Yes, this is an adventure, but we wanted to make a difference as well. In discussing what kind of organization(s) we would like to advocate for, we were obviously focused on giving to something that would benefit those most in need of India, and we wanted it to be something that was in the general vicinity of the race route so that we could do a site visit. Udavum Karangal fit this perfectly since their main facility is located just outside of the Chennai which is where the race starts.
After several brainstorming sessions, we decided to join hands with the following charities:
Rotary Foundation (Rotary International – Chennai)
About the charities:
Udavum Karangal (Helping Hands in English) is a social organization in Chennai, India that has taken in over 2,000 people who have been basically discarded from society. The organization takes in people of all ages with many of the residents suffering from mental illness. Over 600 of the current residents are between one month and 20 years of age with almost 500 of them being enrolled in school.
Udavum Karangal believes that everyone deserves to be loved. Till date, there have been around 2,000 unfortunate brethren from new born babies to dying destitutes who have found a home here. The center provides individualized services – treatment, care, rehabilitation and education.
Udavum Karangal was established in 1983, with the sole objective of serving people in distress who are orphans and destitutes. It was started as guidance and counseling center by Mr. Vidyaakar, a social worker, and later developed into a full-fledged center for humane service. A board of trustees governs Udavum Karangal and the day-to-day activities are managed by a group of dedicated volunteers.
Almost everyone knows about Rotary International. We are partnering specifically with a Chennai chapter of Rotary to help raise funds for a couple of their activities – Polio campaigns and working with a community of HIV infected children in Chennai.
We plan to donate one new autorickshaw each for the above two charities, which we understand will greatly facilitate their activities – transportation between their multiple centers, hospital and clinic visits and the polio campaigns!