By Subham Swabhiman
As there is a saying , 'Change cannot be brought to you, You must bring Change'. Sairanjan Behera's work illustrates it. He is one of the core members of the nonprofit organisation 'Sai Upahar' whose aim is to uplift the conditions of underprivileged class of society.
Sai receving Best Social Service award from BJB Autonomous College
It was founded in 2016 by 20 college students including Sai. The idea originated when Sai was doing his B.A. Although he contributed his social services in reputed organisations like Scout&Guide, National Service Scheme(NSS) and Red Cross, he always envisaged creating an organisation of his own along with his friends and peers to make a change in society and directly help the poorest as much as possible. He got the opportunity when he heard about a medical emergency of a Cancer Patient who sought financial help for treatment, as the patient belonged to a poor minority community. He formed a team with his friends and started raising funds from various sources. The donation was sent for treatment and it was a success. After this incident the organisation was established at full pace.
Team Sai Upahar in an orphanage
The Sai Upahar team commenced its work by visiting orphanages and old age homes. It expanded its activities by organising events comprising of food, clothes, money, books, toys, etc collection, and distribution on special occasions and festivals. It collects ₹100 (1.44USD) from its members at a monthly basis, and assembles all the required resources and materials such as food, clothing, etc from the local people. Then the Organisation gives away to the poor and needy people.
Currently the NPO has 50-60 members who have made an impact through their operations on 15 orphanages, 7 Anganwadis, and 4 slums in Bhubaneswar, India. It has brightened up 300+ people lives at grassroot level.
Sairanjan Behera having a talk with an old man in his visit to old age home
The organisation still faces various limitations and challenges. The major one constitutes raising funds for the project. At present, the majority of funds is from internal sources due to which it has to limit its activities . Its members also have to travel a lot for the activities and they have to bear the expenses themselves. It doesn't have any proper office or room for its operations. Moreover , sometimes it faces shortage of resources. People still have trust issues with the organisation yet day by day the 'Sai Upahar' is establishing a special place in people's hearts', especially the impoverished ones.
The organisation has set future goals on lending a hand to Cancer Patients for fighting the deadly disease by sanctioning funds, manpower and other support, if needed. It also is keeping an eye on expanding its members to around 150 and spreading awareness on various social issues to the poor.
For those who want to start their own initiative, Sai encourages them to take action first. He quotes 'Everyone has thought of making a change in our society but only a few are implementing the idea and doing it. Hence we all should be optimistic and make the first move'.