In an attempt to make society a better place and to help people do this, me and a colleague of mine decided to create a website. Over time we acknowledged that often certain factors like the form, cause and execution of a charitable act can act as frictions to individuals seeking to do good for society. Thus, we made a website with the intended purpose of helping people decide what charity fits their requirements the best. The website acts as a platform where local charities can seek donations or gather volunteers. The key feature on the website is that it allows potential donors/volunteers to take a short questionnaire which based on their responses recommends the best suited charity for them. Based on user inputs such as if the contribution is monetary or voluntary, the preferred cause, availability of time/finance and geological location the website filters a list of charities that suit these criteria and thus make it easier for an individual to perform a charitable act. In addition to that, to promote social activism and to educate the users about recent social uprisings we compile resources in a link tree and share them. For instance, in September 2020, to give the public reliable information about the Hathras rape case we made the following: https://www.aaraticommunity.com/justice-for-hathras
Learning objectives 3 & 5
To make this website, me and my colleague distributed our work. He was incharge of the website while I was supposed to design the questionnaire and research NGOs and charities we could approach. It took us about 3 weeks to finalise the design and shortlist possible organizations we could be affiliated with. This process helped me understand the importance of working collaboratively and effectively and also how to manage time when it comes to doing academics and extracurricular activities together. If we were not organized then we could not not have finished the project in time and it would have been significantly difficult for us to create an output of the desired quality. Through this experience I learned how to initialize any new projects in the future and also learned the importance and advantages of working collaboratively.
Learning objectives 6:
As far as the impact of the website is concerned, we aim to tackle several global issues simultaneously. The ability to have a diverse catalogue of charities and social organizations helps Aarati become more versatile and build a community of social workers and volunteers who address and act on multiple global issues like feminine hygiene, animal welfare and education. My personal contribution to this website makes me feel like I am fulfilling my social responsibility by attempting to bring change that could potentially increase charitable contributions. The fact that my efforts could help solve global issues, though on a local level, made me reflect on how even tiny steps in the right direction could lead to progress. Currently the scale and operations of Aarati are negligible but as we further develop the platform and expand our reach, we hope to bring positive change in society.
Learning objectives 7:
One sensitive aspect of managing a platform like Aarati is that potential users should be able to trust us to guide them and provide a suitable charity for them. This poses ethical considerations where we as an organization need to carefully evaluate the authenticity of the organization we are affiliated with. We also need to make sure our actions do not bring any discomfort or trouble to the users and that any information we provide in our linktrees is reliable. During times of social distress, we should be responsible enough to only provide information we know for certain is true. While at the current scale of operations these considerations seem far fetched but they help me reflect the impact one can have by simply sharing a single piece of misinformation. It puts things in perspective and helped me learn the importance of having a moral compass and behaving in an ethical manner at all times.