Hyderabad: A woman from Borabanda lost her job due to the pandemic. To make ends meet, she decided to make jute bags and sell them. However, there was a problem: she did not have a sewing machine.

That was when she approached Spread the Word, Hyderabad (StWH), a Facebook group, requesting for a sewing machine. The group admin verified her credentials and through their corpus fund bought the woman a sewing machine.

Vijay Anand Kumar Akunuri, the founder and chief admin of StWH, said, "During the pandemic, she lost her job. She was unable to do well and also had some family issues. She undertook some training from an MSME in Balanagar and decided to make an earning. So we helped her out."

Vijay Anand started StWH on 14 June 2013. Slowly it snowballed and after eight years, the group has around 92,000 members. Vijay recounts, "I have a friend, Sai. I was new to Facebook and he asked me about Facebook groups and gave me a link to another networking group. I liked the idea of that network group and I started this group randomly. Later, we prepared guidelines and moderators joined who created helpful posts, something which works for the society."

The group members wanted to create a foundation through which they can help people in need. "Since last year, the members have been talking about starting a group where they can contribute and help people in need. We registered an NGO, StWH Foundation. We also have another group, Hyderabad Karaoke Club. The members of both the groups came together to start a fund pool which can be used for various social welfare activities," explained Vijay.

He added, "We have done our first service. We thought of starting a corpus of Rs. 5 lakh but we received a request before that. We had a reasonable amount of money and helped the woman buy a sewing machine."

So far, around 150 people have contributed to the Foundation. According to Vijay, members have contributed from Rs. 50 to Rs. 20,000. "There are many people who want to contribute. We have very big objectives. Let's see how it works," added Vijay.

Through these funds, the group wants to start a medical camp, create a safe and hygienic environment in Hyderabad slums, contribute to the education of orphans, and help the destitute people.

Sumit Kumar Jha

Sumit Kumar Jha is currently a multimedia journalist with NewsMeter. An alumnus of the University of Hyderabad and Amity University, he has interned with The New Indian Express and CGNet Swara. He is specialised in Video Production. He was also a contributor at PARI network. Hailing from rural Bihar has spent his childhood shifting from places and people. Growing up he felt the need to document the lives and dreams of rural India. A lover of visual storytelling goes around the cities to search for Stories. He primarily reports on civic, consumer, health, human interest and data stories. You can follow Sumit on Twitter @sumitjha__

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