The Caring Friends Bangalore Event on 26-Jan-2011 was a great success, attended by a good number of 80 + friends. The event began with lighting of the lamp by Mr Krishnan (Tegutec), Mr Sudhakar Ram (Mastek), Ms Suzanne (Bosch Foundation) and Ms Vrinda Bhat(CMCA). This was followed by an invocation from Archana and Avinash who treated the audience with a mellifluous rendition of "Vaishnava Janato".Srikanth Belwadi, anchored the event and introduced all the speakers, the first of them being Nimesh Sumati, a core member of Caring Friends Group, Mumbai.
Nimesh Sumati started his talk providing a background of Caring Friends(CF). He presented the way CF works and engages with the NGOs, the difference that has been made to the NGOs, theinformal natureof thisgroup, and so on. He also ran a small presentation on Arpan Foundation, the partner of CF based out the USA. He concluded his note stressing the need for floating a Bangalore chapter and also expanding similarly to other cities.
NImesh was asked 'Does Caring Friends support only upcoming NGOs or even established non profits such as Unnati?'
He responded 'We look for upcoming ngos and also at times associate with ngo's like Unnati as they have a successful and replicable model and we have the necessary partners , very few ngos are working for the youth i.e the employable section and hence we took up Unnati'
The first speaker Dr Girish Kulkarni from SNEHALAYA had traveled all the way from Ahmadnagar to Bangalore for this event. In the 30 min time alloted, he presented the work done by him and his team, he left an impression of a life time on the audience. Listeners were choked when they heard Dr Girish talking about how the Snehalaya team has made a difference to really oppressed class of the society especially, women and children. The audience were overwhelmed by his presentation, some of the reactions from the audience were:A senior citizen about 65 plus " I am ashamed of myself after listening to this presentation and am really moved by it A senior lady " I wish I was 40 years younger , I could assist you in some way "Another 70 year old lady " I was wondering what i would do , now I want to live for another 30 years and try to serve the people ". Many were in tears after hearing the experiences of Girish. Need i say more, it was an amazing presentation. Snehalaya is looking for support to start the Himmatgram project for the HIV+ patients, participation of any kind is welcome.
Dr Girish's talk was followed by a brief address by Prof Trilochan Sastry. He spoke about his association with Mr Ramesh Kacholia / Nimesh sumati and the generous, prompt and informal way in which CF works, which as per his opinion was the fastest action so far from a donor or a funding agency . Mumbai friends Mr Sudhakar Ram ( CMD of MASTEK LTD, ) his wife Ms Girija , Mr Anil Hebbar with his B'lore friends were very kind to participate in this meet. They have always been very encouraging of Caring Friends
The second NGO, UNNATI was presented by Mr Ramesh Swamy. He talked about the work at Unnati and their vision. Two of Unnati's students, Srinivas and Manjula spoke about the difference Unnati has made to their lives.The students from rural and deprived background have come up the hard way and are now earning a good salary , speaking in english and are motivating other you ths to join Unnati. Ramesh informed that none of the students had to go for an interview after completing the course , instead the interviewers come to the center and what's more, Unnati has a 100 % placement record. Apart from the vocations, the more important life skills are taught here and values are inculcated which was evident from Manjula's words " I was very hurt when I saw the rich , I used to wonder why I am so poor and others are so rich, after joining Unnati I now see why am I better off and others are so poor ".Young boys and girls, 18 years and above who are semi literate, deprived, poor and lack confidence are turned into bread earners of the family. It was very touching and moving to hear the youth speak. We really need hundreds of Unnati centers in our country.Ramesh wants to build up the corpus of Unnati and reach 300 branches by 2020 reaching out to about 1 million youth. CF Mumbai shares this dream and is extending it's full support.
On a concluding note, Srikanth spoke about the idea and need of the Bangalore chapter and how people can get involved and participate in this venture.He stressed on the need to build it up and see that this chapter is a success. He urged people to participate in this new chapter wholeheartedly