Digital Gandhi : Redefining Charity, Csr & Social Work

Posted by Onkar K Khullar
March 29, 2017

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Digital Gandhi



If I were so to ask what the ways to change the world were, there are usually two paths:


1) Social Worker: (Purpose) Start a nonprofit and keep on doing good like Mother Teresa and never earn a single penny for themselves.

2) Philanthropist: Become a millionaire or billionaire and after 30 or 40 or 50 years donate everything to charity like Bill Gates.


The above paths don’t Work anymore.



History of Gandhi with a charkha 


The charkha was both a tool and a symbol of the Indian independence movement. It was ideal for spinning cotton and other fine, short-staple fibers. Gandhi hoped the charkha would assist the people of India in achieving self-sufficiency and independence, and therefore used the charkha as a symbol of the Indian independence movement. He also included it on earlier versions of the Flag of India


Charkha was a means to solve the problem of economic distress in the most natural, simple, inexpensive and business-like manner


100 Years ago during the British rule in India, where in severe economic distress had seeped into the households of a common Indian man. As a result the major problem that the masses were facing was hunger. The government was not pro- masses. It was then that Gandhi tried to bring back the hand spun Charkha back to every house as a means of survival and sustenance.


Gandhi clearly believed that without an intelligent return to simplicity, there was no scope of fighting back the then economic distress prevailing, non-violently. In the time when industrial revolution was in vogue, and the entire handicraft industry in India was facing the brunt of it rendering many unemployed, it was the first social innovation model which aimed at every individual earning a living for himself instead of depending on charity of others.


Today the entire civil society is dependent on funds, donations and charities of national and international institutions, agencies, corporates and individuals.  There is no inherent thought process of developing a financially sustainable model of their own.


India alone has 7.5 million registered non-profits each working for some or the other cause trying to create an impact, not realizing that the lack of financial sustainability strategy shall somewhere mitigate the impact of their work at grassroots, as they are consistently giving birth to programs which require a continuous feed in of financial resources to continue. .


The way the world has progressed, we cannot wait for another Mother Teresa or Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. It needs a modern day Gandhi.


The slight twist though is Gandhi in this era is with a laptop and not a Charkha.


Today’s digital Gandhi shall not work for free, he shall ensure that he sustains his livelihood. His value system shall be as simplistic as Gandhi.  Simple living and high thinking shall be the sole route to sustaining happily. A casual simple T-shirt, jeans, slippers instead of the and with his laptop going from one corner to another finding solutions to social problems. He does not have a confined office space or a reporting hierarchy or a job description which shall time again limits his space to imagine, act, innovate and experiment.


He is today’s Social entrepreneur “The Digital Gandhi”.




I have been termed as Digital Gandhi by Media countless times but I am not alone. Imagine a world with a Million Digital Gandhis. Each one solving just may be one small problem. We probably wouldn’t need dependent non- profits or corporates CSRs to solve such problems. Out of 7 billion I need 1 million Digital Gandhis across the world. That’s my vision.


I am travelling across the India sharing my vision through talks and seminars at some of the top Schools and colleges. The media coverage of these are available on my website.



My Bio is on


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