“If not us, who?If not now, when?” Bakul is a romantic attempt to explore what can happen when people like you come together with your little contribution.It is an attempt to inspire and encourage individuals like you to be the change you want in the world.In other words,Bakul is a movement for volunteerism in India starting with state of Odisha.
Bakul 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.