Naman Parikh – A Grade 11 student’s Social Start-up
Naman Parikh of Grade 11 conceived the idea and founded a social start-up called DivyangDost Foundation. Divyang Dost (www.divyangdost.org) is a web based movement with brick support to promote social inclusiveness of differently abled children (Divyangs). He is leading group of about 25+ high school students and managing this platform to encourage abled children (Divyang Dost) to regularly and proactively spend quality time with Divyangs. This movement is aimed at bringing more smiles on Divyangs while instilling empathy among Divyang Dosts from early age.
Using music as means to enthuse more and more Diyang Dosts to join this movement of promoting social inclusiveness of Divyangs, Naman and his teammates planned and executed ‘Divyang Dost Drum Circle’ (D3C). This first of its kind initiative presented nearly 200+ pairs of differently abled and abled children playing percussion instruments and achieving perfect symphony in just few seconds. The event was witnessed by around 80,000 participants of Vadodara International Marathon on 6th January 2019. Enthused by their efforts, Shri Vijaybhai Rupani, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Gujarat also launched Divyang Dost’s Mobile Application (photo attached) while flagging off the Marathon. For financial closure of the event, they used online crowdfunding platform and collected nearly Rs. 6.5 Lacs from nearly 140+ contributors (lowest Rs. 30 to highest Rs. 25,000). This unique initiative was planned and executed in just two weeks during Christmas Break.
Since, 6th Grade, when Naman got introduced to differently abled children as part National Parayavaran Mitra Puraskar competition; he has been a regular visitor for some of the NGOs operating in this sector. These rounds of interactions triggered this thought and hence he felt this need of social inclusiveness. Finally, in 2016 he started this initiative and is now ready with Proof of Concept (PoC) of his social start-up. Since then, more than 19+ NGOs have joined this movement already. Tthe group is now planning to expand their base by creating similar groups in multiple cities and towns and making it a nation-wide movement.