With his two initiatives—Qause and PassionGuru—social entrepreneur Avneesh Chhabra is helping less-fortunate kids turn their passion into profession
“Passion,” Avneesh Chhabra says, “is a word that is highly appreciated, but rarely followed.” Chhabra, who calls himself as a social entrepreneur, is the founder of Qause (an agency that digitises NGOs) as well as that of PassionGuru (provides free mentoring to kids aged 8-16 via online classes and even provided completion certification to make learning more fruitful).
While Qause (pronounced ‘cause’) was founded two years ago, PassionGuru was started by him after the lockdown this year, in May.
While there are lakhs of NGOs in India, a handful have an online presence. “The ones that have it (online presence) need more visibility and better representation,” says Chhabra. Qause aims to bridge that gap by hand-holding and providing them phone assistance in their regional language to bring their presence online and enable them to take donations online as well.
“Our main agenda is basically to digitise all NGOs in India. That’s the end goal. We have made it easy, too. NGOs can register for a free web profile on Qause.com simply by clicking the ‘Join Us’ link and uploading their NGO data. Right now 350 NGOs from 12 states are part of our network; we expect to grow this number to about 650 NGOs before the end of this year,” he adds.
The revenue model of Qause is fairly simple—NGOs have to pay Rs 500 per month, and Qause will give it a web profile, take its story in the regional language and rewrite it in English and put it up on the profile.
PassionGuru was founded, in part, because of Qause. “Through our wide Qause network of NGOs, we were able to reach out to many less-fortunate kids who were brimming with talent, all they needed was a hand to hold to guide them, and that was it. We recognised the gap and started working on it. That’s how PassionGuru came into the picture,” Chhabra says.
This initiative (PassionGuru) has been running in 13 states, offering free online passion-based classes to less-fortunate kids (aged 8 to 16) covering various art forms such as dancing, singing, taekwondo, sign language, painting/sketching, yoga, and so on. “The less-fortunate section of our society hesitates to pursue what they love because of inaccessibility to basic channels that can help them grow with their talent. At PassionGuru, we aim to turn their passion into profession,” he adds.
PassionGuru, since May, has been able to impact the lives of over 1,000 kids. Among these, the team has tried to identify kids who are self-driven and self-motivated—those who can be future thought leaders—and has chosen about 80 star kids who are highly talented in some way or the other or gifted in whatever art form they have chosen. “Now we are mentoring them on a one-to-one or one-to-three level,” Chhabra says. “We are also creating digital profiles for them.”
Chhabra adds his vision behind this project is to create an inspiring platform for the underprivileged kids who rarely get a chance to pursue what they love doing by getting them access to passion mentors.
PassionGuru, he says, also allows people to become a mentor if they have a minimum of three years of experience. “We have four volunteering options that require very little expertise—apart from being fluent in English and their respective regional language at the moment—and considering Covid-19 safety, all our options are online, including tele-callers, content writers, moderators and teachers,” he shares.