How the SMILES SPREAD
It all started with a birthday being celebrated at an orphanage in Nalasopara on June 10th 2014. What followed gave rise to one of ‘India’s Coolest Youth Organizations’ working for a social change. The rest, as they say, is History.
Few teenagers would today decide to throw their 17th birthday party at an orphanage. If they do, it would be for all the wrong reasons. But what sets Himanshu Goenka –the Founder of Muskurahat apart from the average teen, is his unique vision. It was after the celebrations were over, that the seeds of this tree named Muskurahat were first sown.
What happened after that birthday celebration was that he suddenly became aware that these kids with whom he had spent an entire day were not just orphans but also juveniles. He would have to do something about it; and do it Now.
Most of his friends continued accompanying him to the Homes for a short while; but when the time came for commitment, most of them ended up choosing Engineering and Medical careers. Himanshu who was burning with the passion to give back was the only one left.
Now, he faced a choice between his passion which was managing events and his hobby for bringing change, very soon he had found a perfect solution in such a Foundation that would work for the underprivileged and organize events for causes. This idea was also very attractive to him because from what he had seen of his former friends, he wished to do away with the misconceptions related to social work. These were
To carry out Social Work:
- One needs lots of money.
- Hence, one needs to be well- settled before starting
- It is a nice way to (social media) fame.
With the support of those who have helped him make his dream come true along with the dedication of his teammates coupled with every volunteer’s passion for change, Himanshu hopes that over the years Muskurahat has broken these myths.
About some of the important causes that Muskurahat has supported from its foundation are menstrual hygiene, cancer care as well as awareness about the problems of senior citizens. Joyride was Muskurahat’s first ever event. As the name suggests, the idea was to take street children on car/bike rides along Marine Drive. The difficulties faced in spreading the smiles initially today, form fond first memories.
KEYtaab was Muskurahat’s first flagship project which has today grown to six centers including two in Delhi launched this year. AnganShiksha operates two projects in Asalpha slums and one in Bamanwada.
July 2017 was when Muskurahat got its first office in Andheri. Soon, the volunteers crossed 100.
As for our events, Project Vastradaan enabled us to collect 15,000 clothes for nearly 700,000 Rohingyas refugees. Masika Mahotsav and Being Women are our women-oriented projects, India’s Future Tycoons (in collaboration with ENlabs) and Global Youth Conference aim at youth entrepreneurship.
We can now boast of a full-time core team ten members string including a co-founder/Vice President. Crowdfunding has helped us make new friends; employee engagement activities like the Blind Book Date, Charity Bake Sale and Christmas with WeWork has prompted corporate interaction.
As the pages that follow will show, the Shades of Muskurahat are too many to count; what is needed as we enter our fifth year and expand out of Mumbai is that we never lose sight of our main motive. For under increasing responsibilities and expectations, that is what keeps us going.
“One smile never took anything; it only gave back one more.”