G was ambitious, and one thing he wanted most was that people should know his name. And they did. He was good at heart and helped everyone in any way he could. When he died, people poured out stories of the difference he made to their lives. And he did it all without announcing it to the world.
Now that he’s no more, the least I can do it to make sure people don’t forget him. That they remember him with goodwill and fondness in their hearts. I’ve been working on something to make it happen – a trust fund in his name. And I’ll be going to the sub registrar’s office this Monday to sign the trust deed.
I’ve chosen to work in his native place to begin with and taken up education and skilling as the first projects. And one of our friends recently gave me the first donation to make it happen. It was a touching gesture, not because of the amount, but the trust he placed in me to make it happen. He didn’t even ask me questions about the projects I will undertake! But I don’t want to blindly take peoples’ money and then decide what to do with it. I have 3 things in mind that I think I can materialized in the next few years, keeping in mind that the baby project is going to run in parallel.
- Scholarships – I have set aside INR 40,000 of annual scholarships from my funds to be given to deserving children in his native place. We’ve already distributed the announcement and the application forms will be available in schools from Jan’16. With this we aim to sponsor at least 10 kids who’ve shown potential. The structure also covers girl child specifically and also children with disabilities. Over the course of the year, depending on the funding mechanism, we would cover more children in a wider area.
- Digital Library – We plan to open a digital library in his home town that would be accessible to all. We already have a space demarcated for it, and I’d be sending out applications for donation of used e-devices. The objective is to make the populace comfortable with the use of laptops, tablets etc. and make wider knowledge available at their fingertips.
- Vocational Training – While education is prized in his native town, the employment options are limited. This will be our most ambitious and most fund intensive project. We will set up a vocational training institute and help impart skills such as carpentry, plumbing, data entry, weaving, electrician training etc. The overall objective will be to improve employability and also channel job opportunities to the students through tie-ups.
I think these projects should be well established in the next 2-3 years and the trust will be ready to take on bigger challenges. Health and wellness will probably be the next foothold.
I really have to experience in fundraising and right now my biggest worry is channelizing enough money to get things moving. But I know there are good people out there. We got a glimpse of it when we packed 10,000 meals for underprivileged kids. And I know many will step in to help make this a reality.
At least i’ve made a start, in an area that I can support myself (scholarships). And I am confident that the rest will happen. Who knows, this blog may become a book and the royalties alone will eliminate the need for fundraising :).
I just know that like this blog, the trust will also give me some much needed peace of mind. And sometimes, that’s all that matters.