Making a Difference in India

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Founders Shekar Swamy & John Christensen met decades ago in graduate school at Northwestern University. These two driven young fellows quickly bonded given their shared gratitude for life lessons learned on the poverty-stricken streets of India. They vowed that later in life, when they had obtained the means, they would do all they could to help improve the conditions in impoverished India.

Years later, each at the helm of successful marketing firms, Shekar & John were able bring their past vision into reality, founding the CS Foundation in 2003. They have made a pledge to make a difference in the lives of those in need by using their own funds as well as accepting the generosity of others.

As marketing experts, Shekar & John were aware of negative public perceptions toward nonprofit organizations that routinely allocated large portions of donations toward “administrative costs,” leaving intended beneficiaries of donations with a fraction of the financial goodwill the donor expected to impart. Wary of & saddened by such questionable ethical practices, Shekar & John mandated that 100% of each donation, every penny, reach its intended recipient. As such, our founders pay all CS Foundation expenses.

While being very successful in the marketing industry & having the most positive of intentions, Shekar & John didn’t have a clue as to how to apply the donations to help the needy. Fortunately, they found a good reliable organization in the Thirumalai Charity Trust.

Thirumalai Charity Trust Group

Helping the Poor Build Their Own Future

The vast majority of all donations received by the CS Foundation are transferred to & managed by our trusted colleagues at the Thirumalai Charity Trust, called TCT by locals. Based in the town of Ranipet, it has operated in the Vellore District of Tamil Nadu province since 1983, serving a population of over 160,000 in this rural, largely impoverished region of southern India.

TCT has established an intimate alliance with these disadvantaged communities over several decades. Emphasizing the education & empowerment of women & children as the primary catalyst of community development, TCT has involved hundreds of local women as advocates for a variety of medical & educational endeavors. These include: general medical care, surgery & emergency medicine at the Thirumalai Mission Hospital; secondary, community-level health & education at dozens of health care centers; education & health check-ups provided for thousands of primary & secondary level students.

Thirumalai Charity Trust Group

Supporting the Women Who Support Their Communities

Essential to the success of our efforts is its inclusion of women in community-building activities, providing substantial benefits to all involved. TCT & the CS Foundation bring health awareness & leadership training to empower otherwise disenfranchised women, opening pathways to enhance the lives of their families, as well as offer a respected role in the community & abundant new job prospects.

TCT’s women volunteers bridge the gap between it & the community, enabling the expansion & improvement of services for everyone. Empowered women spread vast amounts of life-saving knowledge & foster trust between caregivers & the rural communities they serve.