Smiles for Naga Valadia: Reaching a Goal and Starting our Journey

Dear Reader,

We here at USC Project RISHI wanted to take some time this weekend to share this link with you and ask for your help in reaching our goal:

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USC Project RISHI is a completely student-run 501(c)(3) organization, and each year we send a team of our dedicated members to India to work with various rural communities in amending various social, economic, or health-related issues. We are currently working with Naga Valadia, a small village in Kutch, Gujarat. Tobacco addiction is a primary concern within the village, hygiene standards are low, and infections or injuries become dangerous due to a lack of health care services and equipment within the village environment. This year we are focusing our efforts on extending our tobacco de-addiction campaign and crafting a new dental camp in conjunction with local health care providers in the Kutch region. Our dental camp will provide the villagers with health screenings and checkups by dental professionals and fund surgeries for those with serious conditions. Our tobacco de-addiction campaign will revolve around distributing tobacco-free lozenge alternatives, and educating the villagers on the benefits of cessation.

I personally became attached to RISHI when I learned of their work through the Spring Involvement Fair. It is important to me that our initiatives, while formulated at USC, are directly implemented in the environment we aid, through personal interaction with the villagers. It was emphasized to me from the start that the goal of our annual trip is to work among the villagers to create our change together. Our members are able to lean on one another as a family to enact our initiatives, using dialogue to sketch the problems we may encounter and compound the required solutions. When we move to the village setting, we are able to bring these crafted initiatives to the villagers and receive direct feedback on our efforts.  

As a student-run organization, Project RISHI works hard to fund our initiatives through independent fundraising events on and off campus. Our projects, however, also require substantial donations to manage. Our funds do not only come from our own efforts but also through the generosity of readers like you, who are just as passionate about fostering growth and development in these communities as we are. Please consider contributing to our cause and helping those in need of these resources. All donated contributions go directly toward the initiatives for the people of Naga Valadia and are tax-deductible. Any donation is deeply appreciated - every dollar makes a difference. If you have any questions whatsoever regarding logistics, budgets, or details of the project (or RISHI in general) please feel free to email us at, and we would love to provide you with more information.

We appreciate your time and consideration in this effort. Project RISHI understands that one project may not change the world, but if we can change the lives of those in just one village through our efforts, we have made a good start. The response to our donation drive thus far has been truly inspiring, and we look forward to your continued support. Thank you for being a part of our change.


Sameer Nair-Desai