Two years ago, The Better India shared a story that was read, loved and shared by you. The story was about a man who sold bread for a living, gathered coal from the streets so his mother could cook a meal, changed tyres during his vacations to survive, and became an engineer with the money collected from his teachers. He then went on to help many others like him to become engineers, doctors, chefs and even IAS officers!
This was the story of Amol Sainwar, the founder of NGO HOPE (Help Our People For Education), Bahu-udeshiya Sanstha, Rajura.
The story was shared on February 11, 2015, after which Amol’s inbox was flooded with mails of appreciation. HOPE, which was working in a limited area within Maharashtra, got an opportunity to help people across India. A Kannada newspaper approached Amol after the article and wrote about his work.
In the coming months HOPE was approached by many people from Karnataka, who needed help for their education, health or farm-related problems and HOPE did not disappoint any of them.
“After the article came in TBI many other media people have taken note of our work like NDTV, DD National, and many national and local newspapers. In fact, at international levels, in UAE and US also,” says Amol.
HOPE had to expand its horizons as there were people from every part of India and abroad who wished to join in its mission. People approached for help from across India and for all kinds of problems. Team HOPE established its trust on a pan-India level with the name ‘Shivprabha Charitable Trust.’
“It’s almost two years now that the article was published but it is still alive in the hearts of many. The article has connected Shivprabha to many well-wishers across the globe. Before this article, we use to work only in Maharashtra, but in the last two years we are not only working in Maharashtra but also other 4 states i.e. Karnataka, Utter Pradesh Chattisgarh and Uttaranchal.”
“We are giving you just a few numbers that will give you an idea of how impactful the article was. The story was published in 2015, and in 2015-2016 we budgeted Rs. 11 lakh and we disbursed Rs. 15 lakh. In 2016-2017, our budget is Rs. 25 lakh and we might end the year with more than Rs. 28 lakh commitment.”
“Just compare our nine-year journey with last year’s journey, and it will help you understand the impact of the article,” says Amol.
Our journey with Shivprabha Charitable Trust, and the people helped through it, did not end there. Here are some campaigns that TBI and Shivprabha worked together on with our readers and changed thousands of lives –
We started the #Savefarmerfamilies campaign on December 23, 2015, in association with Milaap and Shivprabha Charitable Trust, who had a streamlined plan to help these families.
The plan was not to help farmer widows just once, but to help them build a sustainable business that would earn them a livelihood for a lifetime. Hundreds of families were contacted and 35 most needy widows were selected to join a tailoring business.
At the end of the campaign, our readers contributed Rs.3, 98,000 for this noble cause.
Most widows were happy to join the tailoring business. However, a few were not comfortable doing this so they were helped in starting other businesses. As many as 33 widows were given sewing machines and are getting trained at sewing schools in association with Usha sewing centres, at two locations – Sondo (Dist: Chandrapur) and Pusad (Dist: Yavatmal).
The articles published during this campaign also helped many good Samaritans join Shivprabha as lifetime members.
“We got many donors and members who are not only contributing commercially but also working hard to reach more and more needy people. Uma from Hyderabad is now not only our regular donor but also a member who is working on trust activities. Anita Bareja from the US and Unmesh from UK donate not less Rs. 20,000 per month. Some donors are from Singapore, Dubai, Kenya, Uganda, Bangkok and many locations in India and the world,” informs Amol.
While being proud of a farmer who tilled his land with a cot because he could not afford a plough and a pair of bulls, we also appealed to our readers to help this brave farmer in his story.
Within a week, our readers donated enough money to buy a pair of bulls. Shivprabha Charitable Trust helped us arrange a pair of bullocks and also contributed the rest of the money required to arrange and transport the bulls safely to the farmer.
In January 2016, Shivaprabha Charitable Trust visited Pimpaldhara and found that the village was facing acute water scarcity. There was no provision for drinking water and sanitation was a major problem as there were no toilets. The village had no electricity, hence no street lights either – wild animals from the neighboring forest would often wander close to the residents’ homes. The high price of kerosene made it impossible for many people to use stoves for cooking, so they would regularly cut trees from the nearby jungle to use wood as cooking fuel.
Shivaprabha Charitable Trust and The Better India decided to join hands to transform the lives of the villagers of Pimpaldhara. In April 2016, we appealed to our readers to help us transform this village. And within six months the mission had been accomplished.
With the help of the funds raised, Shivaprabha distributed solar lanterns to each household. Solar street lights were installed in the village. Hand pumps and solar cookers made life easier for the women of the village.
Villagers of Pimpaldhara were overjoyed with the drastic change just within just six months.
Lonwadi, a small village in the Yavatmal district of Maharashtra, was adopted by Shivprabha Charitable Trust in 2012 and was completely transformed within three years. But the villagers still lacked one basic amenity –toilets!
Amol really wanted to make the village open defecation free.However, the required funds were an issue. But this was again made possible by TBI readers.
We started the campaign in November 2016 and today the village has become completely open defecation free.
“TBI’s fundraiser campaigns helped us in Women empowerment, 100% ODF LONWADI & Transformation of Pimpaldhara. In the last two years we empowered 133 women and they are earning Rs. 100 to Rs. 300 per day, apart from income from their farm and their farm labour work,” says Amol.
“That one article motivated us a lot and added more responsibility in our organization towards society. We look forward to working together to reach more needy people and villages to create positive impact in the lives of rural Indians. Let’s work together to make our nation a developed nation as early as possible,” he adds.
If you also have a story to tell or wish to create impact, please write to us.
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