"It was exasperating," recalls Murali Krishnan, a Chennai-based software engineer. Keen to give his father a meaningful birthday gift, he had scoured numerous stores, but found nothing that reflected his feelings. He then came across True Gifts, a novel gift store where he got something that touched not just his father’s heart but others’ lives as well.
At True Gifts—part of the Bhoomika Trust formed after the Gujarat earthquake in 2001—the gift money is given to an NGO of your choice and you get a voucher that can be presented as a gift. Bhoomika Trust follows up with that NGO to ensure proper use of your money and updates you about it three weeks later. "Bhoomika’s strength lies in linking NGOs, businesses, community-based groups and government," informs programme manager Latha Subramaniam.