You too can add to the smiles

Updated: Nov 11, 2014, 09:55 IST | Soma Das |

Begun by two young minds, charity e-commerce website Project Needs backs donors from across India to choose items and donate to less-privileged school children

While there are countless underprivileged children who are in immediate need of various amenities, the right donations rarely reach the needy recipient. So, while someone might require textbooks, someone else might need medicines or clothes. Ensuring that a specific need is met by the right kind of donation, is what Project Needs aims for.

Kids at Amravati’s AMC Primary School are all smiles after the distribution of notebooks and stationery

The needs are established via a detailed survey that is conducted by their team with schools, students and parents. They also ensure monitoring of each donation through weekly visits.

How it works
Donors, apart from receiving a receipt with 80G tax exemption, are also sent a delivery confirmation with a picture of their donation and signed confirmation from the headmaster of the school.

Aayush Tapuriah
(Right) Co-founder Aayush Tapuriah giving notebooks to the principal of Amravati’s AMC school

Aayush Tapuriah, co-founder, Project Needs, explains, “Most people tend to donate to institutions in their immediate vicinity due to convenience, but this leaves schools located in remote areas devoid of their basic needs.

Our aim is to bridge this geographical divide, by making it easy for donors to send resources to remote parts of the country.” He adds that donors can browse through the needs of schools, use a variety of payment methods, receive a receipt via email for tax deduction purposes and monitor through updates.

Project Needs provides donors with a range of donation amounts to choose from. Their system allows donors to choose the number of classes in a school that they would like to donate to. Thus, making it possible to pool together smaller donations to contribute towards a larger goal.

Donate, it matters
To ensure transparency, they also encourage donors to visit the schools themselves to see the impact their donations are making. The founding team behind this venture includes Aayush Tapuriah (25), who has a Bachelor and Masters in Operations Engineering from Cornell University, USA and Aakriti Sethi (25), who has a Bachelor of Science in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Warwick, England.

Within a month of being operational, they boast of nearly
50 donors. Project Needs so far has impacted five schools with close to 900 students. The project had started its operations by reaching out to four schools across the rural parts of the Amravati district in Maharashtra.

Students are from families below the poverty line, with typical family incomes in the range of R150-R250 per day. Project Needs recently added a fifth school in the same district and plans to add two more here by the end of 2014 before starting operations in Uttarakhand in early 2015.

900 Approximate number of students from five schools to have benefitted from Project Needs

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Items available for donations range from Rs 150 to Rs 36,800

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