The Dhyas Excellence Awards honour NGOs in Pune who work to empower and support needy children
At a small double office off the busy Mumbai-Pune highway,sit the employees of a “social enterprise”. The Excellence Group Ltd officially came into existence in November 2008,when 13 business partners came together to realise their dreams. “Our basic motivation has always been social contribution. We built a business enterprise to support that wish of ours,” says Reshma Attar,one of the founding members. So in the order of priorities,first comes the Dhyas Foundation. The foundation currently works with orphanages and children’s homes around the city,propagating the idea of experimental education. “We work on two ends – one that’s called Young India Ignited Minds,and another is a women’s health awareness programme,” says Attar of Dhyas’s focus.
On the business side of things,the Group is into construction and IT solutions. The profits from these services support Dhyas’s ambition. An important extension of Dhyas’s philanthropic activities is the Dhyas Excellence Award. For the past two years,the award has been given to Niradhar Balgram and Utkarsh Apang Sanstha. “The criteria is to recognise and honour city NGOs that are working for the benefit of children. This year,we have rounded up a more organised rating chart and stricter parameters,” says Jyoti Hatkar. The 27-year-old is the one-woman army handling all of Dhyas’s current activities and fieldwork. “All the trustees of Excellence Group are deeply connected to Dhyas’s policy-making. But I manage the everyday work,” Hatkar clarifies.
For this year’s Excellence Award,the parameters ask for officially registered NGOs that have been around for at least three years and have been working for the cause of children. “In the earlier years,the decision-making behind the awards hadn’t been very specific. This time around,we will rate all NGOs on a scale of 1-10,and the final award will be decided by a jury comprising six trustees,and five experts from the social work field,” says Hatkar. NGOs working in the Pune-Solapur area will be eligible. The award ceremony is tentatively planned for November 20,and the winner will receive a cash prize of Rs 21,000,a trophy and a certificate.
Another major Dhyas initiative that co-incides with the award is a database of NGOs. This website will help individuals who wish to donate to specific NGOs,as there will be profiles and event updates provided in specific areas of social work. “It will be like Facebook,as it will allow members to create profiles and donate at will,” says Attar.
As the ambit of Dhyas’s activities expands,there are plans to hire more dedicated personnel too. Currently,Dhyas takes its ideas of experimental studying to Niradhar Balgram in Dapodi,Sparsh Balgram in Bopodi,and Maher. “We are also in the process of shortlisting a couple of PMC schools to support,” reveals Hatkar.