Ever so often, when I write out a cheque to NGOs like WWF or Cry, I wonder about the smaller NGOs that are doing excellent work but that I know nothing about. Rather than supporting these larger, globally established NGOs, I prefer to support smaller organizations that are doing excellent work in their areas. The problem, especially in a country like India, is in finding NGOs that do genuine work.
One of the NGOs we support every year is Asha Bhavan, which is doing excellent work to rehabilitate drug addicts. Recently, I learnt of another NGO – Project Why – from my friends Damyanti and Ishieta. Project Why was started by Anouradha Bakshi in 2000 with 40 slum children who wanted to learn spoken English and a handful of volunteers. It slowly expanded to include women’s empowerment initiatives, so the slum dwellers could support themselves and their children. Since 2007, over a 1,000 women have been trained at the women’s center sewing circle, including Renu, the sewing teacher.Continue reading