Yasmeen Maqbool, an all-time softie is the Features Editor of Filmfare ME, Salt ‘n’ Peppa and Femina ME. Her passion lies in telling stories about people who do what they do because it matters.
There is no excuse when you want to bring about a change. And so, believes Aravind Jayabal, an HR professional turned social activist from Chennai. Gearing for support from his friend Balaji Vasudevan, he initiated Raindropss, India’s first youth-based social organization in 2011 to deliver social awareness messages to the public in the form of short movies and theme songs through entertainment and media. And who better than playback singer AR Raihanah (AR Rahman’s sister) who joined hands with the duo to come on board as the music director and brand ambassador of Raindropss.
When asked what inspired Aravind, the founder and creative head of Raindropss, to initiate the project, he replies, “Being an HR professional, my interest to explore, meet and work for people encouraged me to actively get involved in various social forums and organizations as a volunteer from my college days. This is where the seed was sowed.”
HOW DID RAINDROPSS HAPPEN?
I was the only person from the South of India to represent India when participating at an international competition- IT TRAVELLERS Go. I submitted a one-minute social awareness video on Eye Donation, which made it to the finals. However, it couldn’t convey the message effectively in a minute. Moving forward, I took help from my friends and remade the video along with a song and released it. Vizhigal was the first project of Raindropss and released by AR Raihanah. She was so impressed with our pilot project that she decided to continue her alliance with us. Also after our first release, many likeminded friends joined hands with us. Now, we are 11 in the core team with thousands of volunteers.
WHAT ARE THE VARIOUS SOCIAL AWARENESS MESSAGES YOU WORK AT?
We have released theme songs and short films on Eye Donation, Educate A Child, Environmental Awareness, Disability, Women Empowerment, Anthem for Chennai city and continuously working on spreading awareness to eradicate hunger and to create a hunger free nation.
Some of these links are shared below:
WHY DID YOU RESORT TO SHORT MOVIES AND THEME SONGS?
I believe that entertainment can impact and bring about a change in creating social awareness, that hours of lectures or advice cannot. I believe that if the same message is delivered through a medium that can connect, even an uneducated person will easily relate to it. It will then reach to more people easily and effectively.
TELL US HOW DID YOU COIN THE NAME – RAINDROPSS?
During the inception of Raindropss, we were just three (drops). Nonetheless, we believed that soon we would have many more joining hands with us for our social initiatives that will make these raindrops into an ocean of change.
WHY DID YOU ASK AR RAIHANAH TO BE YOUR BRAND AMBASSADOR?
Being a person from the entertainment industry, AR Raihanah is reachable, humble, interested in social initiatives and creating change in our society. We feel blessed to have her join forces with us. Having her onboard has been a source of inspiration for us and a great pillar of support from the day of inception.
We are presently working on renovating children’s girls home in Chennai that was very badly affected by the recent floods and will be inaugurated shortly. Our next major project for a cause is Isai Sangamam, a fund-raising musical evening in aid of Educate A Child in the month of July. Through our project 250 less privileged were benefitted during the last academic year