I created Shubh foundation on 4th March 2018 with one main goal in my mind, that we could provide education for everyone in India, says Mr Shubham Kumar Founder of Shubh foundation.
I ( Shubham Kumar ) wanted to live in a country where education was not a privilege, but a right. And everyone had a chance to get it. I wanted people to understand this. And after working for dozens of organizations in my college, I realized I wanted to create a society where all members were treated fairly and everyone would get a chance to voice out their opinions and give suggestions.
I ( Shubham Kumar ) guess inspiration struck me when I went to a slum with one of the foundations I used to work in previously. Over there, I saw a kid throw a tantrum about how he didn’t want to go to school. And his grandpa was out there, sitting in their verandah, looking at his books. He was just turning the pages and I could see he was trying to read what was written. But he couldn’t. And that day I realized there wasn’t an age limit to education. Anyone who wanted to study could study. It was everyone’s right. And so many people wished for it but didn’t get it. I saw the old man’s desire in his eyes. And that inspired me to start this foundation. It was open to everyone. Anyone who wanted to make a difference could join.
And starting something new was every bit difficult just as I had expected it to be. I didn’t get the support I hoped I’d get. And most members I’d recruit would leave the foundation in a month or two. People didn’t cooperate and I had a tough time trying to keep everything together. Thanks to a few loyal members that stuck around, this organization is still active.
We gather our own funds. Every month the members of the society contribute 50 rupees and these funds are used to conduct art competitions and such in the slums as well as buy sweet treats for the kids. Very recently Shubh Foundation has collaborated with “Live For People“. They have issued I-cards for all the members and they contribute to our cause on various levels with a fixed amount every month. We use that money to help the slum dwellers.
I hope to see Shubh foundation run in every part of the country someday. We are already active in Bhubaneswar, Lucknow, Patna, Jamshedpur. We’ll start in Ranchi and Kolkata soon as well and hopefully more people will join our cause and support us as we take this initiative forward. This platform is for anyone who wants to bring about social change and everyone is welcome to share their thoughts , views and experiences. We take suggestions from anyone who decides to speak up and we work together, as a team. We make decisions collectively and decide what is best for our foundation together , says
Shubham Kumar .
Under another collaboration with an established organization we4you we took up a task to help the blind children study and prepare for their exams. Since their CBSE books were not printed in braille, we voice recorded the chapters and sent it to them. Shubh Foundation had 30 interns working on this task. Two people were given one chapter to record. And that is how we covered the whole book.
Not only did we help the CBSE students, but we also helped the CHSE students. We asked the Odia interns to take help from their families and friends and record the book. We completed this task within a short period of time. And we also heard that the children received tremendous help from the recordings and were grateful that they received help. This was the best reward the members of the organization could ever ask for. Because that is what our organization is all about. Helping others.
Shubh Foundation has also collaborated with Robin Hood Army. Robin Hood Army distribute left over food from restaurants among the poor people living in the slums. Interns from Shubh Foundation who live in different regions across the country decided to join Robin Hood Army and help distribute the food, that would otherwise go waste and made sure, wherever they went, no one would go to sleep hungry.
As a self-funded organization meeting our financial needs is a major challenge.
Though our members regularly contribute to our funds, sometimes it becomes difficult to meet our ends. A dedicated team of our interns are working hard to find alternatives for generating funds. As of now, we are working on various plans, one being retailing of notebooks and other stationeries in our colleges
Apart from all these on weekends our teams regularly visit and organise various activities in the slums of Bhubaneswar. For that, we divide our available interns into units and each unit is allocated different jobs in different locations of Bhubaneswar
There is a slum called Banafulla, which is near KIIT. Every Sunday, one of the units go to Banafulla and teach them something. Since most of the kids are very young, we stick to teaching them basic mathematics and grammar.
We also interact with the people there and explain to them, the importance of education. We ask the kids about their schools and teachers. And sometimes, we conduct competitions, such as art competitions. We provide kids with papers and stationery items. And the winners are rewarded with handmade medals and chocolates and crayons. And every child is given a toffee upon participation.
The other units are either sent to other slums to teach the kids over there. Or to conduct surveys. In surveys, we ask the people whether their children go to school or not. If not, why? If yes, do they teach well? Are the fees taken by the schools reasonable? Do the schools have tables and chairs? Do the teachers and students regularly attend? And we prepare reports based on the answers we receive over there.
Shubh Foundation has also gone for a cloth drive through villages where we distributed many clothes to the needy. Another notable incident was when a young kid accidentally burned his hand, and his parents didn’t have enough money to treat him. So our foundation helped by contributing to the medical bills.
There are about 20-30 members in the society that actively work. And I hope I’m able to find more of them in different parts of the country because I alone cannot take this forward. Like every other organization, I need a strong team behind me. And I hope I find the support our organization needs. So we can grow.
And my ( Shubham Kumar ) advice to youngsters who want to see their country grow is, get started. Speak up. Join organizations that support your cause and ideas. And just speak up. The first step is always the most difficult. And I can’t promise you’ll have a smooth journey after that either. But the smile on the faces of people of slum after receiving donations in cash or kind is priceless. And that smile makes everything worth it. All the struggles and failures.
Just remember the sun rises everyday. So rise with it.