Humans of Mitti Ke Rang — Smita Chelamchela
“I am a Software Engineer, who used her software skills to turn into Social Entrepreneurship, in order to serve community using Technology. Currently working as the President and Cofounder of JOSHConnect Foundation — a Registered Non Profit Charitable Trust.
TECHNOLOGY And INNOVATION together brought REVOLUTION and TRANSFORMED the way Crowd Funding works in social sector — we developed INDIA’s FIRST NON PROFIT IN KIND DONATION PLATFORM, an E PHILANTHROPIC website www.joshconnect.org (Registered as Charitable Trust JOSHConnect Foundation).
I've been passionate about social work since childhood. Left my Software Career after working as a Software Professional at leading and managerial roles for 8 years in the US (New Jersey & New York City) with big firms like Citigroup, Pfizer, Delloite, RedCats etc, and prior to that 4 years in India (Tata Consultancy Services, Satyam Computers).
I returned to India and started working for slums and underprivileged people helping them with a charity group I formed 7 years back: JOSH — “Joy of Serving Humanity”. I felt Technology like WhatsApp can be used in most productive way in serving community. This group is successfully helping a number of institutions, individuals and NGOs IN KIND through crowd funding even now. My spouse, Anil and I along with another individual Satyam, using our 15-20 years of software experience have taken this to the next, most innovative level in 2017, by coming up with www.joshconnect.org which is the only site in India through which donors can pick and choose whom they would like to help. In addition, they can also pick and choose what they want to donate.
I’m glad that this crowd sourcing platform was used by thousands of donors to help the needy, especially during two major crisis — during floods all over the country and currently to provide ration to daily wagers and migrants. Other than that, we also have projects on the website, to help the underprivileged and needy with basic survival needs like Grains, Education Material, Medical Needs, Health kits, Toys etc.
Our work has been appreciated by leading newspapers like Times of India, Indian Express etc. Also happy to be honoured with few awards for my work in social sector.
One simply needs empathy to do what I am doing today. I do not believe too much in multitasking, I am someone who prefers to focus on one thing at a time so that I can give my 100%. When I started my career in software, I gave my 100% to the corporate world for a good span of 10 years in India and the United States as well, and was a successful software engineer. After I became a Mother to my two little girls, I decided to quit my job and take care of our girls as I wanted to give my complete 100% to be with them in their initial growing years. At this time, we (my husband, our daughters and I) decided to move back to India for good.
I always felt that empathy for underprivileged people since my childhood and wanted to help them within my scope. I had been working for social development of society in some way or the other, but my father’s sudden demise in 2010 made me think that, you may exit from this world at any point of time and you should not wait for tomorrow to follow your dreams.
So this is the time, when I decided to use technology and network for the service of underprivileged people and used WhatsApp to form a group of like-minded people and there started the journey of “JOSH- Joy of Serving Humanity”. After doing many projects with JOSH group to help people in all parts of India for the last 7 years, the journey never ended; it kept on progressing as I felt that everyone wanted to help others in their vicinity of scope, as long as they can trust that their support is not getting misused.
The successful journey of JOSH (With the help of its volunteers) made my husband Anil Chelamchela (also working in software for 20 years now) and I think that, we being from software background can reach globally, to help people using Technology and give India — a NON PROFIT PLATFORM for IN KIND Donation; and then we reached out to another friend, Satyam Saxena — a young enthusiast, software engineer, also passionate about using Technology to help people, (also the secretary of JOSHConnect Foundation) to help us with the development and join us in this initiative. The three of us formed a Team and started working on the website in 2017.
September 29th, 2018, ‘JOSHConnect Foundation’ was registered as a Trust under 'Bombay Public Trust Act and Rules of 1950' in Pune Maharashtra.
December, 2018, we launched INDIA’S first NON PROFIT- IN KIND Donation E Philanthropic Website ‘https://JOSHConnect.org’ running under ‘JOSHConnect Foundation’ Trust. By God’s grace, the website had been getting great response so far as people were able to give beneficiary IN KIND but not cash, so they know that, their hard earned money is not getting misused.
Its hard to name any one person, as all the people who work for the development of society in various ways, apart from their own and their family's needs, inspire me.
We at JOSHConnect Foundation, would like the entire world to know that, we have India’s FIRST NON PROFIT IN KIND DONATION PLATFORM, where they can donate materials to beneficiary without the fear of their hard earned money getting misused. We should be able to reach the corners of India to know where people are suffering with basic needs to help and grow.
We are looking to increase our partners and donors to help as many people as possible in all corners of the country.
a. Partnership with leading manufactures of all basic supplies so that we can make things available for donors to donate at much lower price and more people get help by asking companies to cut the 30% packaging cost if possible and design affordable products for underprivileged section.
b. Partnership with various Wholesalers all around the country to get the best possible rates for donors.
c. Partnership with all NGO’s working at grass root level in all rural and tribal areas of the country, so that we can supply basic necessities to the needy in those places.
We are looking forward to add new features to it, like — other than donating basic needs, people can choose to volunteer their Time, like few hours a week, in a location near to them as well, since many people today like to do their bit for society using their core skills.
Don’t give up if it’s your dream, even if initially you may need to face failures or even if it takes more time than expected, make a strong team of like-minded people and always keep your principles and morals firm in all circumstances. Do not take any short cuts to grow higher fast. Use your Core Skills and your passion in such a way that not only your dreams come true but they also help in development of Society and Country as a whole.”
— Smita Chelamchela