Nov 14, 2017: When a visually impaired youth had lost all hope in life and was clueless about his future, a group of young volunteers not only helped him complete his education but also became his scribe in the exam. Thanks to the help of these youngsters, the youth is now a second division officer in the agriculture department.
In another case, when a small-time farmer was struggling to arrange money for his three-month-old kid’s open heart surgery, a few youths came as messiahs in his life and helped him arrange funds for the surgery. The farmer and his wife were blessed with this kid after six years of marriage. Nine months down the line, the kid is hale and hearty and is gearing up to start his schooling.
These are two of the numerous changes a youth from Mangaluru and his team have brought about in the lives of the less privileged and the destitute across the country.
Mohammed Iliyas, 34, better known as Sameer, hailing from Bantwal in Dakshina Kannada, shifted to Bengaluru in 2004 because of his job in the financial sector there. He was happy as he got to visit NGOs and render service as part of his company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity. However, he soon realised that there were several low-profiled and less noticed NGOs that were desperately looking for some external help. Sameer felt the urge to reach out to such NGOs and their inmates. He knew realising his dream was an uphill task. However, he was not the one to give up.
On May 3, 2016, Sameer created ’Share a Smile’, a WhatsApp group and added a few friends to it. Though he did not elicit good response, Sameer alone took forward the cause. He continued working on the weekdays in the corporate sector, but dedicated a good part of his weekends to serve the society. Eighteen months down the line, Share a Smile caters to 1,300 victims of destiny, with 118 volunteers and four branches across the country. Sameer, who set up his first branch in Bengaluru, extended his campaign to Hyderabad in February 2017 and Kolkata in May. Share a Smile began its fourth branch in Delhi on Nov 11, Saturday and held its first event in the national capital on nov 12, Sunday.