A group of students at Gonzaga High School in St. John's sold boxed lunches on Friday to raise money to help change the lives of children in India.

Nitish Bhatt and his family came to Canada 10 years ago.

Bhatt said he wanted to be able to give something back to his home country.

Nitish Bhatt

Nitish Bhatt says he wanted to be able to give something back to the community in India to help improve the lives of students. (CBC)

"I went back to India for my first time when I was seven and I saw two kids about my age begging for food, and the first thing I thought when I saw this was, 'These kids should be in school. I go to school, my friends go to school. And these kids, instead of begging, should go to school and improve their lives,'" he said.

However, Bhatt said things aren't so easy in the southern Indian village of Kakinada.

"They need all of their children to work on the farms so they can directly feed themselves and they can put enough food on the table, and this is what prevents most children from going to school," said Bhatt.

Small contributions can mean big change

Bhatt and his friends decided to set up a lunch event, selling boxed Indian meals and putting the proceeds toward helping fund education in India.

Neira Aylward

Neira Aylward says it's important to remember that making a change in just one person's life is worth the effort. (CBC)

"We've sold about 165 lunch boxes, which is really great because through these funds we can directly sponsor about five children for the upcoming school year," he said.

Bhatt's classmate Neria Aylward said while looking at problems on a large scale can be overwhelming, it's important to remember that any small contribution can mean a world of change for one person.

"It's not as hard as you would think it is to just kind of change one life in India, and maybe that's where we should start," she said.

"You look at these huge problems like illiteracy in India and you say, 'Where can I start, what can I do as a student in St. John's?', but, if you're changing one or two kids' lives, that's changing something and that's starting to break that cycle of poverty."