I am Anubha Sharma, the Founder of Angel Xpress Foundation. Before founding AXF, I was a senior financial service professional. However, I shifted from the corporate to social sector because it felt like the right thing to do. My passion for social change stems from my fascination with the books I read when I was young added with guidance from my spiritual teacher who urged me to move ahead in this direction. I am an individual with the ability to unshackle myself from the society’s definition of success. I trust my instincts and follow them with faith. I have found freedom in giving freedom to the children of AXF-empowering them with the necessary resources, so that they are free to choose a career they want, despite their circumstances.
Share about what you do
I have worked to create a free franchisee format of imparting education to the first generation learners from underprivileged background by engaging underutilized resources in the society. I work towards advocating citizen engagement and individual social responsibility to bridge the gap between haves and have not’s through redistribution of material as well as human resources. In order to achieve this at Angel Xpress Foundation, I handle the area of organisational development. This includes maintaining corporate relationships, fundraising, overseeing PR, marketing and communications, conceptualizing programs, supervising execution, bringing on board the right talents to address all organisational needs, direct reporting and supervising of managers, managing internal and external relationships.
Say something about your beginning
An accident had left me with a recurring back issue, which was causing disenchantment with the life I led then which had started to feel meaningless. I decided to take time out from work in 2011 to explore dabbling in all that I wanted to experience in life, one of which included my long-suppressed desire to work for a social cause. I had started volunteering with the Spastics Society of India and eventually chanced upon a street school, along my regular jogging route. Events thereafter made it seem like I was being called upon to do something more with my life right away and not wait for another ten years post retirement; which was my original plan. In January 2012, a Facebook post asking for old clothes for the children I used to teach went viral and resulted in 3000+ calls from strangers within a week’s time. Hundreds of people actually landed up at the NGO I was supporting, to give donations and offer support, including actor Jackie Shroff. My spiritual teacher urged me to move ahead in this direction. It seemed like the path before me was decided and set by the universe; one has little say in divine decisions. I started with teaching 18 children at Bandra in Mumbai. The idea caught the eye of many and now we reach out to 1300 children through 300+ volunteers from across 12 centers in Mumbai.
What have been some of your achievements
Founded Angel Xpress Foundation in 2012 as a platform for concerned citizens willing to tutor and mentor first-generation learners from slums in their neighborhood. Today, it is a 12 A and 80 G accredited Section 8 NGO where almost 1300 school-goers from slums get 200+ hours of lessons in English, Math and value every year.
Received Women Achiever Award for the Founders of AXF by The Young Environmentalist Forum Trust – 2016
Received Unsung Heroes Award for the Founders of AXF by ICE Awards 2016
The difference you have made to others
For Volunteers– Enabled volunteers to give back effectively to the society
For Children– 1300 school-goers from slums get 200+ hours of lessons in English, Math and value every year.
What do you want to be acknowledged for
For having created a volunteer engagement platform that has enabled many individuals such as stay at home mothers, retired officers to make a positive difference in their community by mentoring and youth who are finding their best potential with many now the leaders in their community.
Anubha Sharma runs an NGO – Angel Xpress Foundation in Mumbai
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