I was 22 years old; to be a Computer Science Engineer when I started volunteering at an NGO called “Teach A Child”. Like any other 21-year-old, I was confused about what is the purpose of my life, like any other Engineer. I was unsure whether coding was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. While there were certain subjects that I took to shine for, but I disliked most of the core subjects; which were imperative to master, if you wished to be successful in this field.
“Teach A Child” was like any other NGO working in the Education field. Children from the surrounding village came to a school in the heart of the city after they got free from their respective Government Schools. We taught the children Mathematics, Sciences, English, and Computers, and also helped them with their homework.
It was my second last semester at Thapar University, and also as fate deemed it fit, in my last semester when I found myself coming back home from Patiala on most weekends. I had started volunteering at the NGO during the summer break, and I continued being a regular volunteer until the semester ended in December. Initially, I have a liking towards kids; you tend to get attached to them since you’re spending so much time with them. With time, I realized it was much more than that. The sector attracted me – devoting your life to the welfare of others. Can you possibly lead a better life than that?
To me, it was clear; if I wanted to work in this sector, I am required to come with a viable business model that not only achieves the purpose of helping others but also helps me live a sustained life. I got placed with Accenture in December and started interning with an IT company in Mohali. It was in February that a friend of mine, *Karun Sangal (Co-Founder of Oorjaa), called me and shared the original idea that developed into Oorjaa. I can never forget that conversation, it was our eureka moment. The idea was simple to create an online platform, where NGOs share resources it may be books, stationery items, furniture, projectors to volunteers.
We had full of resources donated to the NGO at “Teach A Child”, which was lying unused for years; if we had Oorjaa at that point of time, we could share all the trivial things with other NGOs which are struggling to get the same, or worse using donated money to purchase them!
Then, on the 22nd of February, 2018, Oorjaa was born. It was at the end of that year that we came up with the idea of OorjaaCart. We realized that NGOs find it challenging to gather sufficient funding for the smooth functioning of their regular work. Finding a way to contact donors is a major obstacle for organizations working to serve the society. OorjaaCart is yet another way to connect donors with the beneficiaries, and the underprivileged community in need. Our aim is to ensure transparency to the donors by providing a thorough report of the use of their generous donations.
As an engineer, I believe that this program is exactly what I require, to get an in-depth knowledge of the sector so I am in love with it and wish to dedicate my life. Being exposed to the realities of the sector, interacting with people with countless years of experience, would help me grow as a person; and also allow Oorjaa to prosper.