He Goes Door-To-Door And Collects 10,000+ Books for Needy Students #WATWB
For nearly three years, Chandigarh-based Sandeep Kumar has maintained a routine of attending calls, listing down details, hopping on to his Activa, travelling to said locations and returning with heaps of old or used books and stationery.
The 28-year-old founder of an NGO, Open Eyes Foundation, has been running a unique initiative called ‘Raddi se Shiksha’ where he goes from door-to-door to collect the books and stationery, later distributing them to underprivileged students.
The initiative has helped empower hundreds of government school and college students with more than 10,000 books till date.
After his graduation, Sandeep took up the Junior Basic Training Course, which gave him the opportunity to teach students in government and private schools.
The exposure caused him to identify some jarring gaps in the ‘free education’ system. He found that the students were quick to understand the concepts taught in school but when asked to take notes, they stared back blankly.
Initially, he paid for the books and stationary for some deserving students. But as soon as word spread that a teacher was giving out free copies, many students started asking him for free books. This led him to probe the matter. He found that these students and their families lived in abject poverty. They did not have enough money to put a square meal on the table, so buying books was out of question for them.
Because of a lack of textbooks and other study material, the poor students felt isolated from the rest of their class. Sandeep found a way to help them.
He realized that once a student completes an academic year, his textbooks, guides, half-used books, and stationery were generally sold to a raddiwala (scrap collector). He took the first step of his journey from his own home and inspired other people to donate used books and stationary.
Sandeep formalised the initiative and founded his NGO, Open Eyes Foundation. A journey that he began alone has a network of 200 volunteers across Chandigarh.
‘Raddi se Shiksha’ works under a rotation system, where they reuse old books and make new notebooks using old copies, registers, and files. The initiative appeals to willing individuals, housing societies, educational institutions, and corporations.
Apart from Raddi se Shiksha, Open Eyes Foundation also conducts remedial classes or free tuition in slums, enrolling kids in government schools. They have distributed sanitary pads to more than 600 women for four months, and regularly organise awareness sessions on menstrual hygiene.
Where does the Foundation get the funds? Well, Sandeep owns a car service station in Bhiwani, proceeds of which sustain these initiatives. Donations from members, volunteers, and good samaritans also make things easier.
People like Sandeep are an inspiration, they not only go the extra mile but also bring about the much needed change. May his tribe increase.
This post is part of the We Are the World Blogfest, a monthly blogging event created by Damyanti Biswas and Belinda Witzenhausen to showcase stories of hope and light. This month, I’m helping out as a co-host, along with extraordinary bloggers : Susan Scott, Peter Nena,Mary J. Giese and Damyanti Biswas. Please hop over to check out their WATWB posts as well as from other WATWB participants for a dose of feel-good to last you a whole month. You’ll be happy you did!
August 30, 2019 7:34 am|
That’s such a thoughtful initiative. It is wonderful that he has stepped in to plug this gap in the Government initiative. Although RTE exists, under privileged children face a million other issues apart from admissions to decent schools.
August 30, 2019 7:57 am|
What a selfless initiative and how brilliant is that. Wish him all the best in his endeavors; people like him are the true heroes of our times. He is a blessing to all those children.
August 30, 2019 10:03 am|
Wow, such a great initiative, Even I try to give my kids books to needy but he is helping a lot of kids get an education. True inspiration.
August 30, 2019 10:08 am|
Sandeep Kumar – what a hero Shilpa! Text books are expensive- good on him in finding a way to recycle used ones and building a foundation on that. All good wishes to Open Eyes!
August 30, 2019 6:18 pm|
Hi Shilpa – Great work. We need more people like Sandeep Kumar. He and his work are an inspiration for all of us to take such initiatives in our own way so that what is good is not wasted away. Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece. #WATWB
— Pradeep | bpradeepnair.blogspot.com
August 30, 2019 7:09 pm|
A lovely story about an inspirational man. Thank you for sharing.
August 30, 2019 7:15 pm|
Hi Shilpa – what a wonderful young man and teacher Sandeep is … and so enterprising … realising he could collect the old books and stationery and help those without anything – so they can learn. Thanks – a brilliant #WAWTB – cheers Hilary
August 31, 2019 1:57 am|
Fantastic post! Sandeep truly is a hero, not just helping those who can’t afford books but keeping them from being wasted. Thanks so much for hosting and for being a part of our #WATWB family! 🙂
August 31, 2019 5:03 am|
This is beautiful beautiful work!!
I’m going to look for ways to donate to this foundation.
August 31, 2019 9:56 pm|
Very inspiring, I do share my kid’s books to needy but his initiative brings a smile on lots of faces and its really appreciable. I wish him and open eye foundation all the best for the future.
September 1, 2019 3:16 am|
Great Work. Very thoughtful initiative. We need more people like him.
September 1, 2019 1:08 pm|
This is an absolutely lovely venture… such simple steps but makes such a big difference to the children
September 3, 2019 11:14 am|
Raddi Se Siksha is such a wonderful idea. It’s fantastic to use available resources and to transfer them from those who don’t want them to those who do.
September 4, 2019 10:17 am|
What a brilliant young man and worthwhile endeavour! Those kids must be so happy to receive the tools they need to succeed in life.
September 5, 2019 12:15 am|
A wonderful story of a generous man. Many teachers throughout the world think highly enough of their profession to take money out of their own pocket when the school that employs them fails to supply the students they teach or themselves with the essentials..
September 5, 2019 10:30 pm|
He is really doing a great job …I remember in our school time we use to swap book with seniors and Juniors but now I feel bad to give book to scrap dealer …this way books can be utilized by students who wish to study
September 6, 2019 2:45 am|
Such an inspiring human. Wow! I do fund education of 2 kids yearly and help a few more with books. But the way Sandeep is doing the campaign work is AMAZING. Hope he gets many more hands to support and help.
September 6, 2019 4:59 am|
Wow! Great work by Sandeep and his organisation. These deeds strengthen our belief in humanity. Donating books is one of the sacred deeds. Really appreciated effort!
September 6, 2019 2:37 pm|
Its really a great initiative. I also give my kids book either to libraries or to needy kids.
September 6, 2019 9:46 pm|
What a wonderful initiative by Sandeep Kumar! We must all strive to be like him.
September 7, 2019 9:54 am|
what an inspiring young man. we must help him for his noble deed.
September 7, 2019 5:16 pm|
That’s commendable, isn’t it! Gathering all that treasure to pass on to the needy and those who require it. Thanks for sharing about it.
September 7, 2019 7:45 pm|
Good to know about this organization. We need more such people who are motivated to work for a noble cause.
September 7, 2019 10:16 pm|
A very good initiative to help educate.Liked how reuse can help so many.
September 8, 2019 7:26 am|
Sandeep is doing a great job by making the future generation read and educate. Such stories make me think on my contribution towards the society.
September 8, 2019 8:17 am|
Wooow, some people in the world with golden heart still exists. What a great deed he is doing ,great idea Radhi se shiksha
September 8, 2019 8:27 am|
It is so enlightening to read about Sandeep Shilpa. Thanks for sharing this, what a wonderful way to help the needy
September 8, 2019 10:21 am|
This is one of my best reads for today. People like Sandeep are truly an inspiration. Although we do give away books of my kids to the needy his work is far more commendable.
September 8, 2019 10:42 am|
This is so inspiring and I will too start this book sharing thing. Taking books from building society and donating to municipal school will also solve the issue
September 8, 2019 12:11 pm|
Wow this person is doing a great deed for humanity . We all should support him and his good deed for collecting books.
September 9, 2019 11:33 am|
Wow thats such a beautiful initiative.. He is helping shape up so soo many lives… More strength to him