ONOUREM (think: Honour Them) is an initiative started by two brothers in their early 30s who had been living a secure and predictable life for the last 11 years, one in Mumbai and another in New York. Dr. Neeraj Tripathi, an IIT Bombay alum, had been doing research with leading research organizations in New York whereas Nitin Tripathi, also an engineer by training, was heading sales for an IT firm in Mumbai.
While they were enjoying their life, something terrible happened in India at the end of 2012. A girl was gang raped in a moving bus, brutally tortured and thrown out on the road to die. And she died! The incident, referred to by The Nirbhaya gang rape incident, shook the entire country. The two brothers got shaken up (or you may say woken up). They decided to quit their jobs to start ONOUREM, an initiative that aims to address social problems, local and global, by inculcating right values in the youth. ONOUREM believes that any social problem can truly be eradicated by addressing the root of the problem, and that is the mindset of the people. ONOUREM’s aim is to become the powerhouse that utilizes education, art and social media to address social problems and to improve emotional and psychological health of the people.
To pursue its vision, ONOUREM has initiated three complimentary efforts.
1) ONOUREM has created the Society for Mindset Education that is bringing together intellectuals who wish to use education to address social problems. The goal of the Society for Mindset Education is to help teachers and parents worldwide, for free, on how to help kids develop healthier mindset that address social problems.
2) ONOUREM team conducts 2-3 hour interactive sessions in schools and colleges to encourage youth to participate in finding solutions to social problems instead of just criticizing them. Sessions are conducted at no cost to schools, college or students. Onourem is meeting education leaders to highlight the need for schools to educate kids on social problems. Onourem has picked the problem of “Discrimination between a boy and a girl child” as its pilot project. Few schools have committed to educate their kids, at least once a month, on this problem. These schools teach about 20,000 students combined together.
3) ONOUREM has created the ONOUREM Social Network. Before we tell you what is Onourem social networking platform, we want you to ask yourself
- Why is it that when UN comes up with Sustainable Development Goals, it merely reaches the elite class that is concerned about the world whereas when FB comes up with a new feature, the whole world knows about it in a week!
- Why is that when a research finding on early childhood development comes up with a fun way to help kids develop analytical abilities, it takes decades for that learning to reach to a village in India.
- Why is that when social networking is efficiently used to distribute information by people/organization for their personal gains, information on how one parent raises morally and emotionally healthy kid doesn’t get visibility.
- Why is that we have the whole nation fighting over politics instead of discussing on how can everyone contribute to make this world a better place.
Answer to all the above Whys is because that wasn’t anyone’s priority, until now! This is the mission of Onourem social network.
We live in the 21st century! Information can travel fast! Its not that people don’t want to contribute to bring positive changes in the society. We just need to create a new ambience where instead of negative news that caters to emotions of fear and instant gratification to gain viewership, focus is on constructive and positive interactions. An ambience that is dedicated to bring positive changes in the society by highlighting information that inspires and guides every human being to contribute.
Is Onourem yet another platform where inspiring stories of few exceptional human beings are posted? No. We are talking about an interactive social networking platform that empowers every human being to highlight positive people/actions around him/her. A social networking platform that encourages discussions and activities towards improving emotional and psychological health of people.
Onourem social networking platform is a place to exchange messages that have high emotional value. Onourem allows users to send messages on predefined themes, all of which are designed to be constructive and positive. For example: user can send a ThankYou message on Onourem. Every time I send a ThankYou message, I am not talking about myself, I am highlighting the positive contribution that other person has made in my life. You feel good, I feel good. And by appreciating you, I encourage others to follow your example. Basics of what appreciation and gratitude does to people! This is in sharp contrast to all other platforms where a user talks about himself/herself by sharing his/her pics and opinions. Onourem has other predefined themes like MissYou, AdmireYou, AppreciateYou etc. Each message category helps build more meaningful relationships while spreading positivity in the society.
Can an initiative like this be sustainable? Forget about sustainable, it can be highly profitable. Does this mean user information will be used or sold to make revenue? Again, No. Onourem doesn’t even store user’s online behavior to use it to monetize. We believe it is unethical for any online networking/content platform to tell user that it provides content for free and then underhandedly use his/her information consumption patterns as a product to sell. Sell transparently what you can sell. Don’t offer a free product only to make your customer your product.
Is this going to be an easy task? No. We know that. But better question to ask is, is it impossible to create a new revolution, a new ambience, where humans are connecting on positive and constructive discussions to contribute in making this world a better place? Answer to that question is a big No as well. Some of us are irrational enough to ignore the former No and be driven by the latter No.
Want to join the party?