Amid chaos, where hundreds continue to grieve after a massive fire destroyed nearly 2,000 homes in Damu Nagar slum, on December 7, a Mumbai-based duo decided to intervene and take matters into their hands.
Shazia Merchant, 32, and Karishma Velani, 24, had been working for the betterment of society respectively before deciding to join hands and form Bridge India, a not-for-profit organisation. The co-founders have a mission to fulfill – to help marginalised or underprivileged communities in urban India.
Shazia Merchant, who is a digital marketeer and an entrepreneur by profession, explained how important it was for her to start this NGO. “I belong to and have been raised in a community (Ismaili) that’s very close-knit and is fairly active in helping the underprivileged and marginalised, both from within and outside of the community. The help that the community sends out on a regular basis is both in cash, kind and time from volunteers and every person is taught the concept of Seva (service) from very early on. In college, NSS broadened the avenues and the opportunities to reach out and help people increased manifold. Ever since, the inclination to contribute in any way I can has been a part of my being,” said Shazia.
Coincidently, Karishma Velani, a chartered accountant by profession, had a similar foundation. “I started working under the banner of community service and slowly grew to see the bigger issues faced by society. This intrigued me to take a step further to help children by providing quality supplementary education. Slowly, Shazia and I together decided to join hands and do something bigger for this section of the society,” Karishma said.
Source: DNA Mumbai