[TC-I Changemaker]: Earnkarma lets you find your own way to volunteer locally

The ThinkChange India staff is committed to providing our readers with interviews with people we believe are at the brink of something special but have for the most part been overlooked by the mainstream media. Readers will be able to see other conversations under our TC-I Changemakers tab.

This week, Vinay sat down (over Skype) with Gulshan Ramesh of Earnkarma.org, which links individuals/organizations that are in need of volunteers or any other kind of non monetary assistance with people who are looking to help them. Here, simplicity appears to be the initiative’s strength, as the site’s straightforward design is symbolic of the organization’s no nonsense attitude.

Vinay Ganti: Thank you for taking time to speak with us today? What exactly does Earnkarma.org hope to accomplish?

Gulshan Ramesh: The mission of Earnkarma is to be a website for volunteers, non-profits and so forth to post their requests for assistance so that those individuals that wish to help can do so. This way individuals that are passionate about a particular cause can locate an individual/organization hopefully near them to provide assistance.

The one major requirement is that none of the posts may involve requests for monetary help. We want to be a conduit for volunteering only. We will monitor every post to make sure this is the case. We do not want to become affiliated with charitable causes as then people may start becoming concerned with where exactly their money is going or how it is being used.

VG: Which areas of India can use Earnkarma?

GR: Actually we initially intended to have it provide volunteer opportunities throughout the world, but for now we are working on building out the United States and India. It is difficult to get the database for other countries. Within India, it is currently available in every state and every major city.

This website is intended for both organizations and individuals. You do not have to be some non-profit or NGO to benefit from the site. Let’s say that I have the desire to teach English on my weekends to local teenagers. I can post it on Earnkarma to see if anyone else in my area wants to join, and coordinate with them from that post. In this way the site could help create new organizations locally.

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TC-I Tidbits

  • In 65 days, 70% of Gujarat’s villages will be linked with Broadband connectivity, promised Chief Minister Narendra Modi[via iGovernment]. Lets see if he comes through. He cant fool us here at TC-I, our correspondent Prerna is in Ahmedabad as we speak. Staying with promises, the Chhattisgarh government proposed to electrify 79 villages using Solar Energy identified under that Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) project
  • Just learned that Ashoka is running a Geotourism challenge in partnership with National Geographic. The deadlines for submission are already up (sorry we missed it). But you can vote on some cool ideas, including this one by Dhan Foundation, focused on rural tourism.