IT professional Vimal Cherangattu was stuck in a traffic jam one day, when a young girl selling roses approached him at the signal.

Even after Vimal gave her a Rs 10 note, she did not budge.

Instead, she pointed at the umbrella that was on the rickshaw seat and said, “Chhata chahiye. (I want the umbrella).”

It dawned on Vimal that an umbrella was a luxury to many poor families, especially their children.

So he created a post using PowerPoint, asking people to contribute umbrellas. The post soon went viral.

Vimal and his friends had started with a goal to collect 100 umbrellas and Rs 10,000 — and they reached it in a day.

“In a matter of 10 days, we had over 700 crowdsourced umbrellas and Rs 40,000 in cash to arrange for more,” he says.

“People who got in touch with me have been blindly supporting the cause. I am a complete stranger, and yet the love they have showered towards the cause is beyond moving,” he added.

One of the contributors was Sourav Ganguly, who got in touch with Vimal and sent him cash.

Soon, Vimal’s team also began accepting broken umbrellas as they would then repair them and give them away to these kids.