News and Media

Mumbai NGO adopts Jalna village (June 06,2013 - Mumbai Mirror)
by Yogesh Naik

Shocked by Mirror's reports on drought, Caring Friends vows to make Karjat in Jalna district self-sufficient in water supply.
The drought-hit Karjat village in Jalna district, which was profiled by Mumbai Mirror in two of its reports on the crippling drought in Marathwada region of the state, has been adopted by Mumbai-based non-profit Caring Friends.
The NGO is not only providing short-term assistance to the villagers, but has also undertaken water conservation and water storage projects aimed at developing sustainable irrigation and drinking water sources.
Nimesh Sumati, Caring Friends cofounder, said when he first visited Karjat after reading in Mumbai Mirror about the mass relocation of farmers to cities in search of employment, he learnt that the village needed help on three accounts - food, water and employ
 

Maharashtra Drought: The Worst Man-Made Disaster in Years (April 30,2013 - Forbes India)
by Anirudha Dutta

A callous polity and years of poor governance has brought about a major man-made disaster in Maharashtra, which is set to turn worse in the coming months.
The usual dusty small-town India greets us as a small group of people associated with the NGO Caring Friends travel over two-and-a-half days through Aurangabad and Jalna to understand the problems in the region and what help could be given. On the face of it, people seem to be going about their normal life. Where are the signs of distress that we had read in the media? Don’t girls and women in many parts of rural India carry water over long distances? Aren’t water tankers a common sight in many towns and cities, including Mumbai?
The feeling that all is normal is broken the moment we see the dried up, shrivelled fields of sweet lime (mausambi) and cotton planted on thousands of acres along the way. When we stop to speak to people, the consensus is that this year’s drought is worse than the one in 1972. But there is one major difference: There is no shortage of food this time around. Although we hear stories of cattle perishing and migration out of villages in search of work, fodder prices have remained remarkably stable.

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Constructive Charity is more than just about money (April 3,2011 - DNA)
by R Krishna
Nimesh Sumati, an investment consultant, was once approached by an NGO that provides healthcare for the Korku tribals living in the Melghat region. They wanted funds for a project to provide spectacles for the tribals and needed around Rs10,000. But Sumati’s philanthropic side involves more than just donating money. He is part of Caring Friends, an organisation that helps NGOs working in rural areas meet urban donors. “I agreed on the sole condition that they should sell the spectacles, not give it away for free,” he says. The NGO’s founder, Dr Ashish Satav, argued that the tribals would not be able to afford it. But Sumati felt that nothing should be taken for granted. As it turned out, the tribals bought the frames. “Even Dr Satav was surprised. He never thought this was possible in Melghat. Today, we are not giving them a single rupee. It’s running on its own,” says Sumati.

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The Diwali Generosity Challenge (October 28,2010 - Livemint)
by Shoba Narayan


This one is for the NRIs and if any of you feels impelled to pass it along to, say, a Pandit, Khosla, Jain or Harilela, be my guest. This one’s for all you Silicon Valley and Wall Street titans; the Singapore and Hong Kong bankers; and the European jet-setters out of Antwerp and London.
Remember those diaspora Diwali parties when a group of us would sit around, lamenting about how to give back to India? About how to find a transparent, accountable NGO that worked without massive overheads?
When I moved back home five years ago, one of the goals I set myself was to find such an organization. It’s taken me this long but for all my do-gooder friends in the Indian diaspora: I have an answer for you

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