A few months back, a dear blogger friend of mine, Damyanti introduced me to Project Why—a flagship programme of Sri Ram Goburdhun Charitable Trust, led by the vision and the efforts of Anouradha Bakshi, which provides educational support to underprivileged children.
As a non-profit, after-school support programme that goes well beyond academics, to include life skills and all-around development, Project WHY has so far reached out to 1200 children and 160 women. Since 2005, they have also been running a computer education programme that is currently, in dire need of financial help.
So, when Damyanti proposed to do a Blogathon to honour the ones we love by helping save this school, that was built on love and compassion, I knew I had to join in, despite a painful eye condition that had forced me to take a blogging break for close to a month. When you know about Mithu’s inspiring story you’ll know why Mithu’s cause is so close to our hearts and why we need your help.
Mithu Mandal’s Story
Mithu lost his legs to Polio as a kid. He was a student at Project Why Okhla Centre which runs after-school support for 350 children from the nearby underprivileged communities. This centre was established 14 years ago, at the site of a dustbin.
Though Mithu was never interested in formal education, he developed a liking for computers. Today, Mithu teaches computers to the children at the centre. He is very passionate about making difference in the lives of these children as he feels it is a way of giving back to the school which made him self-reliant in spite of his physical disability.
The Okhla Centre where this school is located, began its activities back in 2004 to address the problems of an extremely vulnerable group of children who were targeted by drug and other mafias. Space being a constraint in those early days, the only option was to opt for a space near a garbage dump. Here, classes began under a plastic sheet held by bamboo poles, thanks to the hard work and efforts from the staff and founders, who faced every hardship conceivable to keep it running over the years.
Today, the Okhla Centre has a stable structure, and Mithu runs the computer programme. The helps retain children in school, offering primary and secondary education along with the computer classes. The centre is an important component of the neighbourhood, keeping crime, drugs and negative elements at bay and replacing it with education and employment. It is therefore imperative that we do not allow this centre to shut down because that will impact upon the lives of these children and take away the one opportunity they have of building their lives from scratch.
The Need For Funding
The centre thus needs your help and is now looking for a sustainable source of funding, to meet the following needs as detailed below:
1. 4 Staff honorariums for 6 months: 379, 104 (5,330 USD)
2. Electricity for 6 months: 9, 000 (125 USD)
3. Learning aids and stationery 15, 000 (210 USD)
4. Laptop for Mithu 33, 700 (475 USD)
5. Internet 3, 000 (45 USD)
6. Bank fees for fundraiser 48, 379 (680 USD)
Total 488,183 (6, 865 USD)
How Your Donation Matters
I’m compelled to support Mithu’s cause and do my bit to save the Project Why Okhla Centre. It would be a shame to know that the centre which is making learning possible for children for the past 14 years, is facing a possible shut down, all due to lack of funding.
So, I’m writing this and sharing about this in social media. If you’re reading this, may I ask, why don’t you make a donation in the name of a loved one? You have the opportunity, right now, to help save a school that has made a lifelong difference to disadvantaged children – helping them grow up into happy, confident, productive adults who give back to their community.
If you’re happy to contribute, do click here: #HelpMithuSaveSchool fundraiser campaign
Please don’t forget to share the message on social media as each share can bring us three times the donation.
Whether you help with a financial contribution, or by sharing the stories of Project Why with your friends and inspiring them to give, either way, you will be making a difference and helping Mithu and his team of teachers—Mithu Mandal, Pushpa Kumar, Sophiya Tirkey, Naresh Bhardwaj who belong to the underprivileged community. In fact, when you donate towards their salaries, you’re directly donating to the community and not a non-profit overhead.
Let us help Mithu raise Rs.488,183 (That’s 6, 865 USD)
* If you’re donating from India, your donation is 50% tax deductible under section 80G.
* If you’re donating form the USA, France, or Germany, you can make tax-deductible donations via these avenues.
(If you’re a blogger and keen to join the Blogathon for the #HelpMithuSaveSchool Fundraiser campaign, click the image below and you’ll have the details!)