We can easily agree that childhood is the most beautiful phase in a person’s life. Majority of us have been blessed to live with such comforts and joys that we are able to recollect our own childhood memories with bitter-sweet nostalgia. For some however, they may only remain bitter. I talk about those whom we come across at least once in our daily lives, selling flowers and toys on the roadside, malnutritioned kids performing acrobatic acts and dangerous stunts in the hope of alms or children roaming helplessly in the streets without shelter, clothes or even a few drops of water to quench their thirst. They eventually either resort to begging or get chained in the dungeons of work where they are repeatedly exploited under grueling conditions.
For Subhrajeet Gautam, a young college student like many of us, this remained a frequent sight. What really made him different though, was that unlike most of us, he did something about it. Driven by an extraordinary dream to see a day where no child would be deprived of basic essentials such as food, clothing, education and medical security, he joined his college social service society to gain substantial knowledge. Through the society he not only visited children in slums and hospitals, but even held regular classes for those living on the streets to gain basic education. On 26th January, 2011 with an amount of just Rs. 1,500 in his pocket, he formed an organization called Umeed- a Drop of Hope, with a small camp of cloth donation as its first campaign towards humanity.
Since its inception, it was Mr. Subhrajeet’s spirited passion and conviction that “all individuals, in their own little ways, possessed the power to become great agents of change” which drove Umeed to make a significant difference in the lives of more than 80, 000 children. Umeed was also honoured as the most active NGO of Delhi and Rajasthan by Smt. Sheila Dikshit and Ashok Gehlot in 2011.
To promote social service and inspire every human soul to understand the true importance of caring for other human beings who are not as gifted or fortunate enough is the main aim of Umeed. Their social activities and community service operations include donations of basic amenities like provision of food, medicines and clothes to the needy, education to the underprivileged children and every possible help to poor families including an enhancement of their living conditions by providing them a healthy, safe and happy environment. By means of Nukkad-Natak- street theatrical performances, awareness campaigns and educational programs, they also work towards the improvement of social welfare and eradication of poverty, illiteracy and other deep-rooted evils of the society.
What started as a campaign with only one hundred volunteers in 2011, today comprises of more than 30, 000 volunteers in over seven states of the country, transforming it into a National-level NGO.
In Delhi, the team of Umeed has been working on three projects. They are:-
KNOWLEDGE FOR ALL (KFA): To encourage students with ample knowledge to invest a few hours of their days in teaching underprivileged children. This project runs in three slum areas namely Kirti Nagar, Laxmi Nagar and Indraprastha.
PARIDHAN: A cloth drive in which volunteers are required to collect unusable clothes, books, toys, stationary, etc from residential areas or colleges, and after getting them recycled, are made to distribute among the poorest families and children of the societies who need them the most. It urged to spread the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Realize” mentality among everyone in the society.
GO GREEN 16: An initiative to save the environment by promoting afforestation all over the country and making our planet earth greener and more beautiful through means of tree plantation, tree adoption, drip irrigation etc.
Sonal Garg, an active volunteer of the mission KFA at Laxmi Nagar believes that, “Every child is an extremely passionate and curious learner. Every now and then, I am surprised to come across children who are so ingenuously dedicated towards their studies that when it’s time for them to leave, they become sad and beg us to stay for as much time as possible, and teach them something new. Their little enthusiasm-filled eyes speak of how much strength and wisdom they possess even in the worst conditions of life. You even form a special bond with them which compels you to come back again and again.”
Thus, every person with a simple desire to serve the society wholeheartedly can be a part of the Umeed family. They offer virtual as well as summer internships. To apply, log on to www.umeedngo.org and fill in the form requested.
For more information, visit:-
Facebook page – www.facebook.com/umeedthehope
Image Credits: www.umeedngo.org