Pondicherry: An informal charity organisation that grew up on the campus of the Pondicherry Central University five years ago has now grown considerably with its members engaging in earnest works to help the needy.
Initially the 30-member group had no name or identification, but after two years, the volunteers decided to give a name and identity to the fledgling organisation as it slowly made a mark. Thus was born PU SHARE that stands for Pondicherry University Students for Hospitality Assistance and Relief Everywhere.
The group brought in 10 more members and formed a core committee with one president, a secretary, three vice presidents, three join secretaries and one treasurer. Every group member has been assigned duties by the committee as it expands its area of activity.
In the first two years, the group had limited its humanitarian work to a nearby orphanage named Snehalayam. It helped the children there in their studies with funds and human resources and the activity is continuing even as the volunteers are extending help to others elsewhere in various forms.
"The motto of PU-SHARE is education. Right to education is the fundamental right of any Indian citizen and as responsible citizens we are helping those children who wish to study. We give a certain amount for the orphanage on a monthly basis and take tuition classes on week days for students," Hari Krishnan H A, the president of PU-SHARE, revealed.
The group is engaged in other philanthropic work too. Every month the students share their food not by having another lunch box but by handing over one lunch coupon of the mess to PU-SHARE so that a needy benefits. The volunteers collect coupons and give them to poor at various places such as general hospitals, markets, bus stands etc. Food packets too are shared among the poor. Medical camps and coaching for competitive exams are also held. Last year volunteers distributed dress materials to more than 10,000 people in and around Pondicherry.
A directory of blood donors is another effort of the organisation and it has so far helped more than 1,000 people in three years.
"Our vision is simple: making charity a part of our lives," said one of the founding members who even refused to reveal his identity. The organisation plans to organise at least 30 programmes every academic year.
'Inspire,' the promotional programme for PU-SHARE, helps volunteers to collect money from well-wishers and find target beneficiaries. Several faculty members and alumni have made donations. A monthly contribution of Rs 100 each by 40 members forms the surety funding of PU-SHARE. Every year the group aims to raise around Rs 1 lakh and spend the same amount for charity works. "Money should be provided at the right time, otherwise it will be useless," noted one of the vice-presidents.
"We are doing something valuable even though we are aware of the limitation of students and time. We are doing something really worthy," remarked Alakananda Lal, one of the vice-presidents.