Fundraising to Keep a Sewing Circle Alive? Hell, yes! #GivingTuesday #ProjectWhyDelhi

Blogging has taken a backseat this month: fundraising and advocating has taken its place. I’ve been volunteering with Project Why (I did 26 stories about them in 2016), and renewed my acquaintance with some of the bravest souls I’ve ever met.

This organization, nestled in the underprivileged communities of New Delhi, is all heart, so totally focused on the women and children it helps that they do not have a formal fundraiser. That job had fallen to Anouradha Bakshi, the founder (she’s my hero: I wrote about her in 2014), for all the 18 years of its existence. Fundraising is not for the faint of heart: you need to set yourself aside, and think only of those you’re raising funds for.

In the past weeks, I’ve had various responses to my fundraising efforts: from offers of cheques at my ‘face value’, to sheer incredulity at the concept of crowdfunding, to this gem: I don’t believe in donations, it makes beggars out of people.

No one can make a beggar out of Renu Karotia— the lady whose sewing circle we’re hoping to crowdfund in the coming month. Faced with hunger, homelessness, and penury, Renu took sewing classes, became good enough to turn into a teacher, and is today looking to empower other women in need.

Women like Renu have fought the odds, and deserve to win.

With your help, they can. All they need is a hand to hold when they’re struggling to leave behind the quagmire of poverty and illiteracy.

This FUNDRAISER for the Project Why Sewing Circle aims to do just that. Today is a global day of giving via Giving Tuesday, and Project Why is a part of this kindness movement. You can donate in different currencies like USD and pounds–just change the currency at the top right of the screen.

Please donate a few dollars/ pounds/ euros/rupees: the price of a coffee or a meal in your currency. It would go a long way in helping a bunch of very hard-working women find employment and a chance at taking control of their own lives.

If you are in the U.S., you can also donate to Project Why via Omprakash  which is a tax-exempt non-profit organization registered under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. They take PayPal. Just add a comment that you’re donating for the Project Why SEWING CIRCLE fundraiser.

Share the SEWING CIRCLE FUNDRAISER on social media using the hashtag #GivingTuesday and #ProjectWhyDelhi . Each share leads to at least 3 donations!

If you’d like to read more about Project Why from other bloggers, visit the linky list below:



Enter the linky list above if you wish to talk about the Project Why SEWING CIRCLE fundraiser on your blog. Add the link to your post that talk about the fundraiser, not the link to your blog. (We’ll remove spam, or anyone who enters the linky without mention of the fundraiser.)

Would you help Renu help other women take charge of their lives? Does her story inspire you? Would you share her story?


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I co-host the monthly We Are the World Blogfest: I’d like to invite you to join, if you haven’t as yet, to post Fvourite Placethe last Friday of each month a snippet of positive news that shows our essential, beautiful humanity.

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27 comments

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  1. Changing Lives One Step at a Time | #WATWB

    […] wonderful happen when a few of us, bloggers, from our writing group got together to campaign for a Sewing Circle fundraiser for the Delhi-based Project WHY. It was heartening to see the amazing response that flowed in through the various channels to help […]

  2. mommytincture

    A conversation with you on this was so empowering that it opened up my mind to new possibilities. Possibilities of how we could make a difference in smallest of our capacities.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks Anupriya, that’s very kind and generous of you to say. I hope you can some day visit Project Why and join our small but very joyous family!

  3. Debbie D.

    Renu’s story is truly inspiring. Thanks for sharing this wonderful initiative. BTW, the Omprakash link also works for Canada (donation in U.S. dollars).

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thank you for your comment and for your generous donation! Love that Renu’s story touched you so far away in Canada!

  4. Mayuri Nidigallu

    I am so glad you shared this with us. It gave us a chance to know about Renu and Project Why and left us feeling inspired. Thanks for sharing, Damyanti.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks so much for your support, Mayuri, and your donation. Meeting Renu and these women has showed me that grit and determination are not fairy tale words. I wish all my friends could visit Project Why, it really needs to be seen to be believed.

  5. Esha M Dutta

    In the midst of a lot of talk about women empowerment, Project WHY is doing a wonderful job of equipping women with key skills that can bring about that change at the grassroots level! All the best to Anouradha for her efforts. Did my bit by donating, writing about it, and sharing it on social media. I sincerely hope help pours in from every corner to support this amazing project.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks, Esha! Anouradha Bakshi has been my hero for years–I’m just so happy to happy to have your support on a cause like this. I would love for you to visit Project Why if you’re in Delhi some day.

  6. Shilpa Garg

    Project WHY is a great initiative to empower women. Thanks for sharing about it and Renu’s story. Renu has not only braved tough circumstances to earn a living, but is also empowering others to do the same. More power to her and Project WHY.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thankyou so much for your support, Shilpa. It means the world to me to have my blog friends by my side.

  7. Aesha

    Thank you Damyanti for sharing information and all these wonderful stories of Renu, Babli. I observed that you shared these stories with a sense of pride. A small push can make such a big difference in life of these children whom we address as under privileged. I realised that if we as privileged people cannot help empower these children and women than it is us who are under privileged and not them. You always have my support in this initiative

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thankyou, Aesha. It was wonderful to meet you, and talk to you about Project why. I feel stronger about Project Why with your support by my side. I hope we can connect to figure out ways we can collaborate. Thanks for the donation, and for your sharing on your blog and social media.

  8. Geethica

    This is definitely going to help in many ways. Because no help is small and the smallest help leads to big successes.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Absolutely. We need to do our bit and hope it adds up to become the big picture.

  9. mestengobooks

    Thanks for a worthwhile investment of my money. Shame on the comment author who thinks these poor women are mere beggars. Obviously the author has never been down & out ( as I have) and had to work one’s way up and out (as I have).

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks so much for your support.

      Sorry you had to go through adverse situations, and glad you’re doing much better now–only those of us who have seen suffering and want can Truly understand the suffering of others.

  10. Anouradha Bakshi

    Wow Damyanti! You made it happen! I have no words to express my gratitude to you and to everyone who has come forward to help Renu and Project Why. Gratitude and love to all.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Anoudi, you’re the heart and the spine of Project Why.I’m trying to scramble around and help best I can. Let’s hope this fundraiser is successful and ends up as the first of many!