Two enterprising ladies from Mumbai have joined hands to create Quarancharity, a fundraising initiative that gives both ways.
Pri Shewakramani, a marketing consultant who has worked with brands like Guess Watches and Havaianas, realised what would be the plight of migrant workers, stranded labourers, and the needy during the lockdown as soon as it started. “I was reading about the migrant workers who didn’t have enough to eat, and we were sitting in our houses with enough groceries and a roof on our heads. And I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. I thought there are so many experts sitting at home and have free time, and came up with this concept of having virtual sessions for charity. I reached out to Sherry (Scherezade Shroff); Shroff didn’t even wait two minutes to be in, it went from zero to hundred in an hour!”
And that’s how Quarancharity, a social media-led charity initiative was born. Shewakramani and Shroff tied up with experts in their respective fields to hold digital classes, the proceeds from which are being donated to an NGO. From fashion, video editing, and cooking, to yoga, workouts, and much more the classes range from Rs 450 to Rs 2,000 (as per classes till date) for an hour.
Till now there have been sessions by Chef Kelvin Cheung, Chef Chinu Vaze, Soha Ali Khan for storytelling, Joseph Radhik for photography, Barkha Dutt for journalism, a concert by Ankur Tiwari, and more. Upcoming sessions include Manish Malhotra and Sujata Assomull, a cocktail making session with Delhi’s PCO bar. And one with Diva Yoga and Chef Anahita Dhondy.
Shroff, a veteran vlogger, says that she had initially donated to different causes on her, but wanted to do more. “Obviously, my resources are limited and so are everyone else’s. So, we felt that it’s a great way for everybody to give back with just their time and help raise funds and people sitting at home. We’ve had so many people calling voluntarily saying I want to do a session. It is using your craft and what you’re good at to give back.”
So how does it work?
They’ve tied up with Habitat For Humanity that provide families with essential kits including masks, hand wash, disinfectants, rice, dal and wheat flour; Goonj that supplies food, grocery, and essential materials to daily wage workers and those in need; and Animal Adoption & Care that feeds animals across Mumbai through a network of feeders who will be provided with food kits, medical aid kits, water bowls, and emergency support.
You can go to the respective charity’s website, pay the chosen amount (can be more than one class and be availed over a period of time), and an email will be sent to you with a confirmation and an invitation to the class.
Speaking of the role of social media during this unprecedented pandemic, Shroff says, “There’s a lot of mindless content on social media, which is not helping people at this point. People are comparing their lives with others, ‘oh this person is baking bread, and I’m doing nothing with my life’. But, there are lots of positives going around, you have a lot of content online to watch. You can use social media positively, as more than just a tool to socialise or look at what everyone’s doing.…social media is definitely changing and has become more dynamic than just sharing your personal story. It’s a very powerful tool if used correctly, and has certainly helped us for Quarancharity.”
The two women have raised Rs 28 lakh within three weeks, and that speaks for itself. Donating for a good cause and learning a new skill in return, especially when you’re stuck at home? It couldn’t get better than this during this lockdown.