Drought in India is a stark reality. Three successive years of deficient monsoon have sealed the fate for thousands of farmers. About 10 states, mostly in North and Western India, are reeling under drought. About 33 crore people in 300 districts are facing shortage of drinking water. Cattle have little access to water and fodder. In the first three months of 2016, at least 116 farmers have committed suicide.
While the Parliament debates over the causes of farmer suicides and government slowly warms up to the idea of doing something for the water-starved zones, a handful of people have taken it upon themselves to come forward and reach out to the people in water-stressed villages with a message — Do Good Now.
What is DoGoodNow?
DoGoodNow.in is a portal launched with an objective of “thinking, collaborating, mobilising and acting for the people deprived of basic needs such as water and food”. The Mission Statement, as mentioned in the website, talks about helping people in remote places with less clout and those who suffer silently away from media glare.
It is through this IT-based platform that the members of DoGoodNow are linking those who have the need and the ones who want to help at the ground level by arranging water, fodder and food. It is connecting the distressed rural population with those who want to donate for them. This platform enables donors to channelize their support to those people through the network of NGOs and volunteers.
A strong team of IT professionals, social sector enthusiasts and grassroots-level volunteers have come together to make this mission a success. This project has been incubated under the aegis of some eminent names such as Yogesh Andlay (An IT professional with interest in social sector), Ajay Kumar (An engineer involved in Rural Development and Agriculture) and Arun Jain (An IT professional and a leader in Financial Sector in India). The team has not only documented the plight of the people in drought-hit regions but it is also creating awareness about the veracity of the issue through regional maps and statistics.
How Can You Help the Cause?
Whether you are a person affected by drought or the donor who wants to extend your support to those in need, DoGoodNow welcomes you to register in their portal over email. Even the ground-level volunteers and delivery agencies (NGOs, Self Help Groups, and Cooperatives) can register themselves on the portal and create an ecosystem of do-gooders.
To know more on how to participate, click here.
How Does DoGoodNow Work?
In a bid to maintain transparency in the process of connecting the donors with the beneficiaries, DoGoodNow follows a layered approach:
- People in need water, food or fodder can connect with the call centre.
- The call centre registers their demand in software by capturing their details: state, district, block, etc.
- Later, the call centre confirms the demand through a detailed phone call, following which the demands are aggregated and displayed on the official website of DoGoodNow.
- Delivery agencies with a bank account (NGO, cooperative) can also come forward and register themselves with DoGoodNow to receive the items on behalf of the villagers and commit to take responsibility of delivering the same.
- Volunteers, who are eager to commit their time, can connect with the project.
- Call centre links with villagers to assess if their needs are being met. Moreover, SMS alerts are sent to beneficiary, delivery agency and donors from time to time.
Achievements So Far
The project, that is determined to create a ripple effect in its own way, has been vigorously working towards roping in more donors and covering a greater number of beneficiaries
- As of 27 May, DoGoodNow has received about Rs. 4.35 lakh in donation. Almost half the amount has been disbursed to the delivery agencies.
- Out of the 13 projects approved so far, six have been based in Marathawada region, the worst-affected region in the country.
- Already, 55 delivery agencies have registered themselves with DoGoodNow and 61 demands for help have also been registered.
- The DoGoodNow Team has been inviting the online audience to join the cause through social media campaigns. Their message is very clear: Aao kuch accha karein; Sukhe mein raahat ki koshish.
Do visit the official website of DoGoodNow to know more about this project.
Disclosure: Compare Infobase Limited, owner and publisher of Mapsofindia.com, supports Do Good Now – India