(October 6, 2021) 29-year-old Nishita Rajput has single-handedly been transforming the lives of over 34,000 girls in India over the last 10 years. The Vadodra resident has been working to raise funds to help educate girls who’re forced into labor or domestic work due to their financial circumstances and has so far managed to crowdfund over ₹3.8 crore on her own steam.
Talking about why she chose to fund education, she told Better India, “If we donate water, its impact lasts for four hours. Food lasts for about 72 hours. But if we donate education, the impact is felt for generations to come.”
Incidentally, this philanthropic streak in her began when as a child she would accompany her father to the streets of Vadodara to feed the homeless; he would also help orphaned children with food, education, and shelter every once in a while. However, the turning point really came, when in 2010, Rajput (who was at the time doing her Masters in Human Resources) was home for her vacations and she saw their house help bring her young daughter to work with her; the 14-year-old girl couldn’t even tell the time and this stumped Rajput, who decided to work towards changing that. She began by identifying 150 girls from impoverished communities and launched her initiative to help educate them. Apart from sponsoring their education, Rajput also makes it a point to council parents to create awareness on the importance of educating their daughters and encouraging self-sufficiency.
She began by collaborating with local non-profit schools in Vadodara and also began contacting people she knew to crowdfund the fees for these girls. Along with her father’s help, Rajput set up a system where each transaction would be personally handled by them and cheques were made out in the name of the school the girls would be studying at. Donors would then receive regular updates of the students’ performance and academic progress. Over the years, she managed to impact the lives of 34,500 girls across India and raised a total of ₹3.8 crore so far.