Mumbai-based NGOs that are working towards a better tomorrow

Published on Nov 15, 2022 08:10 PM IST

For World Kindness Day, we look at a few NGOs in Mumbai who are working towards creating a better world for those in need

Mumbai-based NGOs that are working towards a better tomorrow
Mumbai-based NGOs that are working towards a better tomorrow
ByAbigail Banerji

It doesn’t take a lot to do that one act of kindness. You just have to see the opportunity and take it without thinking twice before helping someone. Kindness can have many faces. As we celebrate World Kindness Day, let’s take a look at some organisations that have been working relentlessly to better the lives of those in distress.

Volunteers distribute pads in Jaipur
Volunteers distribute pads in Jaipur

Padsquad

Pasquad is a people’s movement that was set up on june 1, 2020 during the pandemic as the founders realised that women were facing issues accessing sanitary napkins and have an issue to buy it. Using social media, they began crowdsourcing pads as well as creating awareness. Initially, They began working and distributing pads in places in Mumbai and Pune. They used to reach out to community workers who help get set up and then distribute it to women living in the slums. Spread across 30 cities and with a group of 70 volunteers who work based on their availability, they have distributed around 8lac pads during the pandemic, itself.

Along pads, they have now started giving out biodegrable pads, cloth pads and even menstrual cups and have been reaching out to the most interior villages in MP and Maharashtra. Padsquad also have training women living in red light districts and those in Mumbai, pune, Kolkata, chandigarh, and other cities about menstrual hygiene and creating awareness. They try to reach out to those who are economically backword.

Some of their campaigns have taken place in rajasthan, among tribal owmen who don’t have knowledge of menstrual hygiene where they raised funds and pads. Volunteers then went to these villages to create awareness and also disturbute the collections. They collected around 1 lac pads.

Distributed pads and ration during the aasam and Maharashtra floods and in an Ongoing campaign in bihar where they are trying to raise biodegradble pads for 15000 women.

Monica Raheja, co founder of padsquad says, “padpeti for every beti is a campaign where we asked people to keep a cartion in thei common areas of their buildings. People could donate pads and we would pick it up and distribute it to people in the villages.”

Volunteers read to kids
Volunteers read to kids

Bookwallah

Bookwallah was founded in 2010 and is a U.S. based non-profit organization that believes all children deserve the hope of a happy story. Their mission is to provide support for children who have experienced severe trauma, providing healing and inspiration through the magic and power of storybooks. They believe stories like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and the Chronicles of Narnia are more than just entertainment. Each book serves as a way to help a child heal, become empowered, and transform so they can rebuild their

The founder is Seena Jacob, Founder & CEO of Bookwallah, Chicago, Illinois says “I founded this organization based on my own life where the solace of these stories gave me the strength and power to create a new world for myself. It’s extremely difficult to shift your thinking from victim to survivor to victor. But it can be

done, and for millions of children of trauma a beautiful book can lead the way”.

Talking about the initiatives they undertook during the pandemic, Priyanka Roy, Operations Manager says, “we not only sustained our project libraries but also launched new initiatives like sending Happiness parcels for 500 children across 12 districts of Maharashtra and 91 Magic crates across India and USA. We conducted hybrid sessions by installing Smart TV and Speakers in our libraries for ensuring safety of everyone.”

The Magic crates are decorated and curated wooden crates filled with storybooks for children at various shelter homes, orphanages, paediatric hospitals and slum areas.

Mumbai-based NGOs that are working towards a better tomorrow
Mumbai-based NGOs that are working towards a better tomorrow

Green Yatra

Started in 2008, Green Yatra is an NGO focused on resolving environmental issues in the city. They believe in being a part of the solution by taking action through a well researched scientific approach. They are working towards protection, conservation and betterment of our Environment, Mother Nature and Humanity. Pradeep TREEpathi, Founder, Green Yatra, says, “Our mission is to sensitize people and organizations about the value and importance of the environment, environmental issues and its adverse impact on our lives and empower them to contribute to a Sustainable and GREEN World.” During the Pandemic, they planted 60,000+ saplings Urban Forest in Gr. Noida, 40,000+ saplings Urban Forest in Navi Mumbai, 25,000+ saplings Urban Forest in Mumbai, 15,000+ saplings Urban Forest in Nagpur. We also restored 4-5 water bodies in Gr. Noida and our largest water bodies 28+ acres of Bingipura Lake amid Pandemic in just around 75 days. They created Urban India’s Largest Miyawaki Forest with 130,000+ saplings at Jewel of Navi Mumbai and transformed an old dumping yard into a flourishing urban forest in just 16 months with 60,000+ native saplings at Koparkhairane Navi Mumbai.

“We are planting over half Million trees by and Restoring around 10+ water bodies by June -July 2023, PAN India. Currently we are focused in Delhi NCR, Mumbai- MMR and Pune,” explains TREEpathi.

Volunteers distributing food during a drive
Volunteers distributing food during a drive

Feeding From Far

A community-driven initiative, feeding form far is the response to the pandemic and was started no march 25, 2020. This ngo is working towards hunger mitigation and distributes meals and ration kits to the most disadvantaged sections of society. Founded by 31-year-old Paritosh Pant, who says he wanted to do something “productive with my hotel management degree and restaurant industry contacts. I wrote the whole idea of a community-run community kitchen on Instagram and people started helping out.”’

For now, the campaign works to support communities in Machhimar Nagar, a fishing village in south Mumbai and some of the largest slums in the city like Dharavi and Govandi.

During the pandemic, they began with a community kitchen that served around 4.5 lakh meals that was distributed by a team of volunteers. Coordinating with the BMC, Mumbai Police, Indian Railways and other government agencies, food parcels were given to people boarding the Shramik Trains. They also hand delivered 32 Lakh meals till date to home and people who were financially affected by the pandemic and helped those affected by the floods in 2021 in Chiplun, Maharashtra.

Volunteers distribute food outside government hospitals
Volunteers distribute food outside government hospitals

With Aarya

Founded by Shital and Vikrant Bhatkar in 2010, WithAarya is an NGO that works to help those in need whether it is financial support or healthcare. The ngo was started in memory of the couple’s 7 year old son Aarya Bhatkar who suffered from a genetic disease called Niemann-Pick ‘C’ which causes a metabolic disorder in the body. This organisation now works to create awareness about this disease and help supports children and families suffering from the same or other rare disorders.

Shital says, “With Aarya started in 2010 when my son was diagnosed with very rare genetic disorder. We started Withaarya to create awareness about these disorders in india as we had limited knowledge of these including the medical fraternity. After we lost him, we started working with our NGO to give consultations to other families who are affected and help in any way we can.”

While working at government hospitals, they noticed that people who visit these places live in debilitating conditions and lack access to food. So they started to distribute food outside KEM Hospital to caregivers of Tata Kem and wadia hospital. Each meal box contains dal khichdi, roti-sabzi and a banana and is distributed in the morning and evening, everyday. Currently, they serve 1000 meals daily in 4 different locations in 4 different cities - Mumbai, ratnagiri, kolhapur & Thane.

When covid-19 hit, the organiation distributed 5000 meals daily in different locations of Mumbai. They also distributed monthly Ration kits to taxi and auto drivers who had lost livelihood due to the lockdown. Withaarya also arranged for vaccination for commercial sex workers and distributed Ration kits and clothes to them. They distributed sanitary kits and regular items to nurses serving in KEM during pandemic.

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