Published: 08th August 2020
Be the Marpu: How this Hyderabad youth's NGO served 16,000 meals during the COVID lockdown
Marpu Foundation is a Hyderabad-based organisation that believes in the transformational power of the youth and engages them to change the world. We find out about the various activities they do
Life for 'military brat' K Raghu Vamsi was usually all about greenery and tagging along with his father while hopping from one city to another. But once that chapter ended for Raghu, he missed all of it — the greenery, the cleanliness... everything. Once, while incessantly complaining about this to his father, the former army man gently replied, 'Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country'. Not those exact words, of course, but the sentiment was the same. This exchange led to the formation of Marpu Foundation in 2016, 'marpu' meaning change in Telugu. They successfully registered their organisation in June last year.
Better together | (Pic: Marpu Education)
What started with a tree plantation drive in Uppal, with Raghu and his friends, has since diversified into so many activities, from helping out during the 2018 Kerala floods to providing COVID relief now. "What I saw was a lack of empathy in people, which is why I felt the need to start a youth-driven organisation of our own," says the 19-year-old. Take, for example, their volunteers recent efforts to help migrant labourers. Hyderabad-based Raghu himself visited a few areas, like Gundlapochampally, Dulapally, Medchal and more, to distribute rations and he also compiled a list of all those in further need and gave it to the local governing body.
They have served over 16,000 meals to try and mitigate hunger
What Marpu Foundation also effectively does is engage corporate companies in a number of activities — like carrying out their solar project Light a Light S&P Global, where they made about 250 solar lamps and distributed it in the rural areas of Telangana. They also made teaching-learning materials for government schools last December. "We decided to conduct this particular activity after visiting government schools and noticing that the walls were devoid of charts and other learning material. We wanted to do something about it," says the youngster. They have also made over 10,000 seedballs with Tata Communications and upscaled notebooks with Zensar Technologies.
Raghu won the Karmaveer Chakra Award in 2019 bestowed by the international confederation of NGO, iCONGO, and the UN | (Pic: Marpu Education)
"All this in a bid to make citizens more socially responsible by taking the social issue to them and helping them work on the solutions," says Raghu who is pursuing his BBA from Loyola Academy. All these ideas are executed only after he brainstorms with volunteers as to which issue needs attention and how attention can be brought effectively. On the organisation's radar are issues like heritage, discovering the tourism treasure in Telangana, promoting the innovations of youngsters and so much more. I say, more power to them!
Marpu also has
- Campaigns and sessions on empowering adolescents
- Weekend classes on life skills for schools
- Travel expedition with youngsters
- Project Baby Trees to spread awareness about tree preservation
For more on them, check out marpu.org