Fn: “Hey Digvijay, heard you upto some NGO level stuff”
Me: “Ya man”
Fn: “Awesome stuff!! Trying to play the positive good karma card I see (the most evident smirk)”
Me: “(thinking: does it need to be explained) ummm, ya man”
Fn: “Cool dude, how can I help?”
Digvijay Sujlana, Delhi, 2 December 2011
For all ‘F’ here stands for friend and ‘n’ for the uncountable times I have had this particular ‘ice breaker’ over the past few months. Again pardon me for the influence of my technical background but what I seem to put across by the above is a reinforcement in my belief, that amongst other things, people indeed seem to be interested in contributing towards the well being of our society. It is just that push or avenue which needs to be provided in taking the seemingly simple step. All this makes me think (yes, with a selfish intent) how can I make this work in favor of the Avanti Fellows (Avanti) vision.
First up I feel the dire need of explaining what NGO level stuff I am up to at Avanti. Avanti Fellows aims to help kids from the low income households to achieve their career aspirations. Career aspirations can be many and we at Avanti have taken that first small step towards helping kids who aspire to be part of the premier engineering colleges in India. In a relatively short time of existence, Avanti is providing substance to its mission in the way of working with over 130 kids across 7 Indian cities; the aim being to help each of these kids to get to that IIT, that NIT or whatever that will inculcate a sense of achievement and the belief of a secure future into them.
I save how Avanti is doing all this for my next conversation and as the Bollywood will put it “abhi picture baaki hai dost”.
Having explained what I am up to, I think now is the right time to answer the how can I help question. One of the most important facts that I have learnt while on the Avanti journey is that it does not take much in helping out. A simple mention of Avanti Fellows in next conversation you have with someone (apart from me) may end up in an increase in the number of likes on our facebook page. Obviously I would feel like a rockstar if this post ends up with people hitting Avanti’s donate page. But again the thought of receiving a cheque would go 100,000 leagues beyond the feeling of being a rockstar (smile on my fund raising manager’s face). I could go on and on with how you can provide us with books, help us get in touch with schools where these bright minds are studying etc…
Apart from these standards what could in fact go a long way would be any help offered towards building partnerships with organizations. Avanti is now looking at building corporate partnerships through which we aim to provide our fellows much required corporate exposure. We are working towards setting up long term relationships with companies who would provide to our fellows, on a year-on- year basis, opportunities to intern with them. This we believe will go a long way in building of the overall personality of our fellows.
So this one goes out to all my friends (Fs) – the corporate honchos, the budding business men and women, the dynamic entrepreneurs – telling that we at Avanti will be more than happy to hear from you with all the support you are willing to provide us with.
Feel free to contact us at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org