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How To Bridge The Gap Between Donors, Volunteers And NGOs

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The first ever exercise by the CBI to map registered NGOs in 2015 disclosed that India has at least 31 lakh NGOs – more than double the number of schools in the country.

Despite this major social and economic force, we are only able to provide services to limited areas of the country. NGOs involved in social service provision are unevenly distributed across the country, with many areas not covered. Most of the extensive rural areas lack both public and nongovernmental services.

Most NGOs work for conventional sectors like health and education while the lowest share is contributed by the organizations working in the field of environment, agriculture, sex work and child labour.

There are many people who are keen to give donations and volunteer for nearby NGOs but are unable to do so because of the unavailability of information.

There is a need to channelize the existing NGOs to provide equal services to all the sections of the society across India and guide new NGOs while selecting their sphere of work (work area as well as social service sector). There is also a need of providing information on nearby NGOs to donors and volunteers.

Setup:

1. A web portal and an app should be created by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to guide existing and new NGOs on providing services to all the sections of the society across the country and help donors and volunteers search NGOs nearby them.

2. The web portal and NGO guide app should be created by using the information available on the NGO-Partnership System (NGO-PS) Portal (NGO-DARPAN) maintained by the NITI Aayog. The NGO-DARPAN portal helps to get details of existing VOs/NGOs across India. It also helps to get details of the schemes of the participating ministries/departments/government bodies offering grants.

3. A set of parameters can be framed based on:

(a) Population density,

(b) People’s needs

(c) Density of NGOs

(d) Size and reach of NGOs and

(e) Objectives of (issues addressed by) NGOs.

4. State and sector wise information of NGOs available on the NGO-DARPAN portal should be compiled, analyzed and checked against the set of parameters and a database be created.

5.  India can be divided into five zones on the basis of the density of NGOs with respect to the human population:

(a) Green zone – Very high density of NGOs

(b) Blue zone – high density of NGOs

(c) Yellow zone – moderate density of NGOs

(d) Orange zone – low density of NGOs

(e) Red zone – very low density of NGOs

6. The same division will also be done based on:

(a) Sector-wise (education and literacy, health and family welfare, tribal affairs, etc.) density of NGOs

(b) People’s needs and

(c) Size and reach of NGOs

7. A mobile application software (NGO guide app), linked with the web portal, will be designed with the help of the database created.

How will the NGO guide app work?

1. If the NGO has existed for a while:

When the name of the NGO is entered into the app, the information generated automatically will be –

(a) The zone the NGO comes under (based on the density of NGOs).

(b) Names of the nearby communities/regions the NGO should serve for [based on the objectives of (issues addressed by) the NGO and people’s needs].

(c) Grants (offered by the participating ministries/departments/government bodies) that can be applied for [based on the objectives of (issues addressed by) the NGO].

2. Starting new NGOs:

(a) When one enters the proposed work area into the app, the information generated automatically will be – The possible objectives of the NGO (based on the people’s needs of the proposed work area)

(b) When one enters the proposed objectives and name of the state into the app, the information generated automatically will be- Names of the communities/regions of the state his NGO should serve for

3. For donors and volunteers:

When a donor/volunteer enters the name of the place into the app, the information generated automatically will be – Names of the NGOs nearby. They can then filter the search results by objectives of (issues addressed by) the NGOs.

Other features of the app:

  1. During natural disasters and other emergencies, automatic alerts will be sent to the nearby NGOs. Alerts will also be sent to the nearby registered volunteers in the hour of need.
  2. Guidance will also be provided through the app regarding the registration and certification process for new NGOs, the schemes of the participating ministries/departments/government bodies offering grants to VOs/NGOs, fundraising, etc.

Benefits to the NGOs, donors and volunteers:

1. It is not mandatory for the NGOs to follow the suggestions given by NGO Guide app but this simple app will certainly help them to define their sphere of work (work area as well as social service sector) and increase efficiency as it will give the best suggestions based on the database created.

2. This simple app will be helpful for the donors and volunteers to search and reach the NGOs nearby them.

3. This app will be helpful to direct the major social and economic force (NGOs) of the country.

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

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Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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