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

fundraising nonprofit

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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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • 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 says:

      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!

  • Inderpreet says:

    Thank you for sharing this cause, women like renu are the real change makers. All the best.

  • pjlazos says:

    You are a force of nature, Damyanti! oxo

  • Debbie D. says:

    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 says:

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

  • 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 says:

      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.

  • Esha M Dutta says:

    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 says:

      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.

  • Shilpa Garg says:

    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 says:

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

  • Aesha says:

    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 says:

      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.

  • Geethica says:

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

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

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

  • 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 says:

      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.

  • Anouradha Bakshi says:

    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 says:

      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!