Earning in lakhs is easy, but what about earning smiles. Every one of us have dreams but very few amongst us move beyond our comfort zone to fulfil those dreams. The world is passing through a phase where the principle stating survival of the fittest has become the sole motto. We run after success and many amongst us believe that success means getting a good job and living a life of comfort. Many fell under the trap set up by life as their lust for money has no ending, and their humanity and morals have just become a matter of choice. However, just like the beam of light at the end of the tunnel, there are still people who have helped us to keep the ray of hope for humanity alive. One such example is Abhishek Saini, the Co -Founder of “Those In Need”. He is an ordinary person but his devotion towards the well-being of humanity is something which has made him a leader and an example for the fellow beings.
During his interview with The Rising Bharat, Mr. Saini was asked about the factors which had encouraged him to join the social sector. He answered that he had never planned to join social sector although, in past he had worked with different organisation. After researching about working with NGO’s, he soon realized that there was a high search cost that many volunteers had to pay in order to connect with the right NGOs and this cost became a barrier for many volunteers and professionals who wanted to contribute to the society through their skills. He decided to solve this big information gap between the volunteers and civil society organization which was becoming a barrier for active participation in social work.
Our hero tells us that he clearly remembered the day when he decided to give up a job that paid him a lakh per month to join the social sector. He was working in the corporate sector, as a senior analyst and his salary per month was more than ₹1 lakh, including all the perks. This was the epitome of an ideal life for anyone, as his daily salary was equal to the money his dad made in a week. He recalls the days of the financial struggle that his parents had to undergo while raising him. But this kind of lifestyle was not something that Abhishek wanted. One fine day, he realized his dream to work towards the society and quit his job. The struggle to convince his parents was real, but no his dreams were too strong to allow him to backout.
Meanwhile, he got a chance to meet Vithika Yadav, a human rights activist and the country head of Love Matters India, during one of the flash mobs that they had organised together. She became his inspiration and then she offered him a job to work in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights sector. He told us how difficult it was for him to explain it to his mom and dad that why he wants to quit a high paying job when everything was going fine. However, after a lot of discussion and debate, his parents asked him to do what he loves. On that day, Abhishek realized that how lucky he is to have such parents who support his dreams.
(To know more about Vithika Yadav click here: https://www.120under40.org/nominee/vithika-yadav )
Our protagonist discuss about how his educational background has helped him while running the social platform. He tells us, that during his first year at Delhi School of Economics, while getting equipped with basic tools of Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Statistics and Econometrics, he also chose to participate in a DSE based student-run social work society called “Prayaas-DSE” as a volunteer. Due to his deep interest in resolving the social problems that exist in India, he also assisted one of the DSE professors in his European Union project “Dimensions and Dynamics of Indian Urban Poverty (Globally part of NOPOOR)”, directed towards checking the current status of poverty in India and the effectiveness of government schemes to eradicate it. Abhishek recalls that while collecting primary data in different slums of Delhi and understanding their problems, it forced him to think more deeply about the inequity and deprivation that existed in the society.
Abhishek enlighten us about his experience at “Love Matters India”. He declares that he is working with Love Matters India as a Research and Engagement officer. “Love Matters” is a multimedia platform that provides gender friendly SRH (Sexual Reproductive Health) information to young people and engages them to talk about love, sex and relationships in an open, honest and non-judgemental way. The vision of Project Love Matters is to be the leading source of information in a world where love, sex and relationships are a right, a choice and a pleasure. Love Matters is a global project with operations In India, China, Latin America, Kenya and Egypt.
(To know more about Love Matters, click here: https://lovematters.in/en )
With the aim to help the society in his own way, our combatant founded his own NGO named “Those In Need”. “Those In Need” is an online platform which connects various NGOs to volunteers in Delhi-NCR. Through their portal, they are trying to reduce the search cost of volunteering in the social service domain, upgrading the representation of NGOs on online & offline, developing a common platform to showcase NGOs’ work and its impact, encouraging youth involvement in social welfare activities, and facilitating the course of social marketing for the member NGOs. They have launched a unique social reward points system to incentivise volunteering to drive higher participation. The volunteers will be given points based on their work and their engagement in various causes. Those In Need plans to use technology as the driving force, leveraging digital marketing to expand organisations’ outreach by showcasing their trustworthiness to a larger audience. With a new impact-management tool that will be provided to each NGO, its reach, numbers of volunteers, funds raised, and impact created can be tracked. The motto is to have quantifiable results of social impact.
Those In Need have reached out to 150+ NGOs, have over 6000+ volunteer base and have provided 30,000+ volunteering hours to the community members. Through partnerships with Life Vest Inside (New York), Bubble Parade (Singapore), Goodwill Tribe (Dubai), and SCRUFF (a dating app for gay men), the team has addressed issues like gender inequality, injustices against the LGBTQ community, youth mental health, and others.
(To know more about Those In Need, click here: https://www.thoseinneed.in/ )
When asked about the problems faced by him in his professional life, our leader eagerly answers that there were so many challenges that he had to face. But when he looks back, he thinks that those struggling days motivated him to work harder. Initially, when he joined the social sector, it was so difficult for people around him to accept and understand. Bullies stood in the way of bringing his spirit down, but Abhishek was one tough guy to break. He quotes that, “Starting anything from scratch is really difficult, like building a tech product with no tech background. It is all about meeting different people and learning from them.”
Like every achiever, Abhishek have his own source of inspiration which he discloses with us. He gets nostalgic and narrates, how he was raised by his hardworking parents. He believes that they are the most inspirational figure for him. He tells us that he had seen his parents working since 6 am till late night so that their kids can have the best education and do something good with their lives. He recalls the joy of those day when they used to sacrifice many things, just to buy a new t-shirt on the festival of Diwali.
Abhishek shares with us the one incident that left a deep mark in his life. He tells us about the incident which took place in an orphanage. It was a Diwali party and everyone was enjoying. He observed a kid enjoying the event, but suddenly the kid turns gloomy and refused to talk to anyone anymore. Our hero, takes the initiative to understand the problem and starts conversing with the kid. He asks the kid that why did he suddenly turned sad. The answer Abhishek received shattered his heart. The kid answered that he was missing his parents, to which our protagonist had no answer. He was taken aback by the answer and realized that there are some things that are more valuable than money.
Our protagonist, Abhishek tells us about the recent events. He announces that they had recently organised a letter writing event with kids, where they wanted them to make Ramadan Cards and wish their friends. The idea was to write letters, wish a happy Eid to everyone and then distribute them at Jama Mazjid. They had partnered with Pehchaan, The Street School near Indraprastha metro station. More than 300 kids and volunteers joined the event to create Ramadan cards for the first time and amidst laughter and curiosity, the team discussed with children the significance of Ramadan and how was it celebrated. In few hours they were able to make more than 100 beautiful cards. The smile on the children’s faces after making their first Eid cards was beyond explanation.
Every journey has a future and when asked about where he want to see himself after 5 years, he told us that he want Those In Need to be the India’s leading platform for volunteering work, providing real time data of volunteering work in India.
Abhishek Saini leaves a powerful message for the youth:
“You have the power to change the world. Do what you love. There will be difficult times but those will just test your patience. Apne sapne poore karne chahiye nahin toh Woh sapne reh jaate hai” (One should fulfil their dreams or else they never come true.)”