Creating an uproar

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The student run DHOOM Medical Charity is dedicated to helping those in need

Boom! At just 18 years of age, a sudden thought exploded in medical student, Tarun Sharma’s mind. “All these skills and resources I have been learning as a student, can definitely put to good use right away in helping people,” he thought.
This paved the way for Tarun’s dream project ‘DHOOM’, a medical charity run by students in Australia. The main aim of the organisation is to send medical, financial and educational aid to the Indian sub-continent regions.
Indian Link spoke with Tarun Sharma to get an insight into the workings of DMC – DHOOM Medical Charity. ‘DHOOM’ is an abbreviation of Disadvantaged, Homeless, Oppressed, Orphaned, Medical and is also the Hindi word for uproar. “As the name suggests, we want to create an ‘uproar’ and make a difference in the lives of less fortunate,” Sharma says.

Working in the areas of employment, finance, household necessities, sanitation, sexual and medical education, DHOOM garners support from university students and raises funds through balls, dinners and word-of-mouth.
“When you donate a dollar to our organisation, we assure complete transparency. All the money is 100 per cent donated and there is no fee cut. We send across a receipt and inform donors on where the money is spent,” assures Sharma. To date the organisation has raised more than $25,000.
How do they go about identifying a community in a specific region? “I do my ground work before hand,” Sharma says. “We have affiliated ourselves to NGOs in particular regions and they help us in identifying issues faced by a community.”

“We do not have a base camp as such. We work with the community for a day or two and then move on to the next.” The organisation has covered communities in Chennai, Kadapakkam, Darjeeling, Mumbai, Chittagong, Karapitiya and Karachi.
The volunteers have made three trips abroad in the past two years and the teams have included students, medical interns and doctors.
Talking about her volunteer experience, Asika Pelenda, a medical student, says, “The volunteer trip to rural India was an eye opening experience. The highlight for me, was educating primary school children on basic hygiene and malaria and high school girls on sexual health.”

“What I learnt most from this trip was the need to provide the right type of resources in order to create sustainable solutions. For example, a sewing machine not only creates clothing for the community, but a source of income for an individual.”
Now 23 years old, Tarun Sharma wants to make DHOOM a self-sustainable enterprise, taking a proposal to local food chains to ensure a constant income stream. They recently approached corporates in Mackay, Queensland with the idea of a discount card. “A DHOOM discount card entitles the person to get a certain offer from a particular chain of restaurants,” Sharma explains.
And who can sign up to be a volunteer? “Anyone and everyone looking at helping communities in bringing about a positive change, is welcome to join in,” Sharma says. “Either donate a certain sum or join us on a three to four week duration on our next trip in December.”

Tasneem Zavery
Tasneem Zavery
I enjoy talking about people's stories, achievements and highlighting their issues through my articles.

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