We started out with three of us, Sujit, Satyajit and Ayusman launching a library
movement in Odisha with a campaign, DONATE BOOKS: BUILD A LIBRARY (Link to www.pledgebank.com/bakul-library)
on 1st April 2006. We took the name of BAKUL after the name of a tree found in abundance
in Eastern India. In Odisha where we began, it is suggestive of a legacy as well.
The Founding Fathers of the state such as Gopabandhu Das had started a school in
a Bakul Van (Bakul grove). Thus, the tree becomes a symbol of what can happen with
minimal resources. At the same time the idea behind the school was not merely to
teach students, but to create the future leaders of the state. Our mission to spread
the virus of volunteerism takes inspiration from that initiative a century back
and we decided to take the name from there. At the time of launching the pledge,
BAKUL was not registered, nor was it in the process of being registered.
BAKUL was only an idea and it existed only on the internet. We began with a blog
(that has become dysfunctional)and an on-line campaign at www.pledgebank.com/bakul-library
with our own pledge to set up a Children's Library in Bhubaneswar on 1st April 2007
if 1000 individuals also pledged to contribute. Meanwhile, during the course of
the campaign, BAKUL was registered as an organization from among those who had pledged
for the campaign. We also organized Film Festivals at IIM Bangalore and Delhi University
as an excuse to bring people together, where we could talk about our idea of BAKUL
and mobilize support.
An Indian student group called UDAI at the University of Waterloo in Canada, got
excited by our campaign and mobilized 3000 books for our endeavor.