Meet the Changemakers of Today

Kinjal Banerjee and Sandeep Hiremath never wished a life of prosperity and security. Instead, they chose a life that invited challenges.

Published: 02nd December 2013 09:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd December 2013 09:23 AM   |  A+A-

Kinjal Banerjee and Sandeep Hiremath never wished a life of prosperity and security. Instead, they chose a life that invited challenges. And they are bringing along with them a new concept of start-ups - that of social entrepreneurship. An old story with a twist, it is their intention that makes the trend more colourful than conventional. These two former IT professionals have started an initiative - CACHAPA.org, which intends to connect the underprivileged with the NGOs. Their website, which went live yesterday, has adopted a simple approach. It selects a cause, zeros down on an NGO which supports it and by selling merchandise like T-shirts, the website raises funds. The duo run a campaign of sorts on social networking sites to spread awareness. By the end of two weeks, they donate the collected money to the NGO and move on to their next movement. “The T-shirts are specific to the cause. For example, we recently created awareness about autism. So our T-shirts had taglines promoting the cause. After two weeks, we are planning to campaign for women rights, so we will change the merchandise accordingly,” says Sandeep Hiremath. The people who buy the T-shirts become ‘cause ambassadors’. The taglines on the clothing initiate conversations, in turn making people cognizant of the problem. The idea The thought process triggered off a year back when Sandeep realised that he wanted to do more than what he was doing. He resigned from his job and started volunteering for various NGOs. It was then he realised that these organisations did not just need volunteers but a bigger platform where people could connect over a cause. In the process, he, along with Kinjal, identified three problems that the NGOs faced on a daily basis - funds, awareness and trust. The first two issues were taken care through the merchandise and Facebook campaigns. To address the third issue, trust, the duo came up with a unique idea. After the money is donated to the NGO, constant checks are conducted to trace the use of the money, after which the donors get a feedback. “We are planning to work on an array of issues like women empowerment, environment and rights of transgenders. This is just the beginning. In the coming years, we want to bring about positive change,” says Sandeep.

 

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