9th January to 12th January 2015
Our 6th Annual Meet was a special success this time with a record audience of 340 friends, 24 NGOs from all over India, along with Anand and Shilpa Karia (Arpan Foundation, USA ), MBL Bhargava (LetzDream Foundation) and other donorsThis year we presented a new format where the founders of NGOs spoke about their work and also showcased films and presentations. This format was well received by the audience.
Ramesh Uncle spoke with great feeling to a rapt audience about his personal journey that started way back in 1981, about Baba Amte and the organizations that continue to inspire him and the priceless lessons that he has learnt through his experiences. He also highlighted the difference CF has made to NGOs by giving numbers of before and after CF’s help.
The evening continued with 7 of CF’s associate NGOs, each one championing a different cause, presenting their work to the audience. Snehalaya’s sensitive film on rehabilitation of victims of commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking, Helpers of the Handicapped’s opening shot of handicapped children playing a competitive cricket match and Wildlife SOS’s film on rescuing elephants from a harsh life, all drew a collective sigh from the audience. Dr. Ashish Satav, founder of MAHAN Trust spoke about reducing child mortality and malnutrition in Melghat region and getting state policies pertaining to healthcare amended, Nileema Mishra, founder of BNGVN gave a moving presentation on how BNGVN went from being an NGO in bad debts to its founder winning the prestigious Padmashri award in 2013, Jennifer Liang, founder of ANT (The Action North East Trust) calling herself and her team ‘MAD’ for 'Making A Difference' spoke of how they may have made a few mistakes in their journey but had learnt tough lessons which could prepare them for facing complex challenges in the North East and Prof. Sastry of Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) spoke about how he wanted Indian citizens to raise a voice, question discrepancies , understand their rights and responsibilities and seek constitutional changes for better governance. In between the presentations, a motivational song “Is Liye" by 6 founders, Raju and Dipti of Jeevantirth, Dr. Avinash Saoji of Prayas, Jennifer Liang, Dr. Ashish Satav and Girish Kulkarni of Snehalaya, regaled the audience with their passionate rendition.
Caring Friends’ Co-founder Nimesh Sumati introduced the NGOs, the CF Core Team, ARPAN Foundation and in between the presentations he had the audience in splits with his one liners, even as he revealed little anecdotes about each of the NGO founders. He spoke of the personal struggles and sacrifices of our founders and his vision of encouraging supporters to become Caring Friends in their individual capacity to expand the impact of CF’s work. He declared 2015 a year of visits and we shall plan 4 visits for our Supporters to various NGOs.
LetzDream Foundation, one of our biggest donors spoke about how social media marketing could be utilized by the non-profit sector to gather funds and engage volunteers and spoke of their own platform LetzChange.org wherein they even had schemes to give matching grants to NGOs.
Next morning we proceeded to Matheran,
where over two days we had several interactive sessions with our partner NGOs
Mr Babu Joseph (Axis Bank), Mr. MBL Bhargava and founders of other NGOs. We were overwhelmed to see great camaraderie and ready help provided by our NGO partners to each other, sharing of ideas and opinions and we heard of several partnerships being forged amongst the members.
All in all, a thoroughly memorable four day event which left us energized and recharged to face the year ahead. So long for now, friends! Thanks to the support from all you Caring Friends that we have been able to reach this far. Hope to see you at our next few get-togethers this year.
With our best wishes and warm regards,
Team Caring Friends
PS: Thanks to Bonsy and Sohini for covering the writeup for 3 days, Vishal Mehta for the photos and videos, Moumita for editing
Annual Meets >