She was out with her friends at a restaurant, having fun. Little did she know, that the next couple of days were going to be the turning point in her life.
At the restaurant, this group of college friends was approached by a young girl who was badly injured. She told them that she had escaped from her orphanage after being badly beaten up.
The girl was so petrified that she was ready to do anything to get rid of the orphanage. Appalled and unsure, the group took her to the police and reported the incident. A few days later, when they visited the orphanage to visit the girl, she was nowhere to be found.
This disturbing incident left a mark on young Gargi Vairagare’s life and inspired her to do something good for the society.
This is how the NGO RISE (Rising Infinitely for Social Empowerment) was born. An initiative to make the world a better place.
RISE teaches kids, sponsors their education, arranges for vocational training, and campaigns for causes that are close to her heart. It also sponsors kids for their education after 12th as they believe in making every underprivileged child employable.
Their mission is to restore the lost faith in humanity through selfless deeds. RISE is committed to reaching out to the society in every way possible, which is why they don’t want to restrict the scope of their work to a single cause.
Since its inception, RISE has been involved with numerous orphanages, old age homes and other organisations working towards the betterment of the society.
Projects under RISE:
Since February 2016, courtesy ‘Annapurna’, RISE has been catering various necessities to Valmiki Bal Sadan, an orphanage situated in Abhay Nagar, Nagpur. With the help of certain donors, they now donated 50 kgs tur daal, 30 large packets of glucose biscuits, 15 kg dates/chikki and seasonal fruits at the orphanages. ‘Annapurna’ has been instrumental in providing a survival diet to all the kids and giving extra supplements to the under-nourished ones. They have also started to provide each kid with one boiled egg a day from the month of March.
“Our endeavour is not only to suppress children’s hunger for bread but also our hunger for love. A smile on a well-fed children’s face packs with it unmatched love, love for the feeder,” says Prateik Chamat, RISE’s secretary.
It is this hunger for food and love that engineered a brainstorming session amongst the volunteers guided by the team of Mona Pophali, Vishal Joshi, Sumeet Jadhav, Roopa Kumar and Dr. Jagdish Deshmukh.
Soon it gave birth to the idea of ‘Annapurna’- a campaign designed to initiate donations of food grains, flour and basic supplements for local orphanages.
Project My Health-
According to UNICEF, only 13 per cent of girls in India are aware of what menstruation is before they start their periods. Latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2015-16 report shows that use of sanitary napkins among Indian women is 48.5% in rural, 77.5% in urban and 57.6% total. Myths and taboos about periods keep girls away from school and lead to health problems. Girls have always been hesitant to discuss things related to menses and many a times keep their misconceptions to themselves. The RISE foundation guided by a panel Dr. Sunita Mahatme, Dr. Nutan Deo and counsellor Surbhi Nayyar, aims for girls to open and talk about it freely. They believe it’s high time for not just girls and women but also for boys to understand how important menstrual hygiene is for a healthy life.
Apart from these projects, RISE also does works big time in spreading joy to the bundle of joy at the Valmiki Bal Sadan. A Secret Santa was organized in collaboration with the IT company Infocepts wherein kids played games, sang carols and cut a mighty Christmas cake. Gargi plans to make it an annual ritual of RISE.
Ask the lissome lass about the future plans for RISE, she says, “We are installing sanitary pads vending machine and incinerator in full swing in 6 schools across the city. As for Project Annapurna, it will continue with its steady course of operation.”