Polling Booth Accessibility Survey – Disability | Tamilnadu

In May 2016, over 5.38 crore people in Tamilnadu will be eligible to exercise their franchise to elect a government for the state. Over 70% of us are expected to turn out and vote easily. However, as per WHO, about 10 to 15% of our population have some form of disability. Most people with disabilities face barriers to cast their vote due to inaccessibility of the polling booths.

Join Bhumi, Disability Rights Alliance and other voluntary organizations in conducting polling booth audits to assist the election commission of India in making a survey of all polling booths in Tamilnadu for accessibility.

The audit can be done by anyone who can install an app in an android phone and will take only 10 minutes. You can begin by auditing your own neighborhood school which serves as a polling booth before taking up other areas based on your availability.

Sign up using the form below and we will invite you for a short introduction to the volunteering programme and the survey.

Date: March 5, 2016

Place: Vidyasagar, # 1, Ranjith Road, Kotturpuram, Chennai – 85. Phone:044 2235 4784

Time: 5-6 PM

Road Safety Awareness, footboard travel – Community | Thozhan | Chennai

On account of 67th Republic day, Thozhan has planned for a massive Public awareness campaign on Footboard travelling across Chennai city at 67 bus stops in Chennai.

Foot board travelling has been an important issue in chennai city and it is one of a major cause for road accidents which endangers the lives of many people. More than 60% of foot board travellers’ are students (College/School) and more importantly, 90% of accidental deaths due to foot boarding are between the ages of 16 to 24.

We are the youngest country in the world and the youngsters are the future of our country. But we are losing such precious lives in micro seconds due to our ignorance.
Step up 2 Stay up: a footboard travelling awareness campaign
Date: 29th Jan’16,  Friday
Time: 7 am to 8:45 am
Location: 67 Bus stops

Register to Volunteer now!

This event is one of the biggest public awareness program on Footboard travelling in India
500 Volunteers that includes 67 bus-stop leaders will be spreading the awareness on that day across 67 bus stops.

Road Safety -Time to act


Teach for India Fellowship – 2016

Dear Bhumi Volunteers,

Greetings from Teach For India!!

You’ve taken the first step towards being the change you want to see in this city and to give back a little bit of what you’ve been fortunate to have. You’ve supported this city and it’s people in many different ways and  have come to see the challenges on the ground that our city faces. If all of this has moved you and inspired you to think deeply about how you can be part of a bigger change, here’s an opportunity to do so. The Teach for India Fellowship program!

Teach for India is a not-for-profit organization working towards the vision, ‘One day all children will attain an excellent education’. The Fellowship Program is a two-year full time commitment where fellows are placed in low-income and under resourced schools across 7 cities in India.

Currently in our seventh year, 1082 Fellows across Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore impact 37,870 students in 325 schools. They come from diverse college and corporate backgrounds ranging from the IITs, IIMs, BITS, Accenture, Godrej Industries, Goldman Sachs and McKinsey, and are honing their leadership, problem-solving and management skills in addition to developing an understanding of the real-life obstacles to excellent education in our country. You could be the next fellow impacting about 35-40 students in over 40 classrooms in Chennai. Come join the movement!

Be a Teaching Superhero!! Join the Fellowship 2016.


Visit www.teachforindia.org to know more about our mission and strategy. You can find the link to the 2016 Fellowship application form at: http://apply.teachforindia.org


                                               The extended application deadline for Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad & Pune is March 8,2016!

You could also meet with Savitha Rengabashyam, who leads Teach for India’s Fellowship Recruitment in South India on Saturday, Feb 27 2016 at 6.30 pm at the Teach for India office in Alwarpet, Chennai to know more about the Fellowship Program and have all of your questions answered. You can also reach out to Savitha via email ([email protected]) or mobile phone (at +91 8754469290).

India Fellow Social Leadership Progam

We are happy to re-open the applications to the ‘India Fellow Social Leadership Program’ for our 2016 cohort. With over 75 fellows having undergone the journey so far; we feel confident of expanding the program this year and host a larger group of curious and motivated young leaders ready to explore and become change agents of tomorrow.


We invite passionate young Indians who are looking for a platform to make a positive social impact and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius! Graduates or above from any discipline and aged between 20 to 28 years can apply.

Watch a video which aptly describes the fellowship’s philosophy here.

Get first hand experience of ground challenges immersing with grassroots organizations spread across the length and breadth of the country. Get supported with trainings, reflection meets and mentor-ship. Ideas will be created, you will discover what you want to do with your own lives and learn to turn your ideas into reality.

Read the thoughtful blogs by our fellows at Fellow Blogs.

India needs talented young leaders who have deep exposure to India’s broader realities; who understand the challenges and opportunities present in diverse environments; who have the empathy, skills and determination to create social good. India Fellow is a platform which helps you discover your own journeys towards becoming Socially Conscious Leaders of tomorrow.

The program has 3 tightly knit components of Training, Grassroots Work and Mentorship.
India Fellow is for those who are not afraid to get lost or confused; those who believe that not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves. So apply today to get lost and discover your journey.

Apply now

Volunteer for Beach Cleanathon – Foreshore Estate, Chennai | Jan 17


The Chennai Floods have dumped a lot of garbage on the Chennai beaches, Join Bhumi in a Beach Cleanathon to restore our beaches to their natural beauty and prepare the beaches for the arrival of the Olive Ridley turtles.

The Beach Cleanup is a part of NDTV’s ‘Banega Swacch India’ 12 hour telethon anchored by Amitabh Bachchan to get more people to volunteer for ‘Swacch Bharat’ and will be covered live on NDTV

Date: Jan 17, Sunday
Place: Foreshore Estate Promenade
(From Light House to Foreshore Estate Bus Stand)
Time: 10 AM – 2PM (Pick your slot)

For group/corporate participations please email [email protected]

School Transformation – Education | Mantra4Change | Bengaluru

Volunteers needed for School Transformation and Empowerment Project by Mantra4Change in Bengaluru

Mantra4Change is an NGO started with a vision to empower schools to deliver quality education. Mantra4Change is working with schools serving the under-privileged sections of the society through our flagship program called STEP (School Transformation and Empowerment Project).
STEP is a two year school immersion project wherein we first do a need assessment of the school and then work in that school over a two year period based on a well drafted action plan. Have a look at Mantra4Change facebook page for latest updates here. Currently, Mantra4Change is working with 10 schools in Gori Palya, Kormangala, Hosa Road and Anekal areas and plan to take our program to 8 more schools in the next academic year.
A few things where volunteers can help.
a. Come to our classrooms and teach Mathematics, Science or English (full time, part time, remedial, fun activities etc.)
b. Painting the walls / classrooms to make them come alive with colors
c. Conduct donation drives for educational materials at schools: books, science lab equipments, Maps, globes etc.
Mantra4Change’s endeavour to provide quality education can be multiplied if we get support from more like-minded people.
Please write to Mantra4Change at [email protected] / [email protected]. Or call +91-8105861047.

Gandhi Fellowship – 2016

Gandhi Fellowship Program is a two-year residential program for talented youngsters from India’s top colleges

The program is rooted in the belief that as a nation it is important to develop a cadre of leaders exposed to the complexities of bringing change in social and public systems. The Gandhi Fellowship Program is designed to provide you with the opportunity for personal transformation through self-discovery and thereby, contribute to the causes surrounding you.

We have attached detailed prospectus for your reference 

The 2-year – 4-semester program develops core competencies for large scale change, through 40 Goals, 10 Processes and 7 competencies.  Read more

Social Incubation & Enterprises Program: An exclusive Social Incubation & Enterprises Program, which supports aspiring social entrepreneurs through special idea incubation, business mentor-ship and start-up funding support up to Rs 20 lakh after Fellowship graduation.( read more : http://gandhifellowship.org/fellowship-programming.php)

Please do look through the videos for glimpses on our efforts at development:

  1. http://sites.ndtv.com/cultivatinghope/video-details-page/youth-have-a-huge-role-to-play-ajay-piramal-394966/
  2. https://vimeo.com/146225635

For more information visit: www.gandhifellowship.org 

Recent media coverage of Gandhi Fellows 

Chairman of Piramal Group – Mr. Ajay Piramal underlined the contributions of Gandhi Fellows in rural areas. Actor Akshay Kumar participated in the  event.

Vivek Kumar , Gandhi Fellowship Batch 2010-12, profiled by Youth Ki Awaaz. Vivek replicated Gandhi Fellowship in Uganda

Gandhi Fellows Aditi, Harsha and Shreshta started a project to find mentors for drop out slum children. Their project was covered by NDTV

 Click on the link to APPLY



 APPLY AT THE FOLLOWING LINK: http://apply.gandhifellowship.org/

Flood relief – Community | Bhumi | Chennai

To volunteer to support flood relief efforts in Chennai please sign up below AND to receive important Chennai Flood Relief related communication, register with the Volunteer Messaging system by sending an SMS

BHUMISMS to 92200-92200

Join us!


1. Bhumi’s main Flood relief page

2. For Information and updates follow www.relief.bhumi.org.in & the Chennai Rain Relief 2015 Facebook page

3. To donate online from India / or internationally – preferred donation option Letzchange
> with 80G tax benefits via Bhumi, India – donate with 0% charges
> donate via credit/debit card (INR, USD, SGD, GBP, AED) internationally or net-banking in India
> If you have any issues while donating or for donation confirmation, email [email protected]

4. To donate online (internationally by USD) via PayPal
> with 501(c)3 tax benefits via Bhumi, USA – donate with 2-3% charges

5. To donate online – Other Options
> Give India – India/USA | 6.5% charges + 10-20% matching funds | 80G, 501(c)3 tax benefits via Give India, Give USA
> Ketto – India | 2-3% charges | 80G tax benefits
> Milaap – India/USA | 2-3% charges | 80G tax benefits
> Global Giving – USA | 15% charges | 501(c)3 tax benefits in USA
> Global Giving – UK | 15% charges | tax benefits in UK

6. To donate in-kind (drop only, no pickup) relief inside Chennai – Option now closed
> Bhumi Relief Centre, TPL House (Olympia), Cenotaph Road, Teynampet, Chennai 18

7. To donate in-kind relief from outside Chennai – Contact Goonj

8. To offer help or seek help / rescuesfill up this form

9. To Donate by Bank transfer from companies or for any other queries email here

How to Deal with High Maintenance Volunteers

Volunteers are amazing people. However, as with any group of people, some volunteers can be a time-drain on your organization, requiring much more one-on-one attention than others donating their efforts. In a word: “high-maintenance.”

This may come in many forms, such as dropping in unexpectedly to see if there are volunteer opportunities or calling to confirm the date and time of their next volunteer date.

Let’s take a closer look at how to deal with volunteers who seem to require more of your time than others.

A Sticky Situation
So how do you handle this type of volunteer? It goes without saying that time and staff are at a premium at most nonprofits, so hand-holding those individuals is counter-productive. On the other end of the spectrum is “firing” a volunteer, but that is a worst-case scenario, which could lead to some negative publicity for your organization in the process. The good news is that there are options in between that just might save the day. Below we offer our best advice to volunteer coordinators for managing high-maintenance volunteers.

Keeping Your Sanity
Although the end result is the same, leading to lost time and frustration, there are actually various reasons why these “needy” volunteers may behave the way they do. Here are some questions to ask yourself to assess the situation and hopefully make it work better for everyone:

  • Did we give this volunteer proper orientation and training? Although they are best practices, these crucial pieces sometimes get lost in the shuffle. For example, if Betty doesn’t completely understand the organization’s mission or her importance to it, she may not realize how critical it is to make the best use of staff time. Likewise, if Betty was thrown into a task with minimal training to begin with, she may be hesitant and unsure of herself, feeling the need to often interrupt and ask questions.
  • Is this the best task assignment for the individual? People are drawn to volunteer at a nonprofit for various reasons. Perhaps Tom works with computers all day. Because of his expertise, the volunteer coordinator assigned him similar tasks without really giving him other options, when Tom really wanted a change of pace. Or maybe Mary was assigned to stuff envelopes and is totally bored with it. In either case, these volunteers may lack interest in the task at hand and this could make them more difficult to manage. Giving volunteers a choice of activities, on the other hand, should allow them to choose something they enjoy and keep them more engaged.
  • Does the volunteer simply want more social interaction? Some individuals volunteer to get out of the house and have someone to visit with. If the task they are given involves sitting in a cubicle alone, chances are good that the volunteer will be looking for conversation. This doesn’t work well when the person targeted is the volunteer coordinator or another staff member. If this is the case, the solution may be as easy as simply pairing him or her with another volunteer to work on a project together.
  • Is our organization communicating effectively with volunteers? As we mentioned earlier, perhaps you have volunteers “swinging by” to see if there is anything that needs done or touching base because they can’t remember the next time they are scheduled to come in. An answer here would be to implement a cloud-based volunteer management system, such as VolunteerHub. This type of tool allows volunteer coordinators to list opportunities so volunteers can choose activities they like best that fit into their schedule — and self-register from any internet-accessible computer, tablet, or phone. VolunteerHub also brings the power of automated confirmation and reminder emails and text messages. This eliminates calls or emails from those forgetful or disorganized well-meaning folks who may be checking in often with you on specifics.

High-maintenance volunteers don’t have to stay that way. Evaluate what’s really going on in each case. Many times it’s just that a volunteer’s expectation hasn’t been met in some way and a small change could make all the difference. Spending a little more time in training, learning more about motivation to volunteer, and/or automating registration and communication can save countless hours and headaches in the long-term.

Cross posted from Guidestar