Philanthropy on Wheels – Sandeep Desai
Education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the World
– Nelson Mandela
Here is a story of a Marine Engineer turned Philanthropist, Sandeep Desai.
In 1997, he set up a trust, Shloka Missionaries, to launch educational reforms, funded by donations and his earnings. After setting up a school for slum children in Goregaon in Mumbai, Desai realized that his mission to set up 100 schools for poor children could not be achieved without stepping on the accelerator. Instead of approaching corporate donors, he decided to get in touch directly with the common man.
For the past 4 years, he has been spending seven hours every day in local trains in Mumbai, asking people to donate whatever they can. As soon as he gets into a train, he goes around each compartment with his collection box, and distributes a small visiting card stating his professional background and contact details. Depending on the passenger profile, he strikes a conversation in fluent English or Hindi. Sometimes he manages to collect as much as 700 rupees a day.
But Desai has no plans to slow down. He says “I will keep travelling in trains till I have achieved my dream of 100 schools.”