My dear friends,
At the outset, you deserve an apology from me for not writing to you for a few months now. While I acknowledge that it is a breach of my promise to write to you regularly, I wish to inform you that the past few months have been quite busy for me and my family as we had a few family functions to organise besides attending to my office commitments (at ET). I also had been away for a few months in the US. But rest assured, even though I could not write to you, our BRIDGE commitments were least affected thanks to our wonderful team of volunteers.
I am sure you are aware, our initiative A BRIDGE Over Troubled Waters has completed seven years. Seven years is no short period for an organisation that was started by making an opportunity out of an adversity. Some could be faulted for calling it a romantic idea that would fizzle out in a couple of years. But I would rather go with Victor Hugo who said, “Nothing is so powerful as an idea whose time has come.” It’s an idea we live by everyday of our lives.
And how do we know that this movement is here for the long haul? When it finds support constantly on its journey. One major new support we have received, I am happy to share as we enter our eighth year, is from Ajit Isaac sir, the founder of Bangalore-based Quess Corp, and a man committed to making a positive difference in the lives of the less fortunate through his family foundation. While he and I have been trying to meet up for a long time to share the story of BRIDGE, we finally managed it thanks to the relentless efforts of Sri Ajit Kumar sir, the I-T commissioner and our diehard supporter. We came away from the meeting with the feeling that we should have met a long time ago having shared the philosophy behind our initiative and discovering that we were both on the same page when it comes to reaching out to the needy. We also discussed the lacunae that BRIDGE faced in our quest to scale up. For instance, office staff, software programme to organise our data et al. He has assured me the following:
1. A financial commitment of Rs 5 lakh every year in two instalments of Rs 2.5 lakh.
2. Services of some of his staffers for data management and support for scaling up.
I am happy to inform you that Ajit sir has made good on that promise. And quickly too. He released the first instalment of Rs 2.5 lakh already. He also assigned one of his key staffers to advise us on the journey ahead.
On behalf of the entire BRIDGE family, I wish to thank Ajit sir and welcome him and his staff to travel the distance with us and experience the impact we as a team make. A big salute to you and your team sir!
As we stand at the beginning of the new year, let me share some of my thoughts with you. There are many families whose very existence is attributed to the presence of BRIDGE. It’s not just that we are releasing them some funds, but the fact that they have us to talk to, to share some of their sad moments as well as small successes — may be academic, maybe progress in their health, maybe a better home (sponsored not fully by BRIDGE) — gives them as well as our volunteers satisfaction that no money can buy. I know sometimes it takes a toll on us to listen to their prattles — over the phone and through WhatsApp audio messages. But the fact that it gives them an outlet and the fuel to move ahead gives me a lot of satisfaction. I am happy to tell you that during the past seven years, we have positively touched the lives of nearly 200 families. And today many of them are able to stand on their own feet thanks to the jobs that they have secured after completing their studies with the help of BRIDGE. There are many others joining the BRIDGE family every month and discovering the joys of being part of it (will share details later).
This would not have been possible without your relentless support, my dear co-travellers. Thank you for keeping the faith and cheering us on and being the real anchor for the anchorless. It is our shared belief in our motto that ‘There’s no greater happiness in life than wiping a tear from someone’s face and being the reason for that person’s smile’ that makes us stay the course. Thank you my fellow travellers.
I also take this opportunity to thank all our donors, small and big, many of whom have told me that while they do not have time to identify the real deserving persons, they trust the due diligence adopted by BRIDGE to identify the needy. Thank you for your relentless support, for committing a portion of your salary every month to BRIDGE. If it were not for you, BRIDGE would have remained a romanticised dream.
I also thank our volunteers who spend their valuable time with our beneficiaries, our corporate supporters who trust a small organisation like ours at a time when many companies would want to identify only with big names in the NGO field, our auditors BOCO LLP which has been with us since our beginning without charging us a pie, our website designer Kris, our designer and donor Geetanjali (who just completed formatting in style all our Annual Reports), our friends who often send in a line of appreciation for what we do and of course my family members without whose support and encouragement I would not have been able to walk this road.
More than anything or anyone else, I thank the Almighty who is the real inspiration behind this initiative and who makes tangible interventions that I experience at all our crucial junctures.
I know we can do a lot more and touch many more lives if our resources can be augmented. While I promise to work to enhance the same with your assistance, I am aware of our limitations given that all of us have our day job to take care. But then Rome was not built in a day, nor our BRIDGE.
Take care my friends
A BRIDGE Over Troubled Waters
The Anchor for the Anchorless
Ph: 9739218181; 080-26830545