Today is the “Founders Day” celebration at our Jnanasudha College, Ganitha Nagara, an institution in the rural area of Karkala, Karnataka and is part of the Trust we founded 8 years ago. I shared we founders heart melting journey in making it one among the top achievers in state and the timely initial help of IDRF. Meanwhile, reviewing the current Kerala flood situation that has devastated districts like Wayanad, an old memory flashed in mind! In early 2000s, I was fortunate to extend help in saving a Tribal school of “Vanavasi Ashram Trust” in Wayanard. It was serving food and education to hundreds of Tribal kids. Due to a lack of funds, the school was about to close. An IDRF volunteer buddy reached out to me for support. So, being a donor and volunteer of IDRF for two-plus decades I felt hard-pressed to write a review now more than ever before.
It was my longtime dream to start a college in the rural areas back home to provide a balanced education as well as help underprivileged kids reach the new heights that only handful of wealthy or the city kids could afford. In 2010, Dr. Sudhakar (who was visiting the USA for an international Mathematics conference) and I, discussed extensively our common dreams and goals. However, both of us were struggling financially. I just had my 3rd baby. My eldest was getting ready to enter a major University which would drain me further. U.S economy was in the Great Recession. Not to mention, my own all-round cultural/social talents and dreams needed funding. Worst yet, my family back home is big in rendering behind-the-scenes help to the ‘not so fortunate’ folks in local communities and needed me! All of this needed lots of funds on an on-going basis. However, on the other hand, being a teacher at a local college, the Dr. was having a tough time receiving any loans or financial aid.
I got ready to let go my home/mortgage and use my son’s college fund to help form the Jnanasudha. Though for decades, volunteered for many major charities (including Ekal Vidyalay which runs 75,569 schools in Tribal areas currently), I wasn’t sure how to seek financial help or channel funds for this. In this extreme need of the hour, first thing came in to my mind was IDRF. I reached out to our chief, Mr Vinod Prakash. With his valuable guidance, I was able to donate and get the construction going for our dream project. Sparing viewers from rest of my hardship and details, I’m so happy to share that all these years we’ve achieved 100% results and have been placing many hundreds of rural students in Medical, Engineering and various other disciplines in reputed Universities throughout India. Our Institution currently provides jobs to 175 people in rural area. Proud to say that we donate over Rs 30 Lakhs every year in scholarships to students and the new donors have come forward to help us start a new branch this year in distant Bellary district.
Apart from the ability to channel the funds to divine projects of our dream, what mesmerizes me is the IDRF’s ability to explore numerous other diverse and rare projects that helps the underprivileged and at the same time be on alert 24 X 7 to reach out to those in the critical needs because of natural calamities etc. Be it earthquake (Lathur, Gujarat etc.), floods (including current Kerala floods) or fire, IDRF volunteers are among one of those first to reach the affected site to render physical, mental and or financial help. But what inspires me the most?! It is the IDRF president’s life itself. This simple and humble down-to-earth personality, in spite of his adverse health issues, has always raised the bar when it comes to maintaining a high standard of compliance and rendering on-time help to reach out to the needy. I wish all the best to IDRF and end with a note “I’m confident that lot more volunteers around the world will walk the great path shown by our 85-year-old World Bank veteran Mr. Vinod ji and his hard working dedicated team of volunteers.”
Hope is extinguished when you cannot meet the most basic needs.Shelter, health clinics, education, conservation, and social action are just a few of the services that IDRF provides to the under-served population. I applaud and fully endorse them.
Mohammad K Khan Ph.D.
With an abundance of good charities to choose from, some stand out with their scope and breath, dramatically impacting the lives of so many. In addition, having certification from Great Non Profits, Four Star Charities, and Seal of Transparency, the choice becomes clear. IDRF meets the most stringent of qualifications.
I am a strong supporter of IDRF. I have known Vinod and Sarla Prakash for over 40 years, including many years when we worked as colleagues at the World Bank. I also know other former World Bank colleagues who have supported IDRF. From my familiarity with IDRF's annual reports and updates, and discussions with Vinod, I am fully aware of the work that IDRF carries out and the results achieved. I am also aware of the very strong support provided to IDRF from the many Indians living in the US who contribute substantial amounts to its work. Perhaps the most impressive attribute of IDRF is the extremely low, almost nonexistent, administrative overhead cost of running its programs. For Vinod and Sarla, and all others associated with IDRF, this is a labor of love, not a job.
"Vinodji joined the university of Rhode Island in economics department. I was in mathematics department of the same university. Our apartments were in the same building of university. Vinodji, Sarlaji, my wife and I used to meet in the evenings sometimes either in their apartment or our apartment. One evening Vinodji said that he will work for 25 years. After that the remaining years of his life he will work for the service of humanity. After a few years he left the university job and joined the world bank.
In 1970s Indira Gandhi declared emergency and put many people in jail. To help those people and their families, Vinodji along with some of his friends started India Relief Fund. In 1977 when India Gandhi
was defeated they did not see the need of IRF and were thinking to disband it. Vinodji persuaded the people not to disband it but use it for sending money for relief work in India.
I started sending money for girls’ education in Rajasthan and I RF was a great help in that. Vinodji used to send the entire amount to the designated institute. Used to write a letter to the institute, put it in the mail along with the check and paid the postage from his own pocket. This continued for 10 years up to 1987.
Then, Vinodji thought that relief is not enough. A person who has lost a house will need a house after the relief time is over, so we should build a house for him also. So, they change the name India Development and Relief Fund, IDRF.
For the last 30 or 35 years I have been sending money for schools, colleges, hostels (dormitories) and other charitable institutions. I could send to all these since 2005. After that foreign contribution regulation act (FCRA) made difficulty for the small institutions. But, I can send to a few as Maharishi Dayanand Mahila shikshan Sansthan. Grameen. Mahila shikshan Sansthan Swami Keshwanand and charitable Institute Sangaria, shiksha bharati Hapur, Pardada Pardadi school Anoopsahar. These are all girls’ colleges or girls’ schools. They are doing a remarkable job, all because of India Development and Relief Fund’s help. We started help building dormitories, colleges and schools in 1982. Up to this time, there are 28 dormitories, 21 schools and colleges.
I go to India every year for four months, July, August, September and October. I used to visit as many as I could. But now at the age of 90, I visit only a few every year, those are.
M. D. Girls college of science Jhunjhunu. This college was started in 2003 with 38 girls. Now there are 1400 girls and 425 of them live in three hostels of the college. This is only a science college teaching mathematics, physics, chemistry, botany, zoology and computer science for B.Sc. and M.Sc. This is one of the best colleges of Rajasthan, perhaps the best. The girls score very high marks in the examinations. Five girls topped in the university examinations in B.Sc. and M. Sc. Admission in the college is on merit. No sears are reserved for the management and recommendations do not work in this college. The college fees for B.Sc. students is between 10 and 12 thousand rupees. Hostel expenses including boarding and lodging is between 25 and 30 thousand rupees. The total is under 40000 rupees for the year.
In this town, there are some colleges where college fees are 45000 rupees and the hostel expenses are between 60,000. 70,000 rupees. The total expenses are more than one lakh rupees.
This college is a boon for ordinary people who cannot afford to pay the fees of expensive colleges. If in the middle of their courses some girls cannot afford to pay, they are given additional financial aid and are not forced to drop out. Now, Birla Institute of technology is imparting better education, but their cost per year for Indians is 2 lakh for Indians and 9 lakh for NRIs.
Grameen Girls college is an equally good college. Beside science this college also teaches Arts. They also run a high school. This college has done a very good job of teaching the girls from the neighboring villages. There expense are about 40 or 45 thousand rupees per year.
Swami Keshwanand Charitable trust runs many colleges and schools. The money they receive from me they distribute as scholarship to needy girls and they also give scholarship to students who are studying engineering or medicine. They will email you the comments of some students who has benefited from these scholarships.
I visit these three institutions every year. They all are doing a remarkable work of parting educations quite inexpensively to the students."
President Rajkripal— IDRF/Shiksha Bharti, Hapur U.P.
I remember that a delegation of Shiksha Bharati, a girls’ education based institution, had visited U.S.A. for the purpose of raising funds and informing people about the objectives of Shiksha Bharati in 1997. We met Sh. Vinod Prakash Ji (President, I.D.R.F.) and his family in Washington.
I remember that he inspired us to purchase maximum land for the school at first instance; otherwise land will not be available for purchase in future or would be very costly. We readily agreed to Sh. Vinod Prakash Ji's view and now it proved to be a correct and Shiksha Bharati saved a lot of money because of his valuable advice.
He is so passionate about India that he put his whole time for IDRF and most of work is being done by him and he gets the whole hearted support of Sarla Prakash ji. She is always with him whether in daily working of IDRF or his IDRF based work. Not only both have dedicated their life to IDRF but also they have inspired their children to support the cause of supporting the people in need especially in India.
I got so amazed to know that these people work so much without much support so that most of money is being sent to project activities in India. They are truly an example of high thinking and simple living. Their love for people in need is unmatchable.
Both of them are persons of ethics, highest values and fighting spirit for any cause/ truth which we have seen in last fifteen years.
The Hostel for Banvasi girls was established by the financial help of I.D.R.F. Sh. Vinod Prakash Ji often visits India with his wife Smt. Sarla Prakash Ji and inspects the projects funded by the I.D.R.F. He gives valuable suggestions for the Banvasi Hostel in the campus of Shiksha Bharati. We always look forward to his advice and implement the same in our institution and lives.
He is providing financial help and motivation for underprivileged people of India. I got opportunity to see Tribal Boys Sr. Secondary Residential School (Sewa Dham), Mandoli managed by SEWA Bharati-Delhi, hostels for Orphan Boys and Girls (Jeevan Prabhat), managed by Arya Samaj Gandhidham (Gujarat) projects. It is totally a worthy effort by him as the society is getting sufficient advantages from these projects. The children living in ‘Jeevan Prabhat’ under the supervision and direction of Sh. Vachonidhi ji are now parented by this project who were orphan.
Mrs. Reena Goyal visited IDRF hostel at Shrimati Brahma Devi Saraswati Balika Vidya Mandir in February 2014, to donate some dresses & books to the girls residing at IDRF hostel. After the visit, she was very impressed with the work of providing quality education to the girls from the deprived section of the society especially from the North-East state of India. She was very kind to adopt two girls immediately, and start supporting the expenses occurs for education, lodging, boarding etc of the said girls.
Later on when she returned to U.S.A., she started a campaign to support the girls of IDRF hostel for their education. Fortunately many people came forward to adopt these girls. It is a matter of pleasure that the number of such kind donors reached up to 35 in very short time.
At present there are 90 girls were getting education from 8 North-East state, Laddakh and Chattisgarh etc. These donors also help to obtain higher education to these girls.
We would like to state that most of the girls who had finished their education from this campus are successful in their lives. Vishnupriya was the first girl of hostel, now she is a teacher in her native place. Anjana is a yoga instructor at Haridwar. Kanchey is a successful entrepreneur and living in her native place.
We are also organizing career counseling classes, Personality Development Classes & Vocational classes for better future of these girls.
Today I.D.R.F. and the associated project are moving towards the advancement due to his determination.
President- Shiksha Bharati
I have been both a volunteer and a beneficiary of IDRF. I have seen both sides of the organization - from within and without. I would say, I am thoroughly impressed by:
- The professional work ethic with regard to commitment to change and rigorous documentation
- The minimal overhead cost which is driven on top of a fierce volunteering spirit
- The personal connection maintained with the clients, shows the importance given to human relations
- The inspiring team behind the organization which has chosen to sacrifice more lucrative options
IDRF is a remarkable philanthropic organisation VPBK has met so far. IDRF supported VPBK through a programme "Dawn of Hope'. 20 disadvantaged children are being supported every month through IDRF.The following Case Study will speak itself:
Nasifa Khatun is eight years old; she is reading in class III at Boral Free Primary School & residing with her mother Sahanasa Bibi at her grandparents’ house at Boral Malipara, Rajpur Sonarpur, Kolkata: 700154.
When Nasifa Khatun was only one year old her father Noor Mohammad, who was a day labourer, disappeared and left behind Nasifa and her mother in a distressed situation.
Nasifa’s mother Sahanasa Bibi was a housewife; she was not accustomed to working outside. But the situation compelled her to join a factory as a Factory Labour & earn Rs. 2500/- per month.
Nowadays, it is very difficult to maintain a family with a meager income. But Nasifa’s mother Sahanasa Bibi somehow maintained her family.
When Nasifa was five years old, her mother, with her meager income, was worried about Nasifa’s education, because it was very difficult to provide education expenses, school dress & conveyance expenses of Nasifa.
Both Nasifa’s paternal and maternal grandparents were unable to provide any monetary support to Nasifa & her mother Sahanasa Bibi who was unable to provide square meals for her family!
In this situation, Nasifa’s mother Sahanasa Bibi heard about Vikahar Paribar Bikash Kendra (VPBK) and its developmental activities. Sahanasa Bibi came into contact with Vikahar Paribar Bikash Kendra (VPBK). In August 2017 Nasifa Khatun was included in a programme- “Dawn of Hope”. The programme is being supported by Sachin Chitlingia through India Development and Relief Fund, USA. Vikahar Paribar Bikash Kendra (VPBK) is a partner organisation of India Development and Relief Fund, USA.
The programme provides support to 20 disadvantaged children by providing following Scholastic & other Support throughout the year:
• Exercise Book & Pen - once in a year
• School Bag - once in a year
• School Dress / Dress - twice in a year
• Shoe & Shocks - once in a year
• Private Tution Charges - through out the year
• Nutritious Food - throughout the year
• Hygiene Kits - 4 times in a year
• Medicine - throughout the year
• Sports & Games Material - once in a year
• Annual Function - once a year
• Household Goods - twice in a year (for the family of disadvantaged children)
After getting the cited support from Vikahar Paribar Bikash Kendra the life style of Nasifa & her family has changed. The situation is very different today. Nasifa & 19 other children are getting food, scholastic support, hygiene kits, private tuition charges & household goods on a regular basis.
In 2017 Nasifa stood first in class II and was promoted to class III. She secured 98.5% marks.
Sahanasa Bibi said, ”We were in great trouble while Nasifa’s father was missing suddenly! I did not know what to do. Somehow I managed to secure a job at a factory nearby to my house. But with meager salary I did not maintain my family with a square meal & the education of Nasifa. If Vikahar Paribar Bikash Kendra has not been assisted us with food, scholastic support, dress, medicine to Nasifa & us – we were able to survive but would have not been sent Nasifa to school & Nasifa would have been engaged as a child labour.”
In future Nasifa wants to be a teacher. Nasifa and her mother Sahanasa Bibi are now very happy.
I have known and worked with IDRF as a volunteer, coordinator, donor. It is the best India centric Charity.
Donating abroad is always a tricky business, as it is not always possible to check on authenticity, delivery, impact or anything for that matter about the charity without being actually present. IDRF solved that problem for me. Not only have they been able to keep their administrative costs to a minimum, but their thoroughly evaluated projects make it easy for me to donate, knowing the money is going where it is intended to go. I feel blessed to be able to assist marginalized people in various ways, and secure that IDRF is the best mechanism to deliver it.
Thanks IDRF for making payment process so easy. Initial setup is pretty straightforward.
As a donor I am happy the my contributions reaches the needy ones on-time.
When I was looking for non profits to help with development projects in India, I was impressed with the range of projects IDRF supports. Further, at the time of disasters striking India, the speed and reach of relief efforts carried out by IDRF stood out
Among the best NGOs, gives bang for the buck, has very low Admin cost unlike other other where 60-80% donation money goes towards administration.
IDRF is a nonprofit organization which is run and managed by a very dedicated team of professionals. IDRF, assesses the NGO's in a unique manner to verify their authenticity and requirements. The motives of IDRF are very praiseworthy and they support so many lives, to give them a new lease of life and a purpose to live.
IDRF has extended all support to the Schools for the Blind and Deaf children. This helps us to provide better services and education to the blind and deaf children.
We hope that more and more persons will join this movement to donate and mobilise more funds for IDRF, so that NGO's like us can meet the wide gap in our commitments and availability of funds.
I have used IDRF over the years to donate money to various non-profit organizations in India. IDRF has a wide reach in India and enabled me to donate funds to charities, that support causes that are near and dear to me. Whether it is to fund disaster relief effort or fund an orphanage, I often turn to IDRF for assistance. IDRF has done an admirable job of following up, with Indian non-profit organizations and ensuring that funds were directed to the designated cause. Another aspect that I appreciated most about IDRF is how easy they have made it to enable corporate matching funds. IDRF staff have been very responsive to my emails, phone calls in my effort to track matching funds. I highly recommend IDRF to anyone who is looking to support a worthy cause in India.
We recognize IDRF as major donor for the generous contribution towards ICU establishment at Kirtipur Hospital of phect-NEPAL. Thank you very much for your help to our hospital. The Public Health Concern Trust-Nepal, our mother organization has is grateful to IDRF for the establishment of ICU at Kirtipur Hospital since the lack of this facility had affected the care of a large number of injured victims of the 2015 Mega Earth Quake in Nepal. We very much appreciate your kind and generous help towards the furnishing of this new facility as well.
Currently we are providing free surgical service to women with pelvic organ prolapse at Kathmandu Model Hospital with the help of IDRF again. We have a big problem of Pelvic Organ Prolapse in poor women in rural Nepal. Thanks again for supporting our poor women.
With Best Regards,
Prof Ganesh Dangal and the Team