One question that I get quite regularly is what that brought me to Mumbai. Honestly, I have to answer that it was work, and an opportunity to work and live in another country and culture. But I also really wanted to “do some more” as people say. In addition to just explore a new country, I really have a passion to try to contribute back to the society. Over one and a half year in India, I have meet people from a lot of NGO’s and worked with them. Here is some of what I have done.
– The main reason for me to go to India was to try to do more for Nanhi Kali. This is an organization that is supported by Capgemini, and hence very convenient for me to work with. During the time in India I have visited Nanhi Kali a number of times, and had customers from Norway and even my dad and brother visiting them. All of this encouraged me to support Nanhi Kali’s myself, based on the number of hits on this blog. So when you read this story, you actually take part in supporting underprivileged girls with education
– The next organization I came across and helped a little bit was probably They do run a home for elders. When I moved from my old flat, which I had had to furnish, into one that was fully furnished, I made sure that the furniture that I didn’t needed anymore was given to this organization.
– At the Mumbai Marathon, we all represented Capgemini and a NGO that Capgemini have set up called WeKare. This organization works as an umbrella for all the initiatives that Capgemini India does in the society here. As of now, WeKare works with 30+ organizations in India. During Mumbai Marathon, I ran, or rather “ran” for an organization named Rang De. Rang De is a pioneering, web-based social initiative with a mission to provide cost effective microcredit to low income households in India. Rang De is a registered non-profit trust and is head quartered at Chennai. Through an online micro lending platform called RangDe.Org, Rang De enables individuals to participate in microcredit by lending as little as Rs. 100.
– The maybe most interesting project I work on right now is to be a teacher for with Sujaya foundation. The last two Saturdays, I have been an English teacher for college kids. These are all kids from not really the best background, and they have hardly learned English before. To see their motivation and the smiles at their faces when they improve their English skill is just fantastic!
– More recently I have been involved in some new activities. One event that I really look forward to is a football tournament in Dharavi. This is an event run by YUMA and Reality Gives. I have sponsored a team that will participate in the tournament that will be held in Dharavi in May this year. Something to really look forward to!
– A completely different project that I have started to support lately is a project to make Mumbai green. This project is run by the organization Fresh and local, which is managed by some of my very good friends in Mumbai. The idea for this foundation is to create small gardens or urban farms as it is called, at the roof of houses belonging to people with low-income in the heart of Mumbai. Having a sister who is very much into gardening, I know very well how much a nice garden with your own plants and vegetables mean to people. It will be really interesting to see how this project progresses.
Doing things like this really make me feel that my life in Mumbai is so much richer! I know that people have different views about social work. Some might say that this is something that people only do to gain something for themselves. Other says that doing such small things doesn’t really help. Well, yes, I can agree that it give me some self satisfaction. And yes, I can also agree that I don’t really “save the whole world”. But if I can manage to every day help one person to have a better life, why not? So that’s my ambition. Maybe I can’t do it every day, but hopefully I can at least help one person on average every day.
And hopefully this page will be updated with a number of new activities in the future.