Founder of Raindrops and working for Gender inequality and financially unprivileged.
Mitti Ke Rang is a social venture which hosts weekly podcasts with a series of remarkable individuals that inspire many in the day to day living, from various domains. One such podcast was with Chandni Ahuja. A free-spirited Social entrepreneur who has completed her Master’s degree from the UK founded the NGO Raindrops at the age of 19. The NGO works in four sectors- Gender, Disability rights, Rural Development and Environment which work mainly where these sectors intersect together, and also provide with the relief work in areas wherever they feel is the need. Like during the Bihar floods, and in the pandemic lockdown they helped around 4000+people in different parts of the country
Chandni shares that opening/working for an NGO was something she already had in mind irrespective of any profession she’d choose. However, there wasn’t any Eureka moment that suddenly inspired her. While studying journalism for her undergrad course where they studied The photo by The Pulitzer prize winner Kevin Carter who captured the photo of famine in Sudan, later took his own life as he couldn’t do anything to help the dying little girl where the vulture was waiting to eat her. That was the moment that gave her a push to start the NGO as she states she cannot look at someone’s suffering and not do anything. She’d cover stories of people and put them online, however, these people wanted to earn something and not just live off of donations. She’d then along with the group buy items they needed in bulk and then further donating it out. So the seller and the receiver of it, both would be at an advantage. To institutionalize this process Raindrop was set up.
Apart from all the academics and extracurricular activities, Chandni would dedicate her leisure time for the NGO. She is also an advocate of Gender equality and explains how misogyny works in subtle ways and the difference between that and feminism and how people need to be educated for that along with the LGBTQ rights.
The Biggest Challenge for running a full-time NGO is the mindset of the people in India. Where most of the people don’t believe in this profession and think that it is equivalent to a donation done in some temple on a Tuesday. And those who do believe, have quite a negative connotation of it due to wrong examples. She stated that this mindset is changing and is more accepting among youngsters.
The funding they receive is through Micro Funding campaigns and that 80% of the donations received are from the age group of 18–27. The most humbling experience for them was when they received donations for their relief work from a lot of people, as they didn’t expect that due to the economic crisis and people losing their jobs. However, people stepped up and helped them, which deeply humbled them.
Lastly, the message that Chandni requests are to inculcate Empathy towards those who are less fortunate than us but also to empathize with the other sections of society.
Check out the complete podcast on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI61aKubRFU
At Mitti Ke Rang, we started with a COVID-19 community support fundraising, as an emergency response to provide a safety net to families. This will help them survive in the lockdown period. We aim to directly support these families by providing a minimum wage, through transferring the same into their accounts or partner with local NGO, Organisation, Fellow, or a Volunteer, and support them with groceries.
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