As a donation platform for India’s most credible NGOs, we come across incredible stories of people who are helping others on a regular basis. From child education to women empowerment, these are a few of the stories of people who decided to step onto the ground and involve themselves in the betterment of rural India. Their strength, hard work, and desire to make a difference give us faith every day!
Kailash Sharma was an ordinary child born to ordinary parents in Madhya Pradesh. But he was meant to do extraordinary things. Even as a child, he was disturbed by economic disparity and the injustice of the flawed systems that separated people across India.
One such instance really left a massive mark on him. As a teenager, he’d decided to host a community lunch that was cooked by the “lower caste” of his village. The upper castes didn’t even show up and completely outcasted him and his family after.
This incident, among others, made him drop his surname and adopt “Satyarthi” which means a “Seeker of Truth”.
He went on to completely dedicate his life to humanity. In 1980, he founded the Bachpan Bachao Andolan, India’s largest movement that campaigns for children’s rights. In 1998, Satyarthi conceived and led the Global March against Child Labour, an 80,000 km-long march across 103 countries to put forth a global demand seeking action against child labour.
In 2004, he established Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation. The project focuses on policy advocacy, preserving child rights, and effecting grassroots-level change. It is now recognized as a global voice for children’s education. Today, over 87,000 children have been freed from 144 countries because of KSCF’s efforts. In 2014, Sathyarthi became the second Indian recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, after Mother Teresa in 1979.
Flavia Agnes got married when she was just 20, only to find herself alone in a new city with an abusive husband. She soon filed for judicial separation. But she found out that she could not get a divorce on the grounds of cruelty based on Christian family laws.
This experience opened her eyes. So in 1992, she went back to complete her higher studies and graduated with an LLM degree and an MPhil in Family Law. It took her 13 years to finally get a divorce.
Over the years, she handled cases about marital disputes and violence, brutality and sexual abuse of women and minors. In 1991, she took the fight a step further when she co-founded Majlis Manch, a Mumbai-based Public Trust and NGO. As of today, Majlis Manch has provided legal aid to more than 50,000 women in need and counselled approximately 1,50,000 more on women’s rights.
Flavia and her team deeply believe in the importance of women empowerment. Majlis has become the answer to the growing need of lawyers dedicated to defending the legal rights of women in urban and rural India.
Purnota Dutta had just stepped out of Indian School of Business and started her corporate career when an experience changed her life. On a visit to the TATA Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, she came across a girl battling cancer. The girl was the same age as her own daughter. The experience shook her. She decided that she had to do something about it.
A year later in 2012, she founded the Cuddles Foundation that works on the nutrition of poor kids who battle cancer. Cuddles provides nutritional supplements, hot meals, diet plans, counselling, and feeder tubes to underprivileged children fighting cancer. This ensures that the kids have the strength to endure treatment.
The biggest challenge for the team is to make people understand the relation between malnourishment and the effectiveness of cancer treatment. But through years of passionately promoting the cause, Cuddles has worked with 35,000 children in 19 hospitals across 10 cities in India and continues to reach more every day. They received the President’s Award for National Child Welfare for 2015-16
Dr. Nandakumar and Dr. Shylaja
The doctor couple, a surgeon and a gynaecologist, decided that they would return to India from the USA after saving up $100,000 from their medical practice. When they heard of Gudalur, they instantly knew that it was the place they were meant to be. Gudalur is a valley situated in the tri-junction of the three South Indian States of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka which is home to over 25,000 Adivasis.
They started with a small community health programme training tribal women on women and child care issues. The programme grew into the NGO ASHWINI (Association for Health Welfare in the Nilgiris), now consisting of a 50-bed hospital and 8 Sub-Centres. Today, Ashwini is owned and managed by the Adivasi community themselves.
Maternal mortality and infant deaths in the region are lower than the national average. Diarrhoea deaths have almost ceased. But the most incredible part is that the Adivasis come voluntarily to the hospitals. Dr.Nandakumar’s and Dr.Shyalaha’s success serves as a testament to the impact of empowering people to help themselves and providing them with the knowledge and tools to do so.
Every nonprofit on GiveIndia is run by a team of people whose stories and work are just as powerful as these. You can do your bit and commit to helping one such organization with a small monthly donation.