offers offline coaching to writers and bloggers at The Frangipani Creative, located in Secunderabad, India.

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  1. My mother in law was hospitalized Wednesday and got out yesterday – a long story and a lesson I learned may have made an excellent addition to this. But I can’t commit to the time to read and comment on other blogs, so I will not be joining in after all. This sounded like a wonderful contest. It really made me think. Thank you -perhaps another time.

  2. It is wonderful to see the work that Aparna has started. It may seem like a drop in the ocean but over a period of time, this will serve to be the catalyst for change that she has set out to bring. What an inspiration for the rest of us to follow! (I’ve actually started something over the past few weeks, that I will be talking about in my post, so yes, I’m hoping to #make-a-difference too!)

  3. Acorn today, an apple tree in future. Much cliched yet holds ground in any age. Small thing may lead to something great and mammoth, all that is needed is suitable conditions for it to fructify!
    Dalit wada is an inspiration!

  4. “Make a difference” title made me read this. These days so many people including myself feels the need to do something. But most of the time we are clueless or direction less. Or maybe we are not putting enough effort to find something. Hats off to Aparna for her enthusiasm and her goodness for creating such a beautiful initiative.

  5. Something to think about although I’m not sure how well my thought will “translate” from the United States to India. I’ll see if I can get my thoughts together.