“Didi”, is a transportation and technology giant that has become synonymous with ride-hailing innovation in China and beyond. Founded in 2012 by Cheng Wei and Jean Liu, Didi has rapidly transformed the way people commute, offering a range of mobility services, including ride-sharing, bike-sharing, and even autonomous driving initiatives. Read More Class 12 English Summaries.
Didi About The Author :
– Shaheen Mistri
Shaheen Mistri is an Indian social activist and educator. She is the founder of Akanksha Foundation. She is also the CEO of Teach For India since 2008.
She was born in Mumbai in a Parsi family. Her father is a banker with Citigroup. After attending boarding school in Connecticut, USA, she moved to India for higher education. She got B.A. in Sociology. Later she got a Masters in Education from the University of Manchester.
Didi Summary in English
“I reached to touch a rainbow today,
I reached up high so high.
And yet as high as I reached up,
I could not touch the sky.
I’ll reach to touch a rainbow again,
I’ll reach up higher than high,
And if I reach up high enough,
I just may skim the sky.”
didi story summary pdf
Page 107: I remember sitting on the wide veranda of our Indonesian home, writing little poems and notes in a diary. I would sit and watch little ants carry large loads, determined to get to their destination. What was my destiny? I was 12. What had I achieved?
It was in 1983. We lived in Jakarta, in a lovely home on a quiet street. It was a pleasant life, until I was taken to visit an orphanage in the city. I don’t remember how the orphanage looked, but I vividly remember the children.
I saw different kinds of children-crying, laughing, quiet, screaming children. I did not know what to do. I returned to the orphanage every weekend. Perhaps it was curiosity or a sense of thankfulness for all that I had, or maybe a child’s desire to learn more about the world.
My father was a banker. He had to move from city to city.
I had to study in 10 schools in five countries and followed French, British, American and International school systems.
Page 107: I began to understand that life was not perfect during my summer vacations. My summers were spent between the orphanage in Jakarta and trips back to Mumbai. In Mumbai I volunteered at The Happy Home and School for the Blind. I remember thinking of the beauty you can create when you look beyond what you can see. The school had confident children running up and down the staircases or playing cricket on the terrace with a ball that jingled.
It was through these summer experiences in India that I began to see inequity. I’d go from a family lunch to the dining hall of the blind school. I would watch through the window of my air-conditioned car children begging in the streets. I saw piles of wasted food at a friend’s party. When I left I saw woman, sitting on the side of the road, giving out very small amount of dal and rice to her family members. I saw the slums of Mumbai. They appeared to be everywhere. I saw the disparity in the lives of people.
In 1989 I was on my vacation in India. On one hot Mumbai day, my taxi stopped at a traffic signal. Three children ran up to my window, smiling and begging. My mind started thinking. I suddenly knew that my life would have more meaning if I stayed in India.
In the days that followed I went on thinking about those kids. I realized the purpose of my life. I wanted to be part of making things better for children. I knew this could be my country. Whatever I did here could make more difference than my university life in America.
A week before I was to return to Boston, I telephoned my parents. I explained to them my desire to move back to Mumbai. They listened carefully. They advised me living in Mumbai would be greatly different from spending a vacation. But I persisted. They agreed on two conditions: I would get admission into a good undergraduate college in the city and later would go abroad for my graduate degree.
Page 109: My parents had studied at St. Xavier’s and so I wanted to study there. I wanted an appointment with the Principal. The office told me that admissions were closed three months earlier and the Principal does not give appointments. I was frustrated. A student had seen me talking with the Principal’s assistant. He told me that there was a side door to the Principal’s office and I could try it.
I went through the side door. The Principal, Fr. D’Cruz was surprised and before he could open his mouth I told him, “Father, my life is in your hands. I want to do something for the children of India. I don’t know-how, only that I must.” He asked me a few questions and I was admitted.
The academic system at St. Xavier’s was different from that of the US. Here bookish learning was stressed. I quickly realized that I would learn more in the city than in the classroom.
Now since I was in India, I wanted to understand it in a different and deeper way. I walked around the city. Once I walked into a sprawling, low-income community which was a maze of small alleyways, full of life. Some 10,000 people lived there without running water, no system of waste disposal, and shared six dark cubicle toilets in one alley.
Page 110:1 walked around that afternoon talking with children wondering how life would be different if each one of them had access to the opportunities to grow to their potential. As I was walking, a soft-spoken girl, in a sari, welcomed me into her home. Her name was Sandhya. She was 18, like me. She knew no English and I knew no Hindi. But she smiled, laughed and chatted a lot. I felt an immediate connection with her. Her life was so different from mine.
Every day I went to her house after college. Her home was smaller than the bathroom of our house. When children poked their heads inside the doorway to say ‘Hi’ to us, she would ask them to come in. These children formed the first class I would teach. Each day a few more children would come trying to learn a few words in English, ora little Maths ora song. I felt useful and confident.
This became my routine. I’d leave college and rush to my new world in the community. Here I saw truth and hope. The children shouted ‘Didi, Didi’when I went there. It was becoming a lifelong commitment.
‘Akanksha’ was bom of the simple idea that India had people who could teach. It had spaces that could be used as classrooms. It had funds to educate all the children. Everything was there. I simply had to bring them together.
The people in the community wanted only 3 things – housing, water and education. I knew that for the children to take education seriously, they have to be free from the community’s distractions. We started looking for our first Akanksha centre space.
I approached 20 schools in the city to give us one classroom in their building just for 3 hours every morning. All of them refused. Some thought the idea of teaching underprivileged children was too revolutionary. Some thought the children would spread diseases to other students. A principal of a reputed school even said that the glass bangles worn by the poor children would scratch the desks. Finally, when I was about to give up, the principal of Holy Name High School in Colaba, agreed to give me a room. That was the first Akanksha centre.
Page 111:1 mobilized volunteers from St. Xavier’s to teach. I made a rough plan of what they would teach. I wanted the classroom to be just a safe place for the children where they can forget, at least for some time, their roubles at home.
Akanksha came into existence in 1991. It started with 15 children. Now it has 3500 children, with 58 centre and 6 schools. The main things taught are English and Maths. Students are also trained in values, self-esteem and confidence.
However, Didi has also faced its fair share of regulatory challenges and controversies, underscoring the complexities of operating in an evolving and highly competitive landscape. As Didi continues to navigate these challenges and expand its reach, it remains a fascinating case study in the ongoing evolution of the transportation and technology sectors. Didi Short Story serves as a reminder of the power of innovation to reshape industries and improve the lives of people around the world.