iCONGO Genesis

A Tsunami Wave hit South India and killed 10,000 people and over 100,000 people approximately were affected. An awakening happened in the country and individuals, corporates and celebrities all started doing various things to raise funds. TV channels and Bollywood personalities got together to organize one of the biggest telethons in India and raised funds for the PM Relief Fund. Great? But what will it take to awaken us to the Tsunami wave that kills thousands of children, women, men and elderly everyday. Surprised. Don't be.

The Tsunami I am talking of is chronic hunger, impoverishment and absolute denial of basic rights, that claims thousands of lives everyday. A child dies unnecessarily as a result of extreme poverty every 3 seconds. The time it takes to click your fingers. Yet all we do is give for Tsunami or to Children without a holistic approach towards getting involved with the cause and understanding social issues. Our giving patterns are like the old Hero Honda advertisement Fill it. Shut it. Forget it. (Remember the TV commercial) where we give and take a tax receipts and feel smug, that we have done our bit and earned our halo.

Research shows that in India which is supposed to be a place traditionally known for its giving, we have less than half million people giving for social causes. Mostly in India people give for religious causes and that is also fine but than the biggest religion is humanity. Research also proves that we basically give in a very ad hoc manner without understanding the issues. We live in a democracy and we all have a need, a responsibility and a privilege to practice true freedom and our basic rights by getting involved and understanding social issues. Only if we get involved would we be practicing real democracy. Pray how can we better the lives of children without addressing the issues of the child's community. We need to holistically address issues of marginalized communities as no hungry community or child would have the inclination to get educated. And that is where involvement for social development comes in where we understand the cause and then support it by making a social investment (Refer power point on home page) like we invest in shares or mutual funds after understanding what we are investing in.

We have adopted and enjoy the music, cinema lifestyle and the culture of Europe and USA. However we have not learnt their willingness to get involved with the cause by giving and spreading the joy of giving. In Europe Children who are 7 years of age make lemonade in their kitchens and sell it in their backyards or street corners to raise funds for the cause of their choice. Homemakers bake cakes and sell the same at their kitty parties or functions to raise funds and sensitize others in their circle about the cause. Working people voluntarily call for meetings at their offices during lunch to do their bit for the cause. But in India we shy away from talking about the cause or asking people to give as we find it belittling and demeaning. Why? It is for a noble cause. It is NOT like we are going out with a begging bowl but with an attitude to do something to bring in change. Fundraising is an art and science and even Presidents of USA do their own fundraising for their campaigns. It's noble, it's fun and it's for a good cause. There is an old mantra "Blessed are the money raisers, for in heaven they will be at the right hand of the saints and martyrs". So it's also holy and pious.

In 2003 the founders of iCONGO embarked on a mission to get the people of India to give for social causes. They pioneered a direct selling approach and promoted a fundraising movement called karm mitra through direct presentations at offices and homes to convert the unconverted and raise funds for Action Aid. People were met, shown a film titled the joy of giving wherein marginalized communities spoke directly to working people and told them their problems in an otherwise shining INDIA and were then asked to donate for a social cause. In the presentation they were introduced to absolutely invisible but indigenous communities of India some of whom they had not heard of at all. Over a 100,000 people donated for these communities in less than 15 months. The experiment proved successful and the mission of iCONGO is to create an infrastructure from the leanings of this movement to get the people of India to give and get involved with a cause of their choice by linking them up to an accredited, credible, transparent and accountable NGO.

iCONGO aspires to create a large supporter base of individuals and build a sensitized, involved, socially responsible like-minded citizen's movement. The idea is to mainstream various causes and offer people a cause dear to their heart by involving them as supporters, friends, advocates and activists. The cause could be children rights or education, community welfare, environment, wildlife and even stray animals. Yes because a just and responsible society would know how to treat these sentient beings well and not mete out mistreatment of any kind to them or watch as bystanders while stray dogs are mistreated.

iCONGO would link individuals and Corporate to the cause of their choice and suggest a credible NGO for the same. iCONGO would also monitor the work done with your funds to ensure 100% transparency. iCONGO would be a catalyst in this transaction and would not retain any transaction or management fees. iCONGO aspires to get large numbers of people linked with social causes and though it may seem like a dream, we feel it is achievable if we all come together. We would try and promote proactive partnerships between The Government, Corporate, Media, SME, Student and the NGO Sector and get the people of India to be the major drivers and stakeholders in this process to bring about change for a legacy of a better world. We all have a responsibility, duty and purpose of life and need to fulfill the same by working for the larger common good. We need to go beyond our 9 to 5 work routine and wealth creation and look beyond ourselves and our near and dear ones. A legacy of a better world for future generations is in our hands and we all need to work towards creating this legacy for the generations to come by addressing social issues related to communities, children, environment, animals, wildlife, healthcare and whatever else you may hold dear to your heart as your cause.

Lets look at it this way that when you support community welfare and education you are not only helping them but yourself also. Yes an educated society benefits all. For example if you lost your passport and a street kid found it. If she or he is educated they will mail it to you and if they are not it will find its way into the bin. Or for that matter have you heard of the various street dogs who saved people in their areas from vicious attacks or help the local cop station to solve crimes. Look at things in a different way. Join us to bring about change and YES A BETTER WORLD IS POSSIBLE.