Chairman's Message

Shanmugam Nagarajan

Chairman – Bridge India Foundation.

Founder and CPO of 24/7 a bpo company,employing over 10,000 staff in offices at world wide location.
Company headquartered in USA.Recently acquired a solution wing of Microsoft to handle large data solution to customers.
He is the Founder and Chairman Bridge India Foundation. 

Vision: Bridge India Foundation was started with a single objective:  

Creating an Inclusive Society!

Inclusive societies are inherently more sensitive to the gaps between the privileged and the underprivileged: the haves and the have‐nots, young and the wise, able and the challenged, educated and the innocent, healthy and the health‐deprived!
While India is projected to become the most populous country by 2025, the gaps between the privileged few who are able to take part in the nation’s progressive growth and those who are left behind, keep widening. The most promising aspect of this however is that 50% of the population is below 25 and the average age of India will be 29 by 2020, indicating a young, aspiring India.

While some of us are fortunately exposed to these gaps in our society, some are not aware of these differences in society. Those who are exposed enough to these gaps, especially at a younger age, grow up sensitized to the needs of the under‐privileged side of the society. When they grow up sensitized, they do something about it as responsible citizens, by contributing in their own individual way to the society. Every such contribution to the society by a sensitized person helps close these gaps, albeit in ever so small steps.

It is Bridge India’s endeavor to  

  •  Sensitize as many young Indians as possible, during their tender teen ages when their hearts are still open to learning and are empathetic to their surroundings.  
  •  To bridge the gaps that exists in the society by creating such responsible Indians for the future generation!

It is Bridge India’s vision to create millions of empathetic, sensitive citizens for tomorrow’s India!

How can this be done?

Human beings are naturally kind at heart. We were all born that way and hence the word ‘humane’!

  •  How do we preserve that fantastic characteristic to benefit everyone around?
  •  How do we take it beyond caring only for our family and friends?
  •  How do we get the future generation to cry for each other and care for each other?

By exposing the younger generation today to the under‐privileged side of the society as much as possible, we can make them more empathetic towards the needs of the underprivileged. By ‘exposing’, we don’t mean showing them a documentary or just taking them for a tour of the slums. We should get them to work as volunteers for a continued period of time in frequent intervals at social service organizations (NGO’s).

There are thousands of legitimate NGO’s who need not just the monies, but more importantly, time from hands‐on volunteers. In fact, they need more volunteers than money.  
If we can marry them both  ‐  young students who can volunteer and the NGO’s who need volunteers ‐ we can achieve our purpose of sensitizing the kids and at the same time help the NGO’s with their scarce resource of volunteer time.

How does Bridge India operate?

Bridge India foundation works very closely with select schools that are interested in sensitizing their children through our initiatives. We first identify a partner NGO within 3 kilometers from the school. In collaboration with the school administration, we then create an annual calendar of volunteering days and take the children to volunteer at the partner NGO on those days. Before the first day of volunteering, we take the children through an orientation program where we share general information on the state of our society and the gaps that exist to build overall awareness and train them on the volunteering process itself

Children are exposed to the following three volunteering models:

Einstein Model

This model propagates Inquisitiveness. Children are involved in joint exercises where they are invited to make observations and contribute solutions however small – that would make an impact on the living environment of the NGO.  In this model the children could identify one or more of areas of study such as health, sanitation, literacy, living conditions etc. Children, over time, can notice how the smallest of steps taken by them can enhance the living environment of their partner NGO.
Here are some quotes by children who participated in such events:
I have learnt to care and share for others. – A M Varshita – X  std
“We shall like to teach them personal hygiene which will keep them away from sickness “– Balaji VIII Std  
We shall try and arrange some doctors on call to check them on time interval to keep their health in check‐Architha – VIII Std

Mother Teresa Model 

This model propagates Caring. It teaches the children to care for the others in the society. It involves various stakeholders like the parents, teachers, elders, siblings, especially the children at the NGO and others in the society. Respect and love is born out of care for others.  
Here are some quotes by children who participated in such events

“I learned by love we can win over any heart.‐ Nikhil – X std”
“Love needs no wealth, I learnt this lesson today‐ Asgar Baig  X Std”
“We shall teach them during their exams time to help them score better “‐Riyaz Anwar IX std
“We should study about their need once a month and try and list it in our school board, to appeal to all others in school and fulfill most of them”‐T S Harshith – X Std

Warren Buffet Model

This model propagates Sharing. It helps children to share whatever they can and not use any more than what is required and to practice giving as a lifelong mantra. It can be from unused pages of the notebooks, toys, books, stationary items, personal belongings to just about anything (except unusable old clothes). Sharing is the essence of this model while highlighting how unused items can be used by NGOs effectively.
Care is taken to contribute without affecting the self esteem of the children/wards at the NGOs.  
Here are some quotes by children who participated in such events

“I learnt a lot of things from them, I felt lucky to have everything in life and I decided to donate how much ever could to their well being.‐ Bharani – IX std”  
“I would go home from today onwards for every purchase of mine, like they add tax, I will pay Rs 5 in my piggy bank to the NGO home and donate it to SRS Sarvodhaya girls home.‐ Akila – IX std”  
“I will try to celebrate my special days with the Ngo homes children‐ Akshay ‐ X Std” 

Salient features/ Benefits of the program

1. Benefits to the student volunteers
Bridge India hopes to enhance the following characters in the participating students:

  •  Showing Gratitude for the smallest things
  •  Sharing with the needy
  •  Caring for even unknown strangers
  •  Valuing what they already own
  •  Wanting to buy/possess only essentials
  •  Avoiding wastage
  •  Respecting elders, teachers and the community at large

Bridge India has had the privilege to notice the positive effects these events have had on children and the NGO.


2. Benefits to the partner NGO’s:
The children and the other wards in the partner NGO’s benefit not only from the direct volunteering activities like academic learning, but also indirectly from the exposure they get to the student volunteers and the care and affection they get from them. These interactions build their self confidence and help them grow into motivated, confident and self‐reliant citizens. NGO’s also get wider exposure to the future citizens who could support them as grown up adults in the future.

3. Our sustained year‐long engagement model is the key to a good, mutually beneficial relationship between the schools and their respective partner NGO’s. The long tenure brings out the best on both sides to understand and work with each other well.

4. Parents are welcome to participate during volunteer days to see firsthand how these events are executed and why these sessions can be enriching and rewarding to both children and the NGOs. We have seen parents bring their own ideas to the table and add a lot of value to the program.

5. Bridge India has had a successful run in its first infant year. The idea has been warmly welcomed by all the schools and NGO’s we have come across.  In the last year, we have had over 30 engagements with volunteers and children from various schools, in Chennai and Bangalore. We are proud and fortunate to have quality volunteers from worldwide organizations join us to be part of this gratifying endeavor. We have had the privilege of touching the lives and transforming over 500 students from  4 schools in Bangalore and in Chennai in our first year of operations. Bridge India has set a target to transform over 2500 Students this year from about 15 Schools in Bangalore and in Chennai this academic year.