For India’s poorest residents in Mumbai, the COVID-19 virus has caused more anguish and suffering than ever before, as the lockdown’s tight grip has made access to food and other essentials more difficult. But for some of these residents, there is a source of hope: the Zarine Manchanda Foundation, a Mumbai-based NGO with an office in Aarey Colony and which is expanding now to Andheri.
The Foundation established 15 months ago, is run by CEO, Zarine Manchanda. In this short span of time, Zarine Manchanda Foundation has grown into one of the most respected charity organizations in Mumbai. It boasts a top rating on Justdial, and receives enthusiastic support from Mumbai’s Charity Commissioner’s Office. Its website and YouTube channel is filled with videos and photos of Zarine Manchanda and her dedicated staff administering charity donation programmes in Aarey’s slum cells and more recently in Andheri also.
Entering the Foundation’s office, a visitor is struck by two things: The Foundation’s home base is a spacious, elegant office that is decorated in a stylish manner. And its young CEO Zarine Manchanda also makes a memorable first impression with her movie star beauty and glamorous aura.
But make no mistake, while the office and its CEO reveal luxurious tastes, the foundation is focused on one thing only; helping the poor. Zarine Manchanda added: “This is my life calling, to help the poor. I will do this until my last breath. The love and support I receive from the people I help is what motivates me. I don’t feel I’m doing anything except bringing good intentions. It is God’s intentions that I carry out”. Her website reveals her inspiration is Mother Teresa, one of the most beloved figures in human history. “There will never be another Mother Teresa, bless her”, She explains. “But I know I have the same intentions, same passion, and same purpose which is why she inspires me.”
Zarine Manchanda is quick to praise her staff team. “I am blessed to have such a dedicated staff. They make fundraising calls for both money and in-kind donations such as food, clothing and other essentials. We administered over 100 programmes to help the poor. My area manager Ajay Singh has been my strongest asset. We could not achieve our success without his nonstop dedication and commitment, arranging for donation pick-up, organizing each programme, handling administrative matters. I’m so grateful to him”. She also has praise for her clients: “We are blessed to have many great clients, who give money and provide donations every day so that we can achieve our mission and purpose.” Every rupee we receive and every item we will receive will go to the needy.
Another important member of her core team is Peter Ziebert, an attorney, film producer and talent manager based in Hollywood. He met Zarine Manchanda two years ago in Mumbai, where he spends half the year. He is a regular at her programmes and designed the ZMF website. Peter Ziebert is an expert on global branding due to his Hollywood base. About Zarine Manchanda, he says: “Zarine is one of the most extraordinary people I have ever met. Our global branding of Zarine as CEO of a prestigious NGO focuses on three key factors: her movie star beauty, her genuine intentions to help the poor in the same way as her inspiration Mother Teresa, and the massive number of videos and photos at her programmes that prove her outputs and deliverables, so that people all over the world can see this beautiful young woman with an inner beauty also, helping the poor regularly. Some of the videos and photos I have shot with her remind me of a National Geographic magazine cover, says Peter Ziebert.
And there’s more. Peter Ziebert is launching Zarine Manchanda’s longtime dream of being an actress. He is producing a web series with Zarine in lead role called “#Me Too Meets Aarey”, which as the name suggests is a story about the social movement and about Aarey Colony, known to be one of India’s most haunted locations. Directed by Arunaraje, a National Award Winner, the web series will have a supernatural element about Aarey Colony. Says Zarine Manchanda: “I am grateful for Peter for launching me. And I am thrilled to be working with Arunaraje, one of the most respected filmmakers in india and a champion of women’s rights and empowerment throughout her career.”
So, what’s next for Zarine Manchanda? “With more fundraising and more programmes, I want to continue to grow. As long as God is happy with me, I know my foundation will grow and I hope someday it is one of the largest foundations in India and in the world. I want to build schools, hospitals, orphanages, anything I can do to help the poor and to take people out of poverty.”
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Royal Palms, Mastermind 1, Aarey Colony, Goregaon East, Mumbai India.
Disclaimer: Content Produced by Zarine Manchanda Foundation