Vidiyal Foundation was founded in March 2013 by A.Balaji, M.Prasad and their spouses.
The idea for Vidiyal Foundation came up when Balaji and Prasad, who are friends and coworkers, participated in social and volunteering activities as part of their employer’s CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) efforts.
Exposure to orphanages, senior citizen homes, trusts for visually challenged persons and educational trusts prompted Balaji and Prasad to make a bigger impact by starting Vidiyal Foundation and organizing help for those who need it directly.
When we started in 2013, we focused primarily on education, helping talented students who cannot afford the quality education they need to succeed.
Since then, we have also branched into two other major areas: helping the visually challenged, and women’s empowerment.
Areas of focus
● Identifying talent in need of financial resources
● Identifying willing donors who can help
Our donors usually help not just once, but take care of a student each on an ongoing basis.
In addition to financial aid, we personally visit students frequently and provide them with the guidance and mentoring they need to graduate successfully.
We help these people by sponsoring specific amounts of inventory.
We also help visually challenged children, and children of visually challenged parents, by sponsoring their education directly.
During the COVID lockdowns, we also provided direct financial aid to visually challenged persons in need, since non-operational trains impacted their livelihoods.
● Single and abandoned mothers
We help women in need with not just financial help but also assistance with finding employment, help with starting self-employment, and their children’s education.
Example: Sponsoring an autorickshaw for an aspiring female autorickshaw driver who was in a dire financial situation. We also helped repay some of her debt in addition to the autorickshaw.
In addition to these, we also come up with efforts to help people in need in times of crisis. For example, during the 2015 Chennai floods, we organized drives to help people with food and other resources in water-logged areas. More than 40 families benefited from our flood relief efforts.
Method of operation
None of the trustees have ever taken a single rupee from Vidiyal Foundation, either as salary or for operating expenses. We do not have any staff. The trustees are employed full-time in other occupations, and carve out time outside of work to run Vidiyal Foundation.
Our work primarily revolves around three areas:
● Identifying needs
● Identifying funds
● Taking funds to needs and ensuring they reach the right hands for the right purpose
All three of these areas come with challenges.
● Identifying needs consists of identifying the right people who are most in need of help. We initially work with Smile Welfare Foundation to find deserving students who needed help.
● As our footprint increased over time, students and others approach us directly. The trustees visit people directly, and verify that the need is genuine and deserving before taking next steps.
● On the other end of the cycle is finding donors. Most of our efforts are for ongoing support in a 1:1 format. For example, a donor offers to sponsor a child’s education year after year. A new donor gets a new beneficiary, and so on.
● Logistics and operations are all taken care of by trustees directly, who are donors themselves too.
How you can help
Please visit our pages on education, help for the visually challenged, and women’s empowerment to learn more about people we help and how our direct method of operation helps them in a maximum effective way.
We would love to hear from you. Do contact us if you have any questions, concerns, suggestions, or feedback.