Hailing from Kolkata and now a resident of Bengaluru, Sromona is a multimedia journalist who has a knack for digging stories that truly deserve attention.
31-year-old Goutham Kumar from Hyderabad has become a beacon of hope for the hundreds of people that he has been helping over the last five years. He is not only a crusader for the destitute of the city, but has been helping a countless number of impoverished, downtrodden and neglected individuals and orphaned children by improving their quality of life.
Before his NGO Serve Needy was established in 2014, Goutham started his work in the field of Marketing, and from then on, he worked in various capacities across different domains. However, that did not stop him from thinking about those in need. Goutham, who was 26 then, understood that he wanted to contribute to the society in a meaningful way and it was then that all his volunteering work started.
The Logical Indian in an exclusive interview with Goutham Kumar on February 2017 learned that the NGO ran six projects in Hyderabad which catered to those who were in need. One year later, the NGO has not only scaled up its operations to include two new projects but has expanded to two other locations in Andhra Pradesh as well.
The Logical Indian once again spoke to Goutham to learn about the new ventures he has undertaken in the last one and a half years. One of the new projects that he stressed upon was that of ‘Last Rites’.
Goutham said, “I have fed hundreds of people, both young and old at shelter homes who are mostly orphans. Either they have been disowned by their families or neglected by relatives for years at a stretch.” He realised that for these people, Goutham was the only ray of hope.
He also understood that in case of their demise; there would be no one to perform their last rites. Hence, as the name suggests, Goutham personally took up the task of performing the last rites of people from shelter homes who were neglected by their families.
Not only that, but he also took upon the task of performing last rites on unclaimed bodies. Goutham said, “For me, it is like working for the soul, it goes beyond any project.” He also believes that till the time he is alive, no one deserves to die as an orphan.
Till date, Goutham has performed last rites for at least 300 people, and this programme does not discriminate on the basis of caste or religion. Sharing his experience, Goutham said that this initiative of his had received acclaim from people all over the world. He said, “People have come to the city to make documentaries on this project of mine.”
Apart from this noble task, Goutham’s NGO has been helping the cause of environmental protection and education as well. With their new initiative Green Books, Goutham and his team have been collecting waste paper materials and recycling it to make notebooks which they distribute at government schools. In four months time, Goutham said that they had gathered around 15,000 kgs of waste paper materials which helped produce eight to ten thousand notebooks.
However, his achievements would be difficult to attain without the 25-member strong team who volunteer to work for the NGO and aid Goutham in all his ventures. Six members of the team, divided into two groups travel to different parts of the city each day to feed the needy at government hospitals and shelter homes. “We feed about 500 to a 1000 people in Hyderabad alone.” After the success of their food distribution project, ‘Anna Daatha’, in Hyderabad, Serve Needy have expanded their operations to two other locations, Vijayawada and Nandyal where they cater to 250 to 400 people on a daily basis.
Goutham is also grateful to his Facebook community who help him in his ventures through monetary aid. He said, “More and more people have acknowledged my work, and I owe everything to Facebook because it is from there that I receive all the donations.”
With no plans of stopping what he has started, Goutham says that he envisions an India which is hunger-free and a no-orphan country. Serving the humanity and the society is not just a passion for Goutham and his team, but it has become the purpose of their lives.
The Logical Indian salutes Goutham and his team for their efforts to bring a change in the society.
With #MySocialResponsibility, we aim to bring you more inspiring stories of individuals and organisations across the globe. If you also know about any changemakers, share their story at [email protected] and we'll spread the word.
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