Siddhant Mohite, India
Sana Khan on September 25, 2018 in Health & Sanitation
He always wanted to do social work, and at the age of 11, he was rejected and refused to be a part of social organizations because he was told that he was too young.
Been working as a social worker for almost 11 years, Siddhant Mohite was known for being a social worker, he formed Oye back in 2012 and the organization has now completed 5 years. The organization was founded for both the young youth and the senior groups to come together to do good for the society and serve the nation. With almost 3000 volunteers currently, Oye plans to grow and keep helping the society in its own way. They design campaigns that are usually different from the ongoing social work.
The idea struck him when he was told that one should start with social work when they are retired or old and that it wasn't the right age for him to get himself into social work. He realized that there were no young social workers and noticed that there was no organization that took young adults as volunteers.
That was when it struck to him that he could make a difference by starting an organization by himself for young people like him who did not get a chance to make a difference.
"I was not even an adult when I started Oye by myself, I was only 17, so we did not get the registration legally, plus it is very difficult to register an NGO and to do all the documentation as well. So, we founded Oye in 2012, and we got registered with the Government of India in 2014."
"I had zero volunteers when I started Oye, because Nobody believed that the idea of this organization would ever succeed. My family also did not think that this would be a thing."
"At that time, we did not know what to do as an organization, we just had a logo, a name, and a Facebook page"
With barely a few volunteers, Oye took its first step in the month of December 2012, when the heart wrecking Nirbhaya rape case horrified the country. Siddhant's idea was to have a small protest rally, which at the start resulted as a flop to him as nobody turned up, disheartening his efforts, he thought of shutting down the organization, but later, approximately 300-400 people gathered at the venue to support the protest. The protest was planned to go on until the rapists were sentenced to death; when on the following day, to their surprise, almost 800 to a 1000 people had turned up to support the rally.
Oye was started as a small NGO only for Andheri, said Siddhant, and that he never thought it could've become so big. "People from all over Mumbai wanted to be a part of the organization, so we decided to expand the organization to the city level." The organization has now grown, and has its branches in almost 24 states in India and are in 6 different countries globally.
Steps towards making a difference:
After the formation of the organization, Siddhant and his team thought that they would be getting enough support and would be funded by donations and sponsors in order to help them with they're cause, But the journey was harder than they thought, "We have covered more than 180 campaigns in the last 5-6 years. We've had zero Sponsors till date. We Brainstorm ideas where we come up with plans that do not require too much of funding." The organization takes up to 6 months to research period before launching a campaign. The idea behind each Campaign is to attract masses and create socially aware and responsible citizens and to do so, they try to involve the masses into all of their activities to give them the feel of social work.
The story behind IDonation Campaign & the Waste Paper Campaign:
Before the launch of the IDonation Campaign, the team went around, trying to connect with the Deans and the Principal’s of blind schools and various organizations, and met one of the directors for the National Association for the Blind, (being Asia's largest association for the blind) said that the eye donation would be one of the things the organization would do, and even if you donate eyes, not all the blind people would get a vision, hearing this, the team asked the directors what else could they do to help, they were suggested that they made approximately 1 lakh Rakhis each year, which costs them up to 7 lakh Rupees, so could the organisation help with the amount. "With zero sponsors,' in Siddhant's words, "We hadn't even seen 70,000 rupees, we were to raise 7 lakhs. We brainstormed, a lot of meetings happened, and then we came up with this idea that we would approach almost all the 5-star hotels, schools, corporates, even the residential areas, and ask them to donate all the scrap and paper they had."
"We ended up collecting around 70,000 kgs or scrap waste and we sold and raised the target amount of Rupees 7 lakhs. The amount was later donated to a group of blind girls, who made rakhis and earned once a year, the rakhis were sent to the border for jawans (soldiers) on Raksha Bandhan." This was a beginning of the waste paper Campaign which is now a fundraising activity for the organization and the journey to how the organization supported the IDonation Campaign as well.
The Ab padega India Campaign:
Oye's literacy drive, known as The Ab padega India Campaign had its own variations. The idea was to provide all the study material and stationery items to the street schools. The drive also started a school in the Andheri area for a year, and undertook 25 children from the slum area and educated them, and made them took admissions into schools after a year.
The Road Safety Campaign:
The Campaign was for times like when we go out in the summers, our moms give us caps to wear or an umbrella for us to not get a sunstroke or how during rains we usually wear our raincoats or windshield to protect us. But the rules bend when we see children on a two-wheeler ride, covered with not a helmet but a cloth piece, duppatta etc.
This drive started with a bike rally with all the safety gears on, and lead on to reaching out to schools, and they aim to educate approximately 1 lakh students on the importance of road safety. This is an on-going campaign and has already covered around 12 to 15 schools, educating up to 25,000 to 30,000 students.
Social work has many impactful developments in the country and can serve as a great source of evaluation. People should not only join social enterprises when they are old and have spare time but anyone who feels the need to make a difference and make the world a better place to live in should volunteer and help organisations such as Oye achieve their goals and be bigger and better.
In order to be a part of their growth journey and to read more about their initiatives, visit Oye India Organisation right now!