The philosophy behind this project is this saying that goes like this: ‘If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day, but if you give him a fishing net, he will eat for a lifetime’.
This project was introduced taking into consideration the fact that the displaced people even in such harsh circumstances do not wish to live at the mercy of others. Thus in this project, the capable displaced people are provided to set up a shop, or any livelihood for the sake of dignity that is to earn their own living, so that they do not always rely on aid.
The project has been designed with wisdom emanating from the 29 years of experience in the ground realities of working with the refugees and displaced. The project is exclusively designed for the refugees and the internally displaced Indians. These people are often subject to gross human rights violations. The core mission of our activities is to rehabilitate them and help them live a dignified life.
The dignity of a person is the most valuable treasure that a person has. No decent human being would be ready to give up their dignity on any circumstances. Often circumstances and unexpected turn in life make a person at the mercy of others. As we work in the ground with needy people, apart from a few deviated people who become used to getting and become lazy because of that, all others request for enabling conditions. They don’t ask for food but for jobs so that they can earn and eat. As the famous saying goes “If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day… But if you give him a fishing net he will eat for a lifetime”. This is the philosophy of our project dignify.
Our actions have great impacts
Small actions which we do consider them insignificant, creates ripple effects. Your smiling at a random person may have saved them from committing suicide which they were going to. Your helping a child get an education may have resulted in the upliftment of his/her family and at large his/her community. Suppose you caught a person stealing food from the market, you pardoned him/her and gave him/her a job, that person is earning with dignity and is now able to live and is helping others. You not only saved a person but also have destroyed a potential criminal. All of us have great powers which we often fail to see. We create or destroy things unknowingly.
Methodology of project dignify
The mission of the project is to enable individuals to raise their standard of living. We are creating able individuals who can support their families and also contribute to society directly or indirectly.
The method followed by us is to give shops, rickshaws and other tools, using which the beneficiary can earn a decent living. When an individual approaches us requesting help to provide them a livelihood, we primarily take an application from them. Secondly, we enquire about the person and his/her reliability. Thirdly after being satisfied with the inquiry, we don’t just give them money, we involve ourselves actively in the initial stages of setting up the business. Slowly after seeing everything is set, we retreat into supervision only.
Suppose we are giving an individual a shop. We would initially give the person money to construct/rent the shop in our supervision. Then we would take him/her to the wholesale market to buy the goods and set his/her shop.
Since we are having shops under us successfully, after getting an application from a new beneficiary and being satisfied with the application, we make them intern at an existing shop for at least a week (the expenses during the internship is given by us to the applicant). After taking a certification from the shopkeeper and being satisfied ourselves, we approve the request of the applicant. Then we involve ourselves actively in setting up the business and slowly retreat to supervision.
When we enable a person to earn in a dignified way and to support his family, we are creating a great impact on the life of a person as well as the society. Some people are capable but have no resources or initial support to come above their limitations. They starve among us and we often are not aware. A small support to them by us may change their lives. If we could borrow some money to a decent individual who is broken and starving, to start a livelihood that person will start working hard to establish the livelihood and expand it. Soon he/she will be able to provide their families and will be able to repay the debt they owe to you. Here not only you saved a person’s life but gave a family a decent life and hopes/dreams for tomorrow.
There are people who struggle hard to feed themselves and their families. There are people who are forced to do immoral or illegal activities just to survive. There are women who are forced into prostitution, children who are forced into rag picking and begging. All this can end and their lives can change, if we who are fortunate in terms of wealth and empathy are ready to extend a supporting hand. We are not only creating lives but destroy potential criminals. There are people who initially steal to stay alive and after continuing on that path become robbers. Our helping them and their families can destroy these potential anti-social elements to a great extent. Thus creating a safer today and tomorrow for us and our children. For those who keep their eyes open can surely see how the income disparity is growing in this world and the frustration that is being created in the lower economic ranks of the society. All this will burst one day into a great disaster if we don’t bring wealth redistribution. We are doing that task of redistribution and stabilization through this project. Thus our actions are having great impact and ripple effects. So we have to act keeping that in mind.
Few success stories
Habes Ahmed was the plot in charge for the Rohingya refugee camp at channi rama. He had no occupation. He was struggling to feed his family. Since he was the plot in charge he had to cater to the needs of the community. He had to make lists of families again and again to submit it to authorities. When we first came to the camp, he accompanied us and showed us all-around. He had done a few mischievous activities to earn something for his family. He had no other option. He had no other resources to start a decent earning to feed his family.
As part of the project, we gave him financial support to start a shop. He was given money to construct a shop under our supervision and the goods were supplied to his shop. Slowly his business began to develop. With periodic support from us seeing his progress in the business, today Habes is earning decently. The profits are going up for him “I am. So happy now. I don’t know how to thank you enough”, said Habes to us. He has come from a ‘haram income to a halal income'(illegitimate, immoral income to a legitimate and moral one) on the words of people who know him. Today he is getting ready to meet the Eid day. He has to buy more goods to sell in the peak time of Ramadan that is in the last 10 days. His family is also actively involved in the business. His wife sits in the shop and does the sales when he is out for purchase or for something else. His children study in the school of humanity under us.
Muhammed Shafeeq is the plot in charge of the Marathi mohalla Rohingya refugee camp. He has 14 members in his family. Mostly small children. This man used to do rag-picking to feed his family. His earnings from rag picking were not adequate to feed his 14 member family. He has happily coordinated with us for the school of humanity project we are doing in his camp. After getting an application from him for help and verifying his conditions we decided to accept his application. He was given help to set up a shop in his camp. We actively participated in every stage of setting up it for him.
Today he is more than happy. His face blooms with delight when he saw us. He now makes a good amount of money for him and his family. His family is actively participating in the business. They are making snacks which the Rohingyas eat every morning and are selling it in the shop. He sells varieties of items from fruits to Vegetables, to stationaries to beverages etc. He is hoping to expand his shop soon as part of the stock is kept in his house now as his business is growing his ship is getting small for it.
The story of Muhammed Ismail is also similar. He lives in the midst of the waste dumping area of Puranagaon Faridabad, Haryana. He
Was struggling hard to survive with his family. He was forced to do small mischievous acts to make sure that he and family had food on the table.
After getting his request and studying his problems we decided to help him make the shop in the plot he lives. The plot he lived in had Rohingya whom he belonged to as well as other displaced from Assam etc. we went with him to the wholesale market and brought him the goods. Today he is living decently. Not only is he contributing to his family, but he also works under our school of humanity project as the religious-cultural education teacher teaching children Arabic and Urdu.
How we dignify them?
There are more people like them who are living with dignity today who came forward in life with the support of our project. The number of people who could change their lives for the better can be increased with more support and resource mobilization. As they say ‘Alone, we can do so little, together we can do a lot”. The more people we help the more we indirectly help ourselves and society. The acts we do may be very small and insignificant according to our ability and capacity but its impact can be huge.
To start a shop under the project we spent around 50,000 INR to 1,00,000 INR. per person
To start a small vegetable of fruit selling business we spent about 50,000 INR to 80,000 INR
To get a person an E-Rickshaw 80,000 INR to 1,00,000 INR is required.
On an average 50,000 INR to 1,00,000 is only required to help a displaced person (who is our target beneficiary) to start earning a decent living and to DIGNIFY him/her. This small support we are providing is enough to change a person’s life, the life of his/her family and at large the state of the world.
* SKILL DEVELOPMENT
Skill development is an aspect under the project Dignify. Skill development, specially oriented towards the female and youth, are conducted under Dignify. Basic Skills such as tailoring and other some technical working are introduced, thus making individuals capable of earning a livelihood for a lifetime.