Letters from the Founder

BRIDGE being a close-knit family, its founder Shibu Joseph makes it a point to regularly communicate with all its members updating them on every development — progress of each beneficiary family, new additions to the family, funds raised, their utilisation and future plans of the organisation. These letters are very personal and touching even as they provide its readers a glimpse into the depth of the involvement of its members. We present you some of these letters.

BRIDGE Turns One Today

Dear friends,

I have immense pleasure in informing you that our venture A BRIDGE Over Troubled Waters has turned one today. I must say, it’s been a fulfilling one year for all of us at BRIDGE. It’s also the second anniversary of the near-death experience our family went through after our car rammed into a swerving Tamil Nadu State Road Transport Bus on Salem-Bengaluru highway. As I look back at those events and the trauma that followed, I am indeed overwhelmed with gratitude. Because from that mangled heap of our car was born A BRIDGE Over Troubled Waters, an organisation that is committed to the wellbeing of families that have lost their breadwinners to accidents or illnesses. Through BRIDGE we have been able to tell such families that they are not alone and that we are there to fill the vacuum.

Tragedies can be turned into triumphs. And for turning ours into one, I have several people to thank for:

* Above all, God who made me see the bright side of the ‘tragedy’ and guided all of us who are involved in this project and assured us through various signs that we are on right track

* My larger family that supported me throughout this journey

* Rakesh Bedi and Karthik Subbaraman, my former colleagues at ET, who encouraged and prodded me to start the venture and assured me of wholehearted support and continue to remain strong pillars of support

* An eminent personality in Bengaluru who summoned me on hearing about the project and guided me to take the baby steps with a cheque of Rs 50,000. (In order to respect his privacy, I do not like to disclose his name here)

* Baloo, my colleague and friend, who has been the driving force behind taking BRIDGE to a larger audience and raising funds

* My colleagues Geetanjali, Animisha, Feroze, Bhanu, Archana Rai, TV Mahalingam, Sowmya and a few others who have helped me in several ways, and Biju from Reuters who jumped at the idea when the project was discussed and offered his help

* Nadeem who designed the logo, Animisha who designed our brochure, letter head and did several other paper work, Suchitra, our friend, adviser and benefactor

* Our other Associates Raghu, Juliana, James CC, Shaji, Suja, Prakash Pillai, Basisthada, Ashrita, — these are people I can fall back on when in need of support

* Venkatadri sir, our financial advisor

* Krishne Gowda, our Associate who designed our website and also contributes to our financial pool

* Many unknown persons who contributed to our kitty

* My bosses at The Economic Times who appreciated this noble cause and gave me the go-ahead

I must also acknowledge the huge contribution of several of our friends and well wishers who have been praying relentlessly for the success of this venture. They are people who have no means to support us with funds, but are contributing a lot through their prayers.

In the past one year, we have touched the lives of 19 families. As you know our work is limited by time and resources. As a policy, we do not keep anyone as employees, we do not incur any expenses. All that we do is outside our regular job. Considering these constraints, I must say,

we have come a long way. As regards our reward, we have the prayers of our beneficiaries and the happiness of seeing smiles on their faces. I think that’s the greatest reward one can aspire for.

Some of you suggested that we organise some sort of a programme to mark the first anniversary of BRIDGE. I am disinclined towards it as, first of all, that would be unnecessary expense which can be channelled towards our cause. Secondly, we do not wish to tom-tom our efforts.

However, in order to mark our anniversary, we plan to bring out a coffee table book about BRIDGE and its activities where we will take advertisements from companies. This is also one of our fund-raising efforts. We have already received some sponsorship commitments and hopefully we should be able to unveil it by the month end. I would appreciate if you can tap your sources and seek some advertisements for the book.

It’s a long mail already and let me not tax you further. Once again, on this memorable day, I offer my heartfelt gratitude to all of you my great friends and I assure you my prayers. If it were not for you, we would not have been able to offer such noble services to the needy.

May God bless you all!

Past Letters