Capitalising on the potential of Facebook for a constructive and altruistic cause

Capitalising on the potential of Facebook for a constructive and altruistic cause
Highlights

Social Media has become famous for connecting people and for entertainment, basically, although there are some considerable negative effects of it. A Facebook group had proved, recently, that by capitalising on the right usage of Facebook, one can create wonders.

Collective Consciousness

Social Media has become famous for connecting people and for entertainment, basically, although there are some considerable negative effects of it. A Facebook group had proved, recently, that by capitalising on the right usage of Facebook, one can create wonders.

Facebook is not just a platform to share feelings and emotions spreading rumours and slinging mud on opponents. Here a Facebook group comprising thousands of netizens is propagating the glory and greatness of their native district. The group members even meet and share their ideas to make it more successful. The group organises seminars, meetings social service activities.

Singapore-based Radhika Mangipudi who did her masters in Philosophy from Andhra University, hails from the historical town of Vizianagaram. She has set a live example by creating and administrating a Facebook group called ‘The Golden Heritage of Vizianagaram’ (GHV) with nearly 27,000 members.

Radhika framed some set of rules for avoiding general wishes, greetings, invitations, political, commercial and personal promotions. Initially she was sceptical of the response and was of the view that very few would evince interest in such a group. But on the contrary, the group which was started with April 24th 2015 with 220 people is attracting good response.

It now has more than 27,000 members. The objective of every member is to publicize the rich history of Vizianagaram across the world. Vizianagaram is a head hub of arts, culture, music, education and even sports too. Maharajas of Vizianagaram have promoted all the arts. Gurajada Apparao, Dvaram Venkata Swamynaidu, Ghantasala, P.Suseela, S.Rajeswara Rao and many other luminaries belong to this district.

Initially, the Administration and some of the active members of the group sourced the information from the net and old books, and posted information about remote facts and hidden diamonds in the region. Later many came forward and contributed some rare and 100 year-old photographs, which invoked nostalgia, touching the hearts of thousands of members.

This group then incorporated a wide range of posts, covering all the prominent fields of fine arts, sciences, spiritual personalities, films, tourist places etc. People who live abroad also started connecting with their homeland emotionally and re secured their lost childhood-friendships. Even celebrities from different fields started joining the group and appreciated the administration.

The members started enjoying the online celebrations like the theme based posts, online kavisammelan and tributes to the legendary personalities on special occasions. In a span of six months, this group had membership of 10,000. The grand get together, organized on 25th Dec, 2015, in VZM, made the members, meet each other outside Facebook and all got connected as one family.

B.Nagendra Prasad, a journalist and singer said, “This is a wonderful dais to express and exchange our views, attract the people of Vizianagaram who are living abroad, and to share the information about our district and details of several events to be conducted here. We are even collecting photos, documents and other memorabilia of our district. The platform enables us to pass on our culture to our next generations.”

In accordance with the suggestions of the members, Radhika started a second group for charity and service, in Jan 2016 and Golden Heritage of Vizianagaram became the first facebook group to register a charitable foundation on its name, in VZM. All interested members of this group started contributing and sharing a helping hand though this platform.

Since Ugadi 2016, they have been helping different orphanages, old age homes, govt schools, institutions for physically challenged, poor students etc., through “Golden Heritage of Vizianagaram Charitable Foundation”. As the administrator started posting all accounts, names of donors, bank statements, bills etc in the facebook group and maintaining 100% transparency with members, the number of the donors also got increased.

Speaking to The Hans India Radhika said, “Being in Singapore and maintaining a charitable foundation in Vizianagaram is certainly a challenging task for me. But with the help of my close friends and the Executive Committee of the Foundation, we are able to successfully run it and it gives immense satisfaction. The loyalty and the mutual trust among the members are really amazing.

I feel proud to take the responsibility to publicize our culture and traditions.” The GHV Charitable Foundation has now formed a forum called ‘Forum for Better Vizianagaram’. “The objective of this forum is to help the authorities to solve all the practical problems related to the development of the town. Nearly 20 other prominent service organizations have joined hands with us in this initiative,” Radhika said.

By Koppara Gandhi

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