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Friday, February 13, 2015

299 - " YOUR D.O.S.T " - SUPPORT GROUP - CO FOUNDED BY RICHA SINGH, IIT GUWAHATI ALUMNA

January 17th 2015

Dear Mr Ram Krishnaswamy,

I am writing to you because I know you can relate to the problem I am going to discuss about. I have been following your blog suicides at IITs for so many years now.

I am Richa, an IIT Guwahati Alumnus. Throughout my life I have seen people suffering emotionally, and recent depression and suicide cases have really got me thinking. I have quit my high paying IT job and am determined to solve this problem. 

Inspired to do something about it, we are building a platform where people like us whenever in stress/depression can anonymously seek help from our volunteers who are psychologists and other experienced compassionate people. 

Even with the prototype the demand is huge (300+users served in a 3 week). 

URL for prototype: http://www.yourdost.com
  
We, with your support aim to provide an emotional support system to help people during depression and loneliness, thereby creating a stress-free society.  

This is something I truly believe in and today I need your little support in taking this mission ahead. It would mean so much to me, and those whose lives we can change a little.

Warm regards,
Richa Singh, 
Co-founder D.O.S.T 
www.yourdost.com


JAN 19TH 2015

Thank you Richa for your email. Truly admirable of a youngster like you to abandon your career and take up this initiative. I presume your support is for public in general and not limited to IIT students..

I have created the Suicides at IIT's Blog to raise public awareness and to make administrators, who were sweeping this issue of suicides in IIT's under the carpet, to take positive steps in addressing the problem and recognising the need for timely intervention and professional assistance to save these students. 

As an individual I have been contacted by many IIT students PG and UG on line and am doing my bit on a daily basis. It was just this new year my IIT Madras 1970 Batch mates are raising Rs One Crore for this cause through an initaitive called "Reach Out…" based in Chennai

My efforts are limited to IIT students..

I hope you realise that doing this part time can give one satisfaction of giving back to society. Doing this full time is a different kettle of fish and I know many psychologists and psychiatrists themselves going into deep depression, affecting their personal lives and relationships. So take care

I need time to evaluate your request and see how best I can assist. Do you have any IITG alumni you know who live in sydney ? I have received two similar requests so far from PanIIT members.

Perhaps you can tell me how I can help..

Ram
Sydney Australia 


January 24th 2015

Dear Mr Ram Krishnaswamy,

Apologies for delayed response, somehow your mail landed in spam (still figuring out why!). Yes my support is for public in general, however I plan to start by increasing awareness by this among students (15 - 25 years of age) as they are the most vulnerable.

I really appreciate your effort. A friend of mine committed suicide in 2008 and that is when I felt very strongly about trying to build an emotional support system. Though it took years after that to be able to take this up fully.

Our prototype: www.yourdost.com

Reach out is a nice initiative. 

I agree but the kind of psychologists, experienced people we have on our platform are those who want to give back to society and volunteer few hours a day to help others deal with stress.

I checked but I do not have any IIT Guwahati alum that I know who stays in Sydney. I do have some friends back from my high school who are working in Melbourne. You can get more details about me from - https://www.linkedin.com/in/richa0387

I am doing some fund-raising to meet the increasing demand of our system. Even with just a prototype, in 30-35 days we are gratified by the response (have got 300+ signups, 7 counselors are onboard). I was wondering if you can support me in the campaign by contribution/ increasing awareness/ suggesting me who could I reach out to /mentorship - https://milaap.org/campaigns/dost

Looking forward to hear from you soon.


Warm regards,
Richa Singh, 
Co-founder Your D.O.S.T 
www.yourdost.com
  

Richa which batch are you ? I asked if any of your classmates are in Sydney to see if we could leverage the IIT Alumni assn in Australia and not to check on you. You call it DOST and at IITM we call it MITR..

As a first step I will create a Prominent Link on my Blog to Publicise DOST. so you tell me what text you want included and send me most appropriate jpg that will attract attention Plus a bit about yourself and what made you take this up as a full time career etc etc 

Ram

26th January 2015

Dear Mr Ram Krishnaswamy,

I am from class of 2009.
I do not have any classmates in Australia. Let me know if you think I should write to anyone in IIT Association.

Please find the attached banner.



Also a video that talks about my motivation: https://vimeo.com/92132402

 About me.

I am Richa Singh, an IIT Guwahati Alumnus with 5+ years of experience in product management roles. 

Throughout my life I have seen people suffering emotionally. My friend, Akshita (name changed) committed suicide due to anticipation of bad placement; but none of us had any clue of her suffering before she took the drastic step. I thought this could have been avoided if only she would have spoken to someone! Recent depression and suicide cases around have made me determined to solve this problem. 

Inspired to do something about it, we have built a platform (www.yourdost.com) where people like us whenever in stress/depression can anonymously seek online help from special friends who are psychologists and other experienced individuals. 

Let me know if you want me to make any changes.

Warm regards,
Richa Singh, 
Co-founder D.O.S.T 
www.yourdost.com