BITS.aid – The origin and evolution…
BITS.aid -- An initiative that channels the strength within the hearts of a BITSian volunteer.
Nishi Gaddam, Sudip Dutta (95A4PS241)
BITS.aid was founded in 2005 to help bridge the gap between socially responsible initiatives and the BITSian volunteering community. Since inception, BITS.aid has served as a platform for BITSians volunteers and social entrepreneurs alike to seamlessly work together across boundaries towards a common goal – a better tomorrow for the world we live in. By teaming up enthusiastic BITSian volunteers with BITS.aid registered projects, volunteers were able to directly impact the quality of life of thousands of recipients. BITSian social entrepreneurs where able to leverage resources and execution support offered by BITS.aid.
It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.
- Albert Einstein
Over the years, BITS.aid has been successful in taking up a number of initiatives in the fields of education and community development under its umbrella. Over 120 volunteers got together and contributed towards 12 projects spread across India and US. Some of the early registered BITS.aid initiatives such as Gyanbodh, MyIndia and Lend-A-Hand are still immensely popular among the current BITS.aid volunteers. Gyanodyaya, operating from Chennai and Bangalore, sponsors deserving students in government schools and colleges by providing textbooks and stationery while volunteers conduct weekly classes. MyIndia, was setup by students at BITS Pilani with the objective of improving literacy levels and to provide quality and value based education to the underprivileged.
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
- Winston Churchill
After the huge success of the program since its inception, BITS.aid was re-launched this year with the vision of providing a truly global platform for BITSians to make a lasting impact on socially responsible initiatives. BITS.aid is the first of its kind amongst any Indian institutions and alumni bodies. Drawing upon its uniqueness and the altruism within the BITSian community, a new core working group of alumni and current students was formed to make it a truly global operating platform and to execute on its mission to
- bring BITSians across the globe together and provide a forum for exchanging ideas to make society better
- establish new frontiers for BITSians to connect to the global volunteering community
- support socially responsible endeavors by means of opportunities, resources and execution support
The core group has also embarked upon recruiting additional projects under various operating themes such as education, rural development, youth empowerment and sustainable environmental practices. Grouped into tactical functions of project management, marketing & strategy and fund raising, the diverse global team is defining and executing on a plan to transform various BITSAA communities around the globe into agents of change to tackle social and environmental needs. The team is currently managing active projects such as
- "Plan100, Lend-A-Hand" - equips youth in India’s rural areas with job and life skills, -
- "Nirmaan" - works towards poverty free, knowledge and livelihood opportunities for underprivileged people,
- "Small Steps Foundation" - focuses on education of underprivileged girls,
- "Gyonodhaya" - imparts basic education to the physically challenged meritorious children
If every American donated five hours a week, it would equal the labor of 20 million full-time volunteers
- Whoopi Goldberg
All of these projects were either founded or headed by a BITSian and BITS.aid helps these projects by raising funds, recruiting volunteers and conducting events. Some of the prominent events conducted by BITS.aid in the past include Run for a Cause, aimed at raising funds for various community volunteering activities and Young Stars, a platform for children for under-privileged backgrounds to showcase their talents.
If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one.
- Mother Teresa
During the course of the year, BITS.aid plans on organizing several events during the Joy Of Giving Week with the objective of getting people from all walks of life together to engage in acts of giving - money, time, skills or simple acts of kindness towards activities identified by GiveIndia. The BITS.aid team is also in the process of spelling out details for Donate-a-Dollar-a-week and Sponsor an event drives where donors can contribute to programs of their choice.
BITS.aid would like to hear from the BITSAA community of any social causes that they are passionate about and would like to see them taken up under its mandate.
Reach out to us! Together, we can make a difference…
- The BITS.aid team
Sudip Dutta, the founder of BITS.aid was nominated for Heroes for Humanity, by veteran social worker and BITSian alumni, Anuradha Gupta. Heroes for Humanity is an Art of Living event to be held this November where stalwarts in social work are honored. We wish Sudip the very best in his endeavors and nomination.