Building capacity, spreading awareness
All of 21, Hyderabad-based Lavanya Gudelli adapted her life to serve the underprivileged through her NGO ‘Be The Change’ started one year back and has so far undertaken several campaigns for slum dwellers in Hyderabad.
All of 21, Hyderabad-based Lavanya Gudelli adapted her life to serve the underprivileged through her NGO 'Be The Change' started one year back and has so far undertaken several campaigns for slum dwellers in Hyderabad.
She initially started a food distribution drive on August 15, which she utilised as a way to get to know what problems these people face on a daily basis. "I had no clue where to start, so I decided to go to a slum and I managed to get together about 50 people to come on a food distribution drive. Once I went there, I spoke to the people there and I realised that most of the things we take for granted are what they're facing issues with on a daily basis. Once I found out, I realised conducting awareness campaigns and capacity building sessions was the best way for me to attempt to solve their problems," says Lavanya who has been inclined towards social work right from her childhood.
The problems that Lavanya wanted to solve health, hygiene and lack of awareness in terms of the government schemes that are available. "Lack of sanitation is a major concern in slums and also, most of these people don't know about the various government schemes they can avail.
Initiative Management has already won multiple awards like Pride of Hyderabad, Youth Icon of India 2019 and more. When asked about her personal goal she said 'I want to be an IAS officer'.
Their NGO initiated a menstrual health awareness campaign called Vanitha, and about that, Lavanya says, "As a woman, the issue of menstrual health struck me hard when I found out that most of the underprivileged people don't know about proper menstrual sanitation and the usage of sanitary pads.
For that, we initiated this campaign last month and as a part of that, we go to slums and distribute pads and also educate people on proper menstrual sanitation.
We also tell them about the Centre's Jan Aushadi programme through which they can buy sanitary pads for Rs two each."
In addition to this, they also launched a selfie video campaign to bring attention to the issue on social media.
The 120-member strong NGO has applied for registration recently and is now exploring the idea of installing e-toilets in various slum areas in the city.