EDITIONS
Social & Green Entrepreneurs

Paarul Chand, Founder, Bright Lives Foundation for People

Team YS
1st Feb 2009
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A step in the (B)right direction Director and founder of Bright Lives Foundation for People, Paarul Chand, has come a long way from being a television journalist with well-known media houses. Today, this postgraduate in Journalism from Indian Institute of Mass Communication is heading an organisation that helps women and children pick up pieces of their lives battered by terrorism and poverty. In an exclusive interview, Paarul talks about how Bright Lives Foundation is lighting a lamp of hope and promise in the lives of such silent sufferers so that they can look past their existential apathy and dream of a brighter future. 


What is Bright Lives Foundation for People?

Bright Lives Foundation for People is a young initiative that was launched by Bright Lite Communications in January this year. Since 2001, the latter has been actively involved in creating awareness about issues like women and childcare,

public health, education and poverty in both the print and electronic media. This message is spread through strategic media campaigns and documentary films for organisations like European Union, Global Health Advocates, the UN-backed Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria, World Vision and TB Action. 

Therefore, launching Bright Lives Foundation was a natural extension of our work in this area and the result of a passionate and committed desire to change our world for the better. Let’s keep this is mind: One rupee donated by you has the power to change the world. Bright Lives Foundation’s main effort will be to raise money for anyone affected by terrorism, with specific focus on women and children. This money will be collected through an intensive online campaign in order to bypass corrupt practices of political parties and fickle government policies. 

How was the idea of launching Bright Life Foundation born?

The idea has a direct relation to the galloping rise in the number of families affected by terrorism, especially in the last 15 years. When a soldier of the Indian Army dies fighting terrorists at the border, his widow and children receive monetary assistance from the government as well as tips on how to manage those funds. But what happens to the wife and kids of a common man who falls to a terrorist’s bullet? Either the compensation announced by the government gets lost in political labyrinth or the money doled out is hardly sufficient. Clearly, the Indian government does not have a unified programme of rehabilitation for people affected by terrorism; each state gives out money depending on its own priorities. No doubt, having sufficient funds would help families of terror victims become independent but that money should also be channelised for specific agendas like a child’s education or medical expenses.

Bright Lives Foundation for People hopes to take the pressure off people trying to rebuild their lives with dignity so that they can focus on healing their wounds and plan for a better future. The foundation also aims to build awareness among Indians and encourage them to go that extra mile to help someone in need. 

What is the immediate goal of Bright Lives Foundation for People?

Our immediate goal is to launch the online campaign to raise funds for specific families identified on the basis of their financial status and the urgency of monetary aid needed for treatment of injuries. This year, we aim to raise Rs 50 lakh only through individual contributions. Since the process of fundraising will be completely transparent, every contributor will be able to track to whom his/her money is going. Once the funds have been disbursed, we will move on to the second phase in which we plan to tie up with NGOs for specific services like counselling and employment rehabilitation. 

Who will be the immediate beneficiaries of the services provided by Bright Lives Foundation for People?

Members of any family who are affected by terrorism, especially women and children, will receive our committed support and aid. 

Who are the people behind Bright Lives Foundation for People?

Currently, there are two persons involved with the foundation’s work — Ranjit Monga and myself. We are also the co-founders of Bright Lite Communications (www.brightliteonline.com). 

What is the vision of Bright Lives Foundation for the year 2010?

Apart from continuing with our current projects, in 2010, Bright Lives Foundation for People aims to start a knowledge bank of social demographics through research in social trends, particularly health, society demographics and women & children. This bank will gather information on both social trends as well as hard data. 

What is your advice for entrepreneurs who want to do social work?

Follow your heart with complete honesty and have an unshakeable faith in your ability to make a difference. Let the right emotion drive you and commitment will come automatically. Another important thing is to have a rock solid foundation of ethics. Thinking big and building the correct network are also crucial to becoming a responsible social worker.

Finally, know that actions speak louder than words. Succeeding at your project is nothing but the outcome of following up on every opportunity and being open to ideas. 

Tell us something about those involved with Bright Lives Foundation?

The board of Bright Lives Foundation draws on the advice and experience of Sudha Sarin,COO of Sampark and one of the top strategic advocacy professionals in India. We are a very lean team of two since we want to keep low the expense of running the Foundation. My co-worker Ranjit Monga was a journalist for 15 years before he co-founded Bright Lite Communications. He has worked with BBC Radio, United News India (wire service) and the Singapore-based Asia Business News (India) (TV 18). He has also written several documentaries and short films on child survival programme in Ballia, on Polio (in Hindi and English), environment, health and water conservation issues.

Apart from this, he has produced, written and anchored a daily business show on All India Radio’s FM 2 Channel and a weekly business personality show on Space TV. 

Paarul Chand is an avid writer and blogs on films, life skills and spirituality on http://parulc.blogspot.com/, apart from writing lyrics and short stories.

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