In 2015, Tarun Mathur founded Hamari Pahchan to ensure people in Delhi live a safe and happy life.
Meher Mathur was told by her father Tarun not to go out at night after the shocking Nirbhaya rape, that took place in Delhi in 2012. Meher said, “Instead of stopping me, make Delhi safer.”
That spurred Tarun Mathur to start the Save Delhi, Brave Delhi drive, through which CCTVs were installed in different corners of the city, in collaboration with the State government. This drive saw the initiation of Hamari Pahchan, an NGO, registered in 2015.
Tarun started his career as a chess player. The recognition he received made him wonder why so many people often experience a lack of direction and meaning in life. He realised this has to do with establishing one’s own identity – some just need guidance to live life with a purpose and carve out a niche for themselves. With this view, Tarun not only began to coach youngsters in chess free of cost, but he also set up The Galaxies Productions and Hamari Pahchan.
The safety drive
These two organisations joined hands to launch Stylish Diva in 2014, an initiative that aimed to create a safe platform for aspiring models. A late night fashion show was organised on the streets of Delhi, in association with the Delhi police, and the event saw participation from women between the ages of 18 and 40. The event attempted to make Delhi a safer city, where women were able to walk around freely, and no attacks on them would be tolerated.
Tarun says, “When you see something wrong happening, protest. Do not wait for someone else to take the first step.”
To him, rape is like an epidemic. Brutality in our society is increasing by the day, and we, as human beings, are failing. The solution to this, he believes, is education and awareness. Hamari Pahchan has taken this onus upon itself. One of its primary activities is to coach youngsters on awareness against sexual abuse and on good behaviour.
The NGO operates through its informal class called Drishti. Drishti aims to bridge the gap between education imparted by the government schools, and that by private schools. Children from underprivileged backgrounds and those who attend government schools are taught weekly about crucial topics such as health and hygiene, behavioural aspects, and others through interactive sessions. These classes are now running successfully in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Jaipur.
The organisation also conducts sessions on ‘good touch, bad touch,’ to sensitise the children in Delhi’s slums. It works with the women of these slums to train them in livelihood skills such as knitting, makeup, and candle-making. These women are remunerated by the NGO, and their products are sold on the website.
Hamari Pahchan is funded by friends, family members and well-wishers. Volunteers organise funding drives and donation boxes have been set up at various places.
It works with the motto of encouraging each individual to strive for an identity and to live in a safe environment. In the coming years, it aims to scale up further and provide a platform to the needy in Delhi through financial and skill support.