Glory of being PURE: An angel in the guise of NGO
Inspired by Albert Einstein who said, "I wish to do something great and wonderful, but I must start by doing the little things like they were great and wonderful," People For Urban and Rural Education (PURE) promises to be the bridge connecting individuals, groups and organisationswith the urgent needs of the world's children. PURE pledges to facilitate sustainable empowerment through quality education with complete transparency and accountability to the sponsors
Inspired by Albert Einstein who said, "I wish to do something great and wonderful, but I must start by doing the little things like they were great and wonderful," People For Urban and Rural Education (PURE) promises to be the bridge connecting individuals, groups and organisations with the urgent needs of the world's children. PURE pledges to facilitate sustainable empowerment through quality education with complete transparency and accountability to the sponsors. Shyla Talluri, the brain behind the NGO,speaks to The Hans India in an exclusive chat.
We heard your mother is the sole motivator behind this organisation? Can we know about her?
A request from my mother to support a school in a tribal hamlet sparked the thought of starting a non-profit organisation. She is the ground force that led to PURE reaching to remote tribal and rural areas. Sandhya Gollamudi, 68, started her journey of empowering women and helping students in need. She was invited to join PURE for two years. Five years into starting PURE, I cannot imagine PURE without her, she has been coaching and mentoring many volunteers to keep PURE going as strongly even after she retires.
What do you mean by 'Pure Human'?
The year 2020 showed us that no one is immune to the Covid-19 pandemic, in the times when everybody was scared to even touch the vegetables without washing it or stepping out to pick up a newspaper. But there were Humans who braved it all, risked their lives to help their fellow humans. Be it NGOs, individuals, sanitation workers, journalists, medical professionals, and police force – they did not think twice to put themselves between Covidand the sufferingpeople. PURE recognised 25 such individuals with Pure Human Award.
How do you decide who are the needy?
Teachers from government schools are our eyes and ears in the remotest areas we serve, and journalists are another source. We also get requirements from other NGOs and directly as well.
How do you evaluate the requirementand findsources for funding?
Many people want to help, they hesitate because they are unsure of the funds reaching thepeople who need it. PURE's multi-step vetting process and diligent follow up gives our sponsors the trust.After all,it is their hard-earned money that they are entrusting us with.
What are the problems you encounter in execution?
Delay in implementation is something that we cannot control sometimes. For example, we are currently working on transforming a tribal school that can only be reached on foot or by a two- wheeler in Adilabad district of Telangana.
Sounds interesting but tell us staying at the US, how are you able to manage things so perfectly? Who are the people behind?
Leveraging technology has been our strong suite. All of us including myself and Sandhya Gollamudi are volunteers and almost all of us have our day job in our professions. We have 30 volunteer directors based in North America and one in Sweden. We use WhatsApp groups (migrating to MS Teams soon), a project collaboration tool called Asana to track tasks, custom built software to manage our nearly 400 volunteers. Let us say, the IT person in me, came in handy. We do not make phone calls unless absolutely necessary, saving time there. Vijay Ramireddy, Hema Kanthamneni, Deepa Kamalakara , Sandhya Gollamudi and Archana Purini are part of the leadership team.
Five years not a small journey, what is the big picture you came across and you are seeing in the coming year?
We will continue our core causes of infrastructure improvements in public schools, bridge school, student sponsorships and menstrual education. We will be expanding this to other developing nations. We currently work in Ethiopia, Uganda, Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago. We also work in the USA as well with 35 chapters run by teenagers, this I see growing to 100 in the next five years.
What is your family role in this great cause and are you missing anything in life by spending more time for society?
I must thank my children Abhi and Anagha for lending their mother's time that is rightfully theirs for a good cause. I made service a part of my life and my lifestyle. I still work, invest in businesses, travel and enjoy movies. The only thing I sacrificed is giving up on reading which was my most favorite hobby.
If anybody wants to join PURE what would be your words for them? How can they join?
Giving time is the greatest help you can do to any organisation. Funds will follow if the people are true to service. We are always looking for professionals from medical, IT and other corporate jobs to join us in empowering our youth with job coaching, softskill training, spoken English and resume building. firstname.lastname@example.org is the best way to reach us.
(Spokesperson: Sandhya Gollamudi)