About This Week India

KISHORE JOSEPH: A Personal Memoir

In the Twitter era we live in, not everything can be told in 280 characters. 

Certainly not if you are Kishore Joseph. 

KJ is many things to many people.

A mere tweet would only be a tiny take. But even that would reveal a lot about him. 

Like: “Got 20 blankets from KJ for old age home in this freezing winter.”

Inspirational: Especially when you consider that truth to tell, he is a typical middle class type, like any of us. This is not like mandatory CSR, but voluntary ISR (individual social responsibility). 

Here’s another: “Conferred National and International Award for conducting world’s largest open air painting event for all age group  (and for many others).”

That’s In Pursuit of Wow. From nowhere kid to The Man With A Big Heart. 

This is but a glimpse. 

“What do you do?”

Here’s a trick question. Why should you, not ask KJ “what do you do?”

Well, he can go on and on and on.... Just kidding!

Consider: KJ is Media publisher. Event Manager. Brand Manager. Strategy Consultant. Mentor. NGO Promoter. Social Entrepreneur. Civil Rights Activist. Counsellor. Amateur Music Composer & Tabla player. And a really good, flash dancer. 

Plus a kinda priest - without a title!

To his pals, he is Father Kishore! Tell him you have a problem and pat comes the response, “I’ll pray for you”. Dead serious and sincere. 

KJ is like someone straight out of the Be Inspired You Tube video you may have seen. 

Awards & Recognitions

KJ has won so many awards and recognitions that probably he has lost count: Social Media Entrepreneur Award; Special Social Media Award (conferred by PRCI Chanakya Jury, 2017); London World Record; Asia Book of Record; and India Book of Record for organizing the world’s largest open-air public painting exhibition held in Bengaluru (now an annual event held in major cities in the country); Asia Book of Records for organizing the world’s largest Letter of Gratitude to Indian Jawans given by thousands of ordinary citizens; Recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for promoting RAKSANA, a national movement against Child Abuse (20,000 children took part in the event); Entered the Exclusive World Record and Assist World Record for organising  Colorothon- the  largest community  painting session / festival that has seen over 1 lakh collective participation  across the country including cities like Bengaluru,  New Delhi, Lucknow,  Chennai and Hyderabad during the span of 5 years , accumulated Over 65, 000 painting collection .

Also organized several community engagement events Viz.  Bharat Bachao – a mass drum beating programme to awaken people about corruption and terrorism; organized international events like the Cricket World Cup for the Blind in Bengaluru; organised the Hermaan Mogling Life Time Achievement Award Ceremony for the Bengaluru Urban District Working Journalist Union (BUDWJU), organised  ‘PEACEBYCYCLE’: Be a Change Agent – Promote Peace by Pedalling on Gandhi Jayanti - to convey the message of peace and humanity to the world, Organised Peace Drum Circle at Christ University on Independence Day , Orgonised Peace Festival to commemorate Hiroshima Day at Christ School Bengaluru, as Director of his event management company, Breathe Entertainment; Felicitated by Crime Control Force and International Love for All Association (Japan) for Social Activism; Social Enterprise of the Year (Media & Entertainment) Award (2015) conferred by 24MRC Network Private Limited, New Delhi; Rex Karmaveer Global Fellowship Award given by  iCONGO Rex International Confederation of NGOs, Awarded by Tamil Nadu Press Employees Union for outstanding contribution to the field of Journalism and Society ...and so on and so forth. 

A really impressive collection. But at the beginning of it all, no one – KJ included – imagined the journey would take him so far. 

Destiny’s Own Child 

In the 90s, he was working in a hole-in-the-wall kind of small advertising agency when destiny took a magical turn, and he plunged into the tabloid business – knowing absolutely nothing about media – with a couple of his friends. 

But he learned on the job, very fast and discovered something few would. 

He found there was a big world outside of him, which motivated him – not to make big bucks but to serve a lot more people, in a lot more ways. 

Suddenly things began to happen in a whirl. He went on to start a chain of local neighbourhood tabloids in Bangalore under the name, “This Week Group” in 1994. 

Later he expanded it to other cities outside Bangalore, viz. New Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi, Pune, Kolkata and Guwahati. Today, he runs one of the fastest content aggregator online media portal, https://thisweekindia.news/, in the country. 

KJ did all this – with no office, no meticulous Excel Sheet planning, no PPT vision statement, and almost no capital! What he invested was his Can-do Attitude AND missionary service-minded approach. 

Using this as a launch pad to extend and expand his own reach, he founded Breathe Entertainment, an event management company, which specializes in – guess what – managing events that make or break multiple World Records. 

Thus, KJ went on to enjoy a lot of leverage in society owing to his several headline triumphs and successes, as media publisher, social media entrepreneur, brand manager, event manager, opinion maker, TV panellist, etc. 

He could have used this to scale it up – in different ways. A former chief minister of Karnataka even offered him a ticket to contest the Corporation elections, impressed by his attitude and sincerity. 

But destiny had other plans for KJ. 

KJ shifted gears, changed direction, and put his heart and soul into serving those who are less served. He began to collaborate and work with various NGOs, orphanages, old age homes, and such other cultural organisations. 

1+1 = 11: Doing More with Less

This list is perhaps the most important part of his works. Today KJ is the founder-secretary of Just Bell Foundation, trustee of Omashram Trust Old Age Care, managing trustee of Joseph Welfare Trust, advisory board member of Green Bengaluru School, convenor, Karnataka Yuvajana Sanga Jayanagar, Bengaluru, founder, Colorothon – Draw Your Imagination, apart from being PR Director for Cricket Association for the Blind In India 2012-2013 (affiliated to WBCC (World Blind Cricket Council), director, Breathe Entertainment, event & brand management company), State convener, Vande Mataram Social & Cultural Trust Bangalore 2014-2017, and executive committee member, Bengaluru Urban District Working Journalist Union affiliated to Karnataka Union for Working Journalists , member, Newspaper Associations of India. 

For all his awe-inspiring repertoire, KJ’s beliefs are uncomplicated. You make your own destiny, he says, and then you will see that 1+1 = 11. In other words, do more with less, and not less with more.

That’s Kishore Joseph in person: An ordinary person who has been featured in national and international media for achieving extraordinary things in life and inspiring others to be over-achievers. An ordinary individual, who has lightened up the lives of those who are homeless, deprived, forgotten, and discarded. 

The common thread in all his endeavours is the passion to put a smile on a person’s face. “I believe my destiny is to work for the welfare of the common people, especially those who are in need,” he says, and adds it makes him feel like a million dollars!

For all those who think life is unfair, Kishore Joseph is an example of how to deal with it – with a smile.

To KJ the world is well and truly a Vasudaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one). Born in Kolar Gold Field (KGF) , he is a dyed-in-the-wool Bangalorean, has served people from all over the country, and won international acclaim. Praise be to the Lord and My Father, Joseph, says he, with quiet pride and total conviction. 

KJ exemplifies another attribute: You don’t need deep pockets to do good. You only need a big heart – and things will follow. Currently, apart from all the zillion things he does (!), he runs an old age home on Bannerghatta Road that takes care of 100 elderly parents and also an orphanage home that takes care of 20 kids on Kanakapura Road. 

It’s not easy – not easy at all – to get up every day, take care of someone you don’t know at all – and keep doing the same thing the day after day after day. And still wear a smile and gift a smile – in the midst of all the responsibilities and distractions of daily middle class life. 

How does KJ pull off this Houdini act? “What you do for your self will perish when you die, but what you do for others will live and remain as your legacy,” is his signature belief. Life is not about what you have or don’t have but about what you do with it, he says. 

Truly, KJ is one of a kind.