Started by entrepreneur Harshini Venkatesh last year, She for Society is a unique NGO comprising women bikers. They have two missions, the primary one is to help Army jawans and their families, the second is a commitment to conservation of nature. They are the first women-led NGO doing the former.
“I’ve been involved in social work for over a decade. I’ve always felt the happiest when doing something for others. She for Society was formed by chance at an event I organised last year,” says Harshini.
The event was a felicitation of six jawans who were martyred. “150 women bikers gathered for the event where we gave Rs 50,000 to each family. There I met many like-minded individuals and we formed our NGO,” she recounts.
With the tagline, ride for a purpose, they have done over 20 events, including Covid-19 relief measures, a lake clean up and even the setting up of a biodiversity park since their inception.
The team is led by 10 women who come from all walks of life, including techies, entrepreneurs, doctors, HR professionals and more.
Their recent project took place on Republic Day. “Around two months back we found out that there are 5,000 jawan families living in Kolar. We visited them around eight times during that period to find out their needs. One of their most urgent needs was for electricity so we wanted to provide them with solar energy self-installation kit,’ she explains.
They rounded up 300 bikers, both men and women, to ride from Hoskote toll gate to the war memorial at Kolar. “We held a procession from there to the Kolar stadium where we presented 100 families with these kits,” she says.
Each kit cost Rs 7,000 and the total cost of the event was around Rs 12 lakh, she says.
But where does the funding come for these large-scale projects.
“We get corporate funding and we use our personal contacts to get donations. For the Kolar event we also had donations coming in from local politicians,” she says.
Today, She for Society, has 150 bikers and around 70 constant volunteers. “There is an annual membership fee of Rs 500. We also have a boot camp program called She Riders and bike maintenance workshops. Anyone who wants to participate has to pay a registration fee which goes towards our funds,“ she says.
Their next project also revolves around Kolar. “We found that the war widows and their children require a community centre of sorts and we’re working towards that,” she says. For more information about their projects or to become a member, visit sheforsociety.com