In April 2017, Tanvi Roy and 34 other students from National Public School, Bengaluru, collectively raised over ₹9 lakh through an online crowdfunding platform, Fuel A Dream. The money was given to Tanvi’s parents — Nabin Kumar Roy and Priyanka Pandey who are members of RC Bangalore Lakeside, RID 3190. The club used the money to build a crèche in Iblur area in the city to take care of the children of housemaids and daily wage workers.
Tanvi, an Interactor from Sun City Interact Club, out of sheer interest and passion, researched and studied the difficulties of children who are left unattended at home while their parents go out to earn a living… “Usually maids find it difficult to continue work once they have more than one child, because they cannot leave the children alone at home. In many cases the husband is a raging alcoholic and blows up all the money the wife earns. In a few other cases, construction workers have no choice but to carry their children with them to the work site which is extremely unsafe. We saw little children playing at dangerous construction sites all the time,” she says, A crèche is essentially a playschool or daycare where the children of maids and daily wage workers can be looked after. While there are creches for children of the middle or upper middle classes, “this is a cause nobody thinks about… people usually do things for the environment or health. Maids and daily wage labourers are poor and this kind of a playschool setting can help the development of the little ones at a very important age,” she says.
Jayanta Tewari, President of RC Bangalore Lakeside, told her about the NGO Navajeevan Mahila Pragati Kendra that runs seven crèches across the city for children from underprivileged backgrounds. Tanvi then scouted for the best ways to raise large funds. She realised that “a bake sale or lemonade sale wasn’t going to help us raise big money.” So, she began to research and study the best ways to raise large funds. After going through different online fundraising portals, she decided to reach out to Ranganath Thota, the CEO of Fuel A Dream (FAD), who taught her how to use this platform to raise funds.
Assisted by Siddhant Gupta, a student who helped her coordinate the project, Tanvi and 34 of her schoolmates raised about ₹20,000 each through the portal. Each one of them raised an amount ranging between ₹20,000–45,000, with Tanvi herself raising ₹62,000. At the end of the three-week campaign a large sum of ₹9.08 lakh was raised, beating their own expectation of raising ₹5 lakh. A grateful Tanvi extends a “special thanks to Rtn Tee Vee Srinivasan for his generous donation of ₹75,000.”
The amount was used to set up the eighth crèche at Iblur run by the Navjeevan Trust, including the running cost of the crèche for the next two years.
When the construction work was completed, Tanvi conducted an open-to-all volunteering opportunity, in association with her Interact Club and Konsult Art Academy, inviting people of all ages in Bellandur to paint the walls of the crèche to give it a playschool-like environment. “We successfully transformed the place,” she smiles.
The crèche now helps the mothers of around 60 children. Tanvi is happy that these workers can work in peace at their workplace. The children are provided with basic education, play time, healthy meals, vaccination and medical necessities.