My name is Arooha Dar and I am the Founder of Tadrees, a non-profit startup that aims to provide quality education to the out-of-school children in our society. Our model is based on a shared economy model where we set up school spaces for underprivileged children on existing infrastructure. The idea behind this startup came to me while I was still a student at NED University.
Every day, when I passed through the university’s main gate, I used to come across a sight that would eat away at my conscience: young children selling tissue papers to passers-by. The inequality was rendered a bleaker shade of grey when one realized that these children were forced to work right outside the gate of one of the best educational institutions of Pakistan. On one side was the Pakistan we’d all like to see. On the other was the inconvenient truth.
All that stood in between these street children and this citadel of education were brick walls and a metal gate. And while it would have been hard to try and break down this wall, it was easier to find a way around it.
So I gathered together a group of like-minded individuals and started Tadrees by setting up desks and chairs on a footpath by the roadside to allow 8 children to get free education. Fellow students from NED University came forth to offer their time as teachers.
We kept this ‘footpath school’ running for 6 months. Seeing our dedication, the NED administration officially allotted us a classroom within their premises with space for 20 children. I was reminded of a famous Urdu couplet:
Thought I took the first steps all alone,
My lonesome journey soon turned into a caravan.
After a year of hard work Tadrees has grown into a team of 18 individuals. We have pledges from 600 students of NED University who are donating 50 rupees each on a monthly basis. We have also been part of the 7th cohort of startups at The Nest I/O, where we got a chance to further refine our idea. We are trying to expand our operations to help children from underprivileged backgrounds get access to education. Our most recent success is getting a plot of land allocated to build a makeshift school in a dilapidated colony near NED University. Going forward, we need your help.
We urge all of you to come forward and play your part by entrusting us with your donation so that these children have a promising future. Whether you would like to pay Zakat, Sadqah, Khairat or Fitrah, your donations, no matter how big or small, will make a difference. I will personally be providing complete transparency in how your donations will be utilized by Tadrees. Together we can help give these children the gift of a better tomorrow.