Much needed in every Indian’s heart is a need for change. There is a clear yet unmarked difference between India and Bharat. Bharat lags behind the growing rate of India in every perspective. It’s nice when celebrities give out a helping hand. But it’s cooler when a bunch of engineering guys decide to make the change. I am fortunate enough to be in contact with one such student-run NGO called ‘Prayaash”. It started in November 2012, as an initiative by some students from CIPET (Central Institute of Plastic Engineering & Technology), Bhubaneswar, when a group of 4-5 guys decided to clean their own college campus.
They took off with their first event on March 28, 2013. They decided to spend the Holi with children from an orphanage. They also took this chance to distribute some old and new books among the children there. They interacted with the children, shared stories, talked about movies, dance and sang, distributed food and had lunch with them Having received tones of accolades for this noble job, Prayaash was off to a flying start.
In their words, it was one of the best days in their lives. Nothing can beat the satisfaction of putting a smile on somebody’s face.
Prayaash went on to organize a blood donation camp shortly after that, where volunteers from many different colleges took part. Prayaash undertakes some event or other every alternative weekend. They believe, many people enjoy the weekend in leisure. But they save up cash to use it in dedication to solve underprivileged people’s issues. What started with just 2 people has turned into a hundred fold volunteers working with passion to change the oppressed scene.
The events that followed were, Independence day celebrations at a blind school, another interaction program with blind school children, several blood donation camps and awareness programs.
Prayaash evolved within the students from CIPET until August,2014. They then decided to go public, collaborating with students with other colleges from the city. The members relentlessly work under the guidance of founders and share the results. This NGO has been associated with The Odisha School of Blind (Satyanagar), Missions India (Chandrasekharpur), Anand Ashram (Patia), The Red Cross Society and The Helpage India in Bhubaneswar, along with others to mention. Till date Prayaash has members from 4-5 different colleges and their reach is growing exponentially day by day.
When asked what they get, out of all these, one of the founder members said, “We get to meet people- children, orphans, blind population who deal with bigger problems as compared to our puny rants and issues. These are the people who deal with the everyday challenges. Sharing some priceless moments with them makes us realize how strong they are with the little sweet nothings of life. Happiness reflects on every volunteer’s face when we know we’re the reason behind these people’s smiles.”