How can we make something good, better? What does it take for people to become the best versions of themselves? What does it take to turn dreams into reality?
Sometimes, it’s just a matter of offering the right kind of support.
RYTHM Foundation, our social impact initiative, which is based on the principles of Empowerment, Volunteerism, and Resilience, aims to empower lives and transform communities. RYTHM, an acronym for Raise Yourself to Help Mankind, is at the heart of everything we do. At QNET, we believe in the inherent potential of every individual. It’s this potential that pushes us to rise ABOVE & BEYOND our challenges, towards a brighter future.
Through our various initiatives across India, we aim to make a difference in the lives of those in need. From providing access to education to children from disadvantaged communities to helping women in rural areas learn new skills to become financially independent, our aim is to make an impact at the grassroots level to help communities transform from within.
RYTHM Foundation is actively supporting around 10 projects all over India right now. We bring you a glimpse into some of them that are already making a difference.
Lighting up the Mountain
The stunning region of Ladakh, abundant with natural beauty, is a popular tourist hub. But what most people do not realise is that Ladakh is also home to many tiny village hamlets that are nestled deep in the remote mountains, not easily accessible by road. Due to their inaccessibility, these villages are completely off the national power grid. For centuries, the villagers have lived a rural life where everything comes to a standstill with sunset. Their only source of light for years has been oil and kerosene lamps, which are also health hazards.
RYTHM Foundation partnered with Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE), a social enterprise on a mission to electrify all remote villages of Ladakh, to help bring light into the village of Rongdo, a small hamlet of 300 residents. With the help of RYTHM Foundation’s grant, GHE was able to install a solar power plant that eliminated the need for the village to connect to the power grid. The impact was almost immediate. With the solar-powered lamps bringing light into their homes, the village’s livelihood improved. In that remote region, the sun disappears as early as 4.30 p.m. and earlier villagers who used to primarily make a living from selling woollen sweaters had to stop work once the sun sets. Now, they could continue knitting well into the night increasing their productivity.
Solar power also brought the internet to this village transforming their lives with laptops and wi-fi connections. Soon this gave rise to another income opportunity: homestays for foreign tourists wanting to experience the Himalayas.
Nurturing a better tomorrow in Manipur
Hejang Misao from the North-Eastern state of Manipur is one of the many social entrepreneurs across India who is being supported by RYTHM Foundation.
Like many teens and youth in Manipur, Hejang was also pulled into the extremist movement as a teenager. “When I was young, there were widespread conflicts among communities. In 1993, I got sucked into the insurgency conflict. Many youngsters like me were force-recruited by the insurgents and sent to training camps. I too was trained in guerrilla warfare. After training, I had the choice to join the insurgent group or defend my village. I chose to stay put and defend my village,” he recalls.
That’s when he decided to commit his life to social service and got a Master’s degree in social work. After graduating, he started Integrated Social & Institutional Development for Empowerment (InSIDE) North East with the aim of helping young people who are the worst affected by the insurgency war. In October 2016, InSIDE North East won the MSDS Fellowship provided by RYTHM Foundation to support promising young social entrepreneurs.
With the support of the fellowship, his organisation started a project called ‘Guns to Pens’ to bring education at the grassroots level which set up book banks and life-skill programs in the villages in the region. They revived the practice of ‘Shom-in’ where village elders impart training to youngsters in areas like cultivation, hunting, village administration etc. InSIDE North East also started several projects for women empowerment which included training programmes in beauty and wellness for young girls, as well as seed funding to rural women mothers to start small businesses. With the funding, these women have started opening their own businesses such as paan shops, or own units for weaving shawls or Mekhalas.