When people were busy tweeting #WeAreEqual, there were a few girls who were busy changing the world, inspiring the masses and motivating people to follow their dreams through their company BUILDING DREAMS FOUNDATION.
They say they began their journey with a motto to ‘educate, empower and build entrepreneurship spirit’ among people across all age group. Their focus has been education for all since, as we all know, that’s the only way to transform people.
Education for the members of Building Dreams Foundation doesn’t just mean book learning, but goes beyond this. They think that education should be something that helps people stand on their own feet.
To make this happen, they have started computer classes at government schools, selected slums, ashrams and orphanages.
I asked Juhi Pandey, Director of Education at Building Dreams Foundation about their plan.
She candidly responded by saying, “Our focus is to make learning fun and interesting at the various government schools we work with.”
“You see, even though most of our young generation goes to a government-funded school, education at government schools is mostly inferior to that of private schools. We don’t blame anyone for this. We believe in doing our part.”
“Therefore, we are introducing smart classes at the various places that we teach at – for kids to explore the world and to give them an insight into how powerful technology is.”
“Soon, we are planning to introduce Skype-based video sessions where students from our various centres across the country can interact with each other.”
The best part of her story is that even though she is quite busy with her startup, she has managed to top her B.Tech sixth-semester university exam!
Building Dreams Foundation, based in Dehradun in Uttarakhand, began their journey in August 2016 with a group of like-minded young people from different states tied together by a common purpose – to bring change in society.
Abhipsha Rawat, President of Building Dreams Foundation and a third-year B.tech student, is very optimistic about their growth.
“Our idea is to reach out to more people across the country. As of now, we are able to reach out to people of only six states – West Bengal, Karnataka, Odisha, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand,” she says.
“If we have to make more impact in society, our growth has to be taken care of. We started the journey in a small room in Prem Nagar, Dehradun with only 11 people. Now our family comprises of more than 100 people and counting.”
As we know, education is impossible on an empty stomach and unhealthy body. They have been organising medical camp, food distribution drives and distributing clothes at regular intervals. Conducting sex education classes for girls at various government schools is also a common agenda item for them.
I asked Surbhi Jaiswal, Director of Finance at Building Dreams Foundation and a third-year dental student how they managed to raise funds for doing what they do.
What she said to me is something very unique. “Everything that we do at Building Dreams Foundation is financed by the members. We contribute by saving our pocket money. We have spent more than a lakh so far.”
“It has been quite tough for all of us to do what we believe in doing without any financial support. But since our mission is clear we can do everything to keep this going. Most of our members have stopped going out to expensive restaurants and buying unnecessary things so that we can fund our project.”
Now, they are trying to help budding authors get published, amateur photographs to follow their dreams, and women to start their own small businesses.
Since Building Dreams Foundation has more female members in comparison to male, I asked their Director, Garima Mehra, what their plan is for women in general.
“We want to empower women to follow their dreams. As we are working in various slums, we have seen that they completely depend on their husbands for money.”
“This could be the reason that their kids are not taken care of well. Many male members spend all their money on alcohol. We want to start small-scale businesses for such women and make them self-reliant. We are working hard for this,” she said.
This April, they will be hosting a literary fest at Dehradun to help budding authors follow their heart just like they do. They are really game changers.