Grassroots charity: What Does It Mean?

Grassroots charity:  What Does It Mean?

Many large organisations follow a traditional top-down approach to support those in need across the globe. More recently, with the rise of social media, organisations are able to get a feel of what their audience/donors/campaigners want.

Working from top-down often can lead to a solution that can take some time to implement. However, working from the bottom-up or from the root can create change quickly and effectively.

My organisation, the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation works exactly in this way. Grassroots charity has gotten increasingly popular, especially as many large charities are beginning to be criticised for their lack of intervention and the usage of the donated/funded money.

Basing the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation on a grassroots model has allowed us to intervene locally and grab the issue from the root and fix it. A large part of the way we, and many other grassroots organisations, work is to ensure that our intervention is sustainable and cures the issue for good.

With our organisation, co-founded by myself and Dr Sanduk Ruit, we visit remote and isolated communities to assess the residents to check for eye diseases such as cataracts. If and when someone is suffering from cataracts we invite them for free surgery at a local microsurgical camp. The goal of our organisation is to rid of poverty in these areas by curing blindness. Eliminating blindness, in these areas, is often the root cause of poverty. By curing people of preventive blindness, we are reducing poverty and allowing individuals to live fuller, healthier lives.

In 2015, the Guardian published at article stating that if %0.1 of the £64bn that goes to charities each year went to smaller, independent charities or groups we would stand a better chance at creating a more just and equal world. They also discussed the wish for the public to stand behind grassroots campaigns due to the lack of funding.

The question of where that £64bn is going is omnipresent. With many of these well funded, larger organisations making several top-down promises and goals it is important to ask – why is poverty and inequality rising?

I hope that many other groups can strive and achieve to the levels that the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation has this past year. I also hope and know that our hard work and determination will continue for a long time. With our goal to cure 500,000 people by 2026, I have no doubt this will not be achieved.