Marginalised communities in Bangladesh have long been suffering to a great extent. Three youths from Dhaka decided to uplift the vulnerable, to not truly rest as long as poverty exists; hence, the birth of Drishti.
Dissatisfied with the current status quo of the underprivileged, Rayyan Afzal, Ayman Husain, and Masroor Anan — three A Levels students came up with a bright and buzzing non profit organisation to reshape the future of the most neglected in the spectrum of our society. Their brainchild — Drishti — was their “vision for a better future”, a word that clicked with their ideas of helping the people.
However, the beginning was not easy as people were skeptical about donating to a smaller startup as opposed to a larger and more established organisation.
Nonetheless, three good months of preparation following the emergence of Drishti made their first event “Shades of Winter” an instant success. It was a winter clothing distribution for the destitutes. The event that should have ended at 6 PM on 15th December last year did not end till 9 PM due to the enormous, heartfelt response they received. With only 4 organisers and around 60 volunteers, they successfully distributed clothes to approximately 5-6 thousand people in parts of Dhaka and Sylhet.
The pandemic threatened to limit Drishti’s growth and efficiency. Even so, it couldn’t stop Drishti from doing what it does the best — helping people. At first, Drishti came up with “Project Prottasha”, done in collaboration with Ashia Foundation, to provide rations for about 1000 low wage workers who lost incomes due to the wide-scale recession.
Ramadan was no different. “Project Sabr” catered to the poverty-stricken through 350 packages of Iftar. All these were sterilised whilst adhering to safety and hygiene precautions to impede the spread of the virus. In order to maintain transparency with the donators, the non profit organisation keeps elaborate Day Books which records all the transactions made to it, and sends email to each contributor, stating the amount donated and the method of donation.
Their next event was “Donathon” which, in the first 12 days, aimed to provide ration for Amphan flood victims and the following 12 days for the transgender community in Bangladesh. Throughout all the events, it has tirelessly put forth a helping hand to those who need, and to those who thought they would not survive the torments of the lockdown.
Running a youth startup is not easy, even in the metropolis. When asked about the barriers that existed, the three mentioned the general public’s lack of trust in new enterprises. However, Drishti has successfully prevailed over it in a very short time.
In a short span of time, Drishti has strived to achieve their vision of helping the most vulnerable people of all communities; and their mission to create a long lasting effect that will help the generations of these families, helping them break out of the poverty chain for good. As a result, it is not only a non-profit organisation, but a hub for philanthropists — those who give their time, talent, and effort for the common good.
The August issue of TDA, Youth in Philanthropy, intends to honour those youth-led organisations which are working selflessly to bring about a change in the society.
Approached by Sarika Saiyara