VIBHA PANDEY | Co-Founder: TLS Educational Foundation | Owner: IT Solutions Hub
It was always in DNA to take care of others unconditionally. However, my exposure to social service started in US for a stay for 6 months. I had been searching for my name over internet when came across a big NGO in US with my name Vibha.org, contacted them and volunteered for them.
The impact on me was quite deep. I tried setting up US Based NGO Vibha.org center in India to fund projects here, but corporate life didn’t allow it
I was back from US and to Bangalore for merely 9 months. Away from family and having time at hand, started connecting with various NGOs. It just happened that NGOs started approaching me for cases they couldn’t handle and I used to connect them to relevant NGOs for specific causes. Helped an orphan get adopted, got kids admitted in schools. This really boosted my confidence of making some difference somewhere for someone. Here the impact on my own self was far more.
Back to Delhi NCR and a job with Oracle that focuses on CSR, I stayed connected with idea of giving by being project leads for CSR activities each year during my 6 years stint with Oracle India. There was no looking back ever since.
As a lead for CSR projects, the activities included, identifying NGO, registering it with Oracle for approval, identifying number of kids, the activities, food and gifts. All this was to be done well within the budget that was assigned per project. This also included organizing T-shirts and other material for volunteers.
During 6 years, I led projects with at least 3 different NGOs. The projects involved:
- Taking 100 kids to Nehru planetarium
- Taking 100 kids out for tree plantation
- Brought 100 kids to office for painting and other competitions
- Spent a day with 100 autistic children and gifted them stuff to play
- Spending a day with village women motivating them for getting educated and working
- Each year invited CRY and other NGOs to our office premises to sell their spices/Diwali hand-made items
Impact of the kids was huge, The kids always were hesitant to reach out and once made comfortable, they were not ready to part ways at the end of the day. They were motivated by visiting office premises, got ideas on what future would look like, gave them importance of ecosystem and much more. They were allowed to take food home as many used to be in tears on getting their favourite food served. They were responsible enough to eat it only while sharing with their siblings.
The emotional moments with the kids, always left a deep impact on me and I was now dreaming of having my own NGO.
On becoming an entrepreneur, I reached out to active people in Gurgaon to work with them and their initiatives. Saahasi was one (http://www.saahasforwomen.org/saahasi-sangini.php)
Then the D day arrived. Formed my own NGO with like minded people It is into learning space registered as TLS educational foundation, the key project being Learning Spaces (www.thelearninsgspace.org)
We have few other major projects in pipeline.
My key responsibilities are forming strategic alliances, Learning spaces growth to various cities, and IT & IT services procurement.
During lockdown, all schools being closed, I focused on contributing to panic stricken citizens and reducing burden on authorities by doing what I have been best as – an aggregator (I had experienced that in Bangalore). I came up with a twitter handle to connect people needing support with the NGOs or providers with the ground level. The support included:
- Food / ration
- Medicines / Injections / PPE for Doctors
- Migrant ration
- Curfew Passes
- Plasma / Platelets requirement
- At times getting people admitted in hospitals.
- Supporting in getting Salaries
Every day 3-4 people were supported. None of the cases taken up remain unresolved. The needs changed with each lockdown and accordingly people keep on getting associated