With the Warriors: In conversation with Mr. Eugene Das, Founder & Managing Trustee of WWH Charitable Foundation
WWH (We Will Help) Charitable Foundation is a Public Trust established in 2013 and caters to people living in slums/backward villages. WWH aims to uplift dwellers and bring them closer to the mainstream population. The Trust particularly focusses on tribal/Adivasi/slum villages within the metropolitan city of Mumbai.
What were the challenges faced by the NGO during the Pandemic? And how did you overcome the same?
WWH works effectively across four main programs/projects. These programs are undertaken keeping in mind the needs and requirements of our beneficiaries. The four projects are the four quadrants of human living that we hope to provide a holistic developmental opportunity for those living in marginalized conditions.
In the midst of the 27 tribal hamlets of about 3000 acres of Aarey Milk Colony, with a total population of about 90,000, we ardently carry out our services and activities by uplifting these communities and empowering them to get closer to the mainstream society and thrive. We request you to kindly go through the short video link to get a glimpse of our activities:
Our Trust is registered with authorities and is eligible for accepting donations from all sources such as CSR, individuals, etc. The tribal villagers within the jungles have no source of food due to the on-going pandemic and its consequential lockdown & restrictions. They don’t have ration cards as well, which unfortunately cuts them off from government aid in the region. They are in a dire state and are relying on our help and support. We have been providing whatever food we can source from like-minded individuals till date.
How did you help the tribal and slum dwellers during the pandemic?
It has been a year since WWH (We Will Help) Charitable Foundation first stepped out to help and feed tribal village hamlets in the interior forests of Aarey during the pandemic that struck us last year. During the lockdown, we reached out to other tribal villages and slums across Mumbai, where COVID-19 had struck havoc in the lives of many.
We wanted to ensure that no one sleeps hungry. We tapped the street dwellers and neglected homeless people during this crisis. We provided daily-wage workers with grocery packages. Since the program’s launch, we served over 96,400 nutritious meals to tribal families and daily-wage earners. As the efforts continue, we have reached out to thousands of families, giving out over 32,600 nutritional supplements, over 34,800 grocery care kits, 12,850 face masks, and 6,750 hygiene care kits.
What kind of problems did you face during the pandemic?
We have a strong team of volunteers who work dedicatedly. Funding has been the main challenge during the pandemic. The lack of funds has made it difficult to gain solid footing we needed as an NGO in times of the pandemic. However, through internal efforts and those coming from our volunteers, we managed to satiate every need till date. Identifying and eliciting more funding will be highly beneficial to reach out to other tribal villages too.
How has the NGO benefitted from CSR funds?
We approach CSR using a well-drafted proposal that helps corporates understand our initiatives. As we have always been tied with tribal social development, corporates have extended funding in kind and in cash by providing smokeless stoves to the women of Aarey Forests, solar lighting, cooking equipment, computer training to the youth, library setup in the heart of the Forests, health camps and initiatives of sanitation and hygiene, etc.
We have received CSR funds from various organizations in the past. However, during the ongoing pandemic this has become difficult and are trying to get funds from various CSR sources.
Why was WWH founded?
“WWH (We Will Help) Charitable Foundation was born out of the need to serve tribal villages in the midst of urbanization in Mumbai City. The dire conditions of people who are so pulled away from the hustle-bustle of the city made us realize how we are continuously only tied up in our rat races to the top. Being a part of the suburban Mumbai area, there were villages that did not even have electricity since India gained its Independence in 1947.
WWH in every way possible has involved itself to drive social and community development, the upliftment of women, and focus on health, food, and education as the main motivators of change in such a backward society that struggles with the modernization of everything around it. People in these villages cannot sustain any longer on farming alone, they have to understand how to integrate with mainstream society and this can only be achieved through positive systemic change. WWH aims for this at every step along the way.
We are grateful that Crowdteck understands this. Thank you for approaching us and giving us a potential platform to share our cause with the world.”
Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org