This post is written as a participation to Blog Adda’s Good over bad contest.
It was May 2008, I was in Bangalore for my MBA summer project. I was put up(or rather leeching on) at Vaibhav’s place. He has been a very good friend of my since engineering days, and it was always fun to be with him. Apart from being a great supporter of the open source software movement, Vaibhav was (and still is) an active volunteer for social causes. As for me, I always had the desire to make a difference but never really did more than donate blood a couple of times.
Vaibhav used to teach computers at Shree Ramana Maharishi Academy for the Blind. On a sunny weekend, he took me along to the school and changed my outlook. I had never seen such enthusiastic class of kids eager to learn computers, this enthusiasm was infectious and moving. These blind kids adored Vaibhav and could do amazing things with computers, it was a small laboratory with one of the machines given away by Vaibhav himself. It struck me that computers weren’t be best of the class for these children, yet this did not hinder their learning process.
This realization stuck on for a few days, and we also realized that many of us have working personal computers back home, which probably are not being used because they are outdated to our current needs. Yet these were perfectly usable for schools, and NGOs where their availability is still a luxury. Was it possible to give attention to these neglected computers and enable donation in kind to needy schools and NGOs?
The answer is Yes. Thus started our journey to provide a platform where donors and beneficiaries could come together and we could facilitate this exchange in good faith and without any monetary involvement. The website was launched back in Sep 2008, and a formal launch ensued in November same year. Its been a small and slow beginning dogged by issues of transport (as we currently support only exchange within the same city), copyrights (a similar website was launched with did a cut copy job of our content), volunteers. Yet, the journey has started and people have come forward to help.
I am proud to be a part of this movement, and I do realise that we have a long way to go. Coming forward to donate your old PCs is not easy, and neither is it easy to verify and trust the beneficiaries. Chinks in the armor may always remain, but the goal for education and empowerment still keeps us going.
Cannot thank Vaibhav and Abhishek enough for making this idea a reality, they are the real people behind it!
Do visit http://www.donateyourpc.in