Hillsborough Students “Coaching to Contribute” to Benefit Indian Villages

Hillsborough High School seniors Rohan Singh and Ritik Gupta have undertaken a huge initiative to help the impoverished populations in some of the most underprivileged parts of Southeast Asia. Through their nonprofit charity organization “Coaching to Contribute,” Rohan and Ritik have shipped over one thousand pounds of traditional Indian clothing donations to various parts of India. To pursue this cause, the young men partnered with shipping company Universal Relocations and nonprofit organizations Pathshala and Sevatirth, both of which are located in Vadodara, India. A portion of the donations was also sent to J.S.M. Public School located in northern India.

It was late 2016 when, having witnessed poverty first-hand during their previous visits to India, the boys realized that they needed to make an impact on society. This is when the idea of Coaching to Contribute first hatched in their minds. Both Ritik and Rohan noticed that there were tons of lightly used traditional Indian clothing lying around in the closets of their homes, collecting dust and never to be used again. Traditional clothing did not have many avenues to be donated and reused here in America, thus they were chosen to be sent to India, where they would have a more significant influence. This gave birth to their organization, Coaching to Contribute, a way to allow them to legally channel traditional Indian clothing to various orphanages, hostels, and nonprofit teaching centers throughout India. As with any other small business, it was initially an arduous task for these high school students to construct their dream into a reality. Bolstered by the encouragement these boys received from their families, they started by cleaning out their own closets. They then reached out to their close family friends, tagging along donations as extra baggage with anyone going to India. They found that distributing within India was much cheaper than shipping the clothes all the way from America. However, given the enormous response received for this noble cause, sending small shipments was not enough; they would have to pursue this initiative at a much larger scale. Larger shipments of clothing would need to be sent directly from the US to India, which would require a substantial amount of money. Rohan and Ritik worked tirelessly to spread the word about their organization so they could collect enough clothes for shipments. They received clothes in all shapes and sizes which they had to carefully sort and box accordingly: child versus adult clothing, winter versus summer wear, and so on. They also worked out the shipment logistics with local shipping companies as well as the sister charity organizations in India who would receive the shipments at first port of entry. They spoke with several donation centers in India, particularly in Vadodara and northern part of India, to make sure that the donated clothes reach to the needy and were not mishandled. In parallel, they also worked on the legal front, registering their company as a New Jersey based nonprofit charity organization and obtaining 501(c)(3) status.

To cover shipping expenses, Ritik and Rohan started weekly coaching classes for students of grades 4-8. They primarily focus on Math and English, including preparing students for competition mathematics. The nominal tuition fee that they charge goes 100% towards covering the shipping expenses for Coaching to Contribute. In this way, Rohan and Ritik are coaching to contribute, not only to the impoverished society in India but also to the younger intellectual society in America. In order to obtain new donations and continue the supply chain, Coaching to Contribute has frequent clothing drives at various Indian events. Ritik and Rohan have also spoken at multiple events, raising interest in their cause. Having already expanded their activities to other townships in NJ, the boys are working diligently with their close friends to set up something similar in U.K., where they hope to send their first shipment to India soon under Coaching to Contribute.

More information on their organization and how you can contribute, if you wish to, can be found on their website: https://www.coachingtocontribute.com/.

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