Sampada Vaze, Michelle Jones Makasare

Igniting hope: Ek Umeed, Pune

Did you know that one of the reasons of school drop outs in the rural areas of our country, is poor transport facility? Here is an organisation that aims to help the children from rural Maharashtra by offering them a better means of personal transport.

EK UMEED’s vision is to distribute 12,000 cycles to needy students across Maharashtra by March 2017.

Researching genuine social causes and supporting them has always been my endeavour. EK UMEED, is One Universal Movement Empowering & Encouraging Dreams’. A dream that was born over a dinner table has now taken wings and made a positive difference in the lives of hundreds of underprivileged souls in and around Pune.
I had an opportunity to speak to their spokesperson, MICHELLE-JONE MAKASARE. Read on to know how this group of youngsters is offering hope in Maharashtra, one child at a time.

What is EK UMEED?
Ek Umeed, is a social foundation who proposes to Empower & Encourage children to fulfil their dreams. We are a Pune-based team of young, enthusiastic, socially responsible people from different walks of life and who are eager to serve the society at large.

Children from small villages travel around 4 to 6 kms one way to reach school.
Due to poverty & irregular public transport, the children have to walk all the way to school every single day.

What are the activities that are held under Ek Umeed ?
Currently, Ek Umeed intends to concentrate on the Project: Cycles for Smiles. Where the project aims to cater to nearly 12,000 needy Zilla Parishad school students across the state of Maharashtra.
Activities like distributing food to the poor, green Pune and cure & rehabilitation of stray dogs are executed by the extended arm under the banner of ‘Do it for A Cause’.

How many lives have been touched by this initiative till date?
In the past few months, we have been able to put up 4 distribution events in Pune district. These were promoted by Pune’s Youth Icon, Siddharth Shirole, TV Soap Actress, Sampada Vaze, Sr. ATS  Officer, Neelima Pawar, Sr. Police Inspector, Arun Waykar, heads of local bodies and other dignitaries.
We are glad that we have managed to see more than 200 families smile through our project. As the project progresses, we aim to increase that number.

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Awakening to our conscious, we came together under the umbrella of  Ek Umeed and designed- Project: Cycles For Smiles.

How did the idea of this project come up?
ek-umeedEducation is a basic requirement. However, in rural India, most schools are situated at the Taluka Level where the children from small villages travel around 4 to 6 km, one way to reach school.
Due to poverty & irregular public transport, the children have to walk all the way to school every single day. The fatigue and time consumption in walking leads to lesser concentration on studies. It has been observed that the travel and fatigue is one of the major reasons for school drop outs. Imagine this on a large scale. Our country’s youth are behind deprived of basic education due to the hurdle of transport. Awakening to our conscious, we came together under the umbrella of  Ek Umeed and designed- Project: Cycles For Smiles. 

How is this project being funded at present?
An initial pool in was done by the members. We have also been able to create awareness through our personal contacts where empathetic citizens people have donated old or new cycles for the needy students. We aim to hold fundraisers in the coming months to help us execute the next level of distribution.

How can the readers participate in this project?
cycle– Spread the good word by liking, sharing and commenting on this post. The awareness will lead to more active participation from citizens.
– Collect old cycles from the neighbourhood and contact our team for collection
– Sponsor new cycles or repair of old cycles
– Organize collection drives for us
–  Help us connect with needy children

What is the current geographical span?
As a part of Plan A, we have catered to students of Zilla Parishad schools situated in Pune district that covers 15 talukas. Subsequently, as the project progresses, Plan B will unfold to cover other districts of Maharashtra.

What is the vision of this project?
Our vision is to distribute 12,000 cycles to needy students across Maharashtra and to help them execute their basic right to education. We aim to empower & encourage the dreams of these students by making education more accessible to them.

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Who are the people behind Ek Umeed?
As I mentioned earlier, we are a group of socially responsible citizens of Pune. We got together for a common cause. Here are a few names that are associated with our cause, however, this number keeps increasing even as we speak.
Convenor: Naresh Parekh
Spokespersons: Michelle Jones- Makasare, Manish Kothari
Administration & Assistance: Baljeet Khochar, Suniel Valiramani, Amit Shah, Mahipal Kothari, Neerav Shah, Hitesh Jain
Coordination: Kapil Solanki, Sumeet Jain, Niraj Surana
Volunteers: Nilesh Mehta, Abhay Dhoka, Bhavin Shah, Ashish Jindal,
Marketing & Content: Nishant K. Makasare

Reach out to the EK UMEED team: |

As told to Mayura Amarkant

Is there a message you would like to give the Ek Umeed team? Let me know in the comments section, I will share it with them. If this post touched your heart, please spread the good word by liking and sharing this post.

This is my 3rd post in the #CausesISupport category. Here are the other two:


  1. Spread a smile, Gift A Meal today
  2. Building India, Dhai Akshar at a time…

This is my Day 18 post for Ultimate Blogging Challenge  #DailyChatter through the amazing @BlogChatter community of bloggers


  1. It’s great to hear about such empowering stories.Just one word.Such NGOs need atleast a valid selfhosted website for contact info and updates.
    Facebook pages are easy to set up by anyone so even great work doesn’t get the support they need.
    Since you are doing such great work at spreading the word ,I thought this is the best platform to air my worry

    Liked by 1 person

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