To Mark 75 Years of Independence 75 Bags of Rice/Goodies Given to 75 People in City by Bengaluru-based Non-Profit Organization ‘SPREAD-A-SMILE’ in association with Team Mangalorean/Mangalorean.com
Mangaluru: Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav was an initiative of the Government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of independence and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements. The Mahotsav was dedicated to the people of India who have not only been instrumental in bringing India thus far in its evolutionary journey but also hold within them the power and potential to enable Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of activating India 2.0, fuelled by the spirit of Atma Nirbhar Bharat.
The official journey of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav commenced on 12th March 2021 which started a 75-week countdown to our 75th anniversary of independence and will end post a year on 15th August 2023. And to mark the occasion Indian flags were distributed to the citizens of India, to hang them in their homes, offices, institutions etc. Yours Truly of Team Mangalorean thought of a simple project, why not distribute bags of rice & goodies to 75 needy people to mark 75 years of Independence, a freedom from the hands of the Britishers?
Making a quick call to Dhanraj Kumar, one of the founders of Bengaluru-based Non-Profit Organization (NPO) named ‘SPREAD -A-SMILE’, and explaining the simple project of Rice donation, without any hesitation he agreed and the project was a success, where we put smiles on the faces of 75 needy persons on India’s 75th Independence Day. The rice bags/goodies were not given only on 15 August, but carried on in the further days, finding the right deserving people for the distribution.
Regarding ‘Spread A Smile’-it is a Non-Profit Organization formed by two Alumnus Of Nitte MBA College, namely Dhanraj Kumar and Gautham Bhagath, the 2013 Batch Classmates, and later joined by Gautham’s twin brother, Gaurav. This NPO has been closely associated with Team Mangalorean in the past and has joined various community service projects during the pandemic. Food is the most basic thing needed for survival, which is why this NPO prioritized initiatives to ensure that those in need are being served. The young members of this group, where most of them employed in IT firms embarked on a mission to feed the hungry during this lockdown, and are still involved in many other community service projects.
Founders of ‘Spread A Smile’ NPO are L-R: Gautham Bhagath, Dhanraj Kumar and Gaurav Bhagath
A few Volunteers of Spread-A-Smile!
‘Spread a Smile’ is a non-profit organization which works for HIV-affected kids, and elderly persons, Covid-19 relief in Karnataka state, artwork in special homes, food, clothes and blanket distribution drives across Bengaluru city. The Organization works towards the development and happiness of society. It was in the year 2017, both Dhanraj Kumar and Gautham Bhagath, after completing their MBA studies at Nitte College-Karkala in 2013, after moving to Bengaluru and finding a job in an IT firm, started the organization- “Spread A Smile”. And since then they have been doing yeomen service in catering to the needy.
Started with just a few members, now they are growing with 80 plus team members, with similar mindsets of changing lives and spreading smiles through diverse events such as recreational activities, food, clothes and blanket distribution drives, the artwork of interest, education funds for the underprivileged and much more. And they are all happy with what they are doing for the less-privileged society.
Even though this project was a tiny one, handing over 75 bags of rice/goodies to 75 people, Team Mangalorean made it a point that the rice/goodies went to the deserving people, from a tiny child from the slum to the janitors, watchman, pourakarmikas, labourers, Traffic Wardens, among others, who were all thrilled to receive the gifts.. Yes, we live in a world with overwhelming humanitarian needs, where millions and millions of people are in need of food, water and financial help. With so many needs, where do we even begin? Does helping just one person really matter? The answer is found in Matthew 25:40 where Jesus says, “Whatever you have done to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you have done it to me.”
You can help the needy around you in practical, creative ways. And this is exactly what a group of these ‘Spread A Smile’ youngsters, along with Team Mangalorean did during the pandemic and even now, to help the less fortunate and the needy with love. “You may never know what results come from your actions, But if you do nothing there will be no result. The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems” had said Mahatma Gandhi, and Mother Teresa once said, “We cannot do great things on this Earth, Only small things with great love.”- and that’s what the members of this NPO are doing.
We need to compliment and encourage these youngsters, who are trying hard to make a difference in the lives of the needy in the community. What a nice concept and gesture from these youth, to share part of their hard-earned money with those in need. ‘Spread A Smile’ has created a compassionate heart among these youngsters, and they have become conscious of the downtrodden. It’s nice to note that the members of this organization are doing yeomen service to the community with its members as Good Samaritans. It’s not just the indigent of society-it is the youth too who have been strengthened in carrying out philanthropic work with no complaints or hesitations. After all, these youngsters are not what they do for money, they’re what they do for love.
And if their mentors and elders have taught them anything, it is to lean into the spaces that are life-giving and risky, unwilling and painful, tender, yet blessed! I praise these young masses of ‘Spread A Smile’ which has grown immensely in their passion and drive in their service to society- to help people in times of distress and hardship. The efforts of Team ‘Spread A Smile’ in helping out society through this little contribution while they are still young is praiseworthy.
A BIG Thank You to the members of ‘Spread A Smile’ for their generosity- we need people and NGOs like them, who can make a difference! May God bless the Founders of ‘Spread A Smile’ NPO and their energetic team for what they are all doing. And Long Live India after attaining Freedom from the Britishers. Bharat Matha Ki Jai!
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