Darshan Raval, Shirley Setia fans team up for a clean-up challenge
By Bryan Durham - June 10, 2019
A global crowdsourcing marketplace has started a contest called #CleanUpTheWorld Challenge inviting its community members to clean up polluted areas in their city/town.
The prize money is $12,500. Using the hashtags #trashtag and #freelancercleanup, participants were expected to clean up and then post before and after pictures.
Several countries that joined the challenge included Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Colombia, Romania, USA, Phillippines and Venezuela. A total of 35 countries participated with around 130 tons of garbage being collected worldwide.
Now here’s here it gets interesting. While Bangladesh and Pakistan have more than one finalist in the contest, India has only one. And they have a musical connection. This group from India shares a common love for Darshan Raval and Shirley Setia. Fans of both artists got together to rise to the challenge under the name ‘Team Shirley and Team Darshan’.
We reached out to Vaishali Bhanushali, one of the volunteers associated with the project. She talked us through how they came to know of the challenge and took it up.
Here are excerpts from our Q&A
How did you guys hear about and decide to take up the challenge?
One of our friends, Sagar, had been following freelancer.com for a while now and he came across their Clean Up Challenge on Facebook. We really wanted to do something like that and also around the same time we were looking for NGOs and multiple organizations who could help us raise funds for another friend who is in need of a kidney transplant. This freelancer challenge just boosted our motivation to do it because if there was even a slight chance that we could win it, we wouldn’t want to miss that. And also we really wanted to do something for those kids. We’re happy just how everything worked and fell in place. The results should come in a day or two and we’re hoping we win it.
What is the driving force behind doing something like this?
The driving force is how our minds function and process what we see and go through. We have all been through something that changed us and changed our perspective towards how we look at few things. All of us have always bonded more on how and what we can change for the society or if we could do anything, small or big that would leave an impact. So when this came our way, we immediately hopped on.
Now that you are finalists, how are you planning on using the money if you do win the contest?
If we hopefully win this, we are planning to use the prize money to get our friend a kidney transplant first and then whatever amount is left with us goes to helping those kids and continuing what we started.
Has either Darshan Raval or Shirley Setia joined you guys or offered support?
Darshan & Shirley are basically the foundation. They’ve embarked in us these perspectives and to be more caring and to spread love and be human before anything else. They’ve been a huge motivation throughout the project. Since they were both on tours performing in different cities almost everyday, we couldn’t personally reach out to them but they sent their regards and good wishes and have always pushed us to keep striving for the good. Shirley even managed to share the fundraiser link on her social media platforms to help us reach more people.
Where do you guys go from here?
We don’t have a plan as such but we’re definitely going to continue what we have started. Both Darshan & Shirley’s birthday every year are celebrated at orphanages or blind school or any such NGO or institute. It’s almost a ritual for us, and this is all where it comes from. So we’re definitely going to grab every opportunity we can to do our best contributing in every way we can. This project is extremely close to us because we’ve seen the environment those kids live in.
A brief research before we dig in the challenge brought in front of us various cases where these little humans were being misled and got into drugs and other horrible activities. So we also talked to Mr.Rodriguez, who has been running a school there free of cost for the local kids. Our sole purpose was to renovate the school site, transform the dumpyard into playground for the kids and make that particular area cute, comfortable and cozy. So we cleaned it all, renovated it and also wrote some beautiful quotes. With the limited amount of funds we could raise, we helped them with school supplies but we’re planning to do more. So as of now, we want to continue helping him out in curbing any such activities, getting more admissions in the school and raising funds to expand the school.
Why were Darshan and Shirley specifically named as inspirations?
Why Darshan & Shirley specifically is because we’re all internet friends. So we were a part of the fandom, we connected and we met and we became really good friends. What is most common between these two is how humble, genuine and real they are. They’ve truly been a guiding light and we inherit these from them- helping, being kind and spreading love. That’s really what this world needs- kindness and love. So when we had to name our team, we simply named it after them because we owe them this for sure.>