The journey began on August 15th, 2004. Shweta Chari, an Electronics Engineer founded
Toybank with a vision of reaching out to children through fun and play using toys.
A small idea that started in a small restaurant in Bombay has over the years gathered
momentum with the help and support of friends and volunteers from all across Bombay.
Within a shortest span of time and very minimal resources, Toybank is bringing smiles
on thousands of deprived faces. Toybank acts as a leveler of the society by taking
toys from those that can give and distributing them to the ones in need.
In a way Toybank attempts to prove the belief of John.F.Kennedy,
'If the free society cannot help the many that are poor, it can never save the few
who are rich.'
Toybank honestly dreams to place a toy in the hands of every child in India and
the world. The toy shapes the psyche of the children, so utmost care is taken to
give only unbiased and morally correct toys to children.
Toybank norms for types of toys:
1. Toys that promote violence such as, guns, swords and similar such toys
are not accepted by Toybank
2. Toys in good condition are a must, any part broken or torn from the toy
then that toy should kindly be kept aside.
3. Barbie dolls are also not accepted as Toybank does not believe in discrimination.
The toys that are collected are then segregated according to age groups and then
are gift-wrapped for the children.
As through the years, toys were collected, segregated and gift-wrapped and then
gifted on a one-on-one basis to the kids from all over Bombay. We soon realized
that the beneficiaries of toys were impacted much beyond our expectation. The children
began to recognize that play was one of their core rights. They also began expressing
themselves better and were more in tune with their lives and circumstances.
We felt the need to expand and reach out to many more children in India. With the
help of volunteers, Toybank also started monitoring the children that were impacted
through the Toybank activities. The events became more intense with more focus given
to value education to the children while during the toy distributions.
Toybank now runs in Bangalore and Poona with the support from core Toybankers Vinay
Toybank hopes to become a more sustainable organisation, stand-up as an independent
organisation, increase its reach and spread happiness in the lives of many more
children from all parts of the world.
Toybank is a non-profit organization that has been set up with the aim of providing
toys to all children.
Vision: A world where all children have a happy and healthy childhood.
- To ensure that children from under privileged backgrounds receive toys through collection
- To bridge the gap between children from different backgrounds by creative play/group
- To make play space available for children through-- Toy libraries in available infrastructures;
reclaim open public spaces for children.
- To impart education and values through a Toy curriculum; play groups; children's
- To design and thus provide toys that will be context specific, by having toys made
in local languages as well.
- To sensitize and advocate amongst individuals from all sections of society the need
and importance of the right to play and the right to leisure for all children.
At Toybank, we do not discriminate on the basis of gender, caste, color, religion
or disability/sexual orientation. We let all the children know that we are all one in this world. Thus
it is purely a humanitarian concept. We strongly hold the belief that every child,
irrespective of his/her social & financial background has the right to make the
most of his/her childhood. While accessibility to a decent education is of prime
importance, one should not overlook how important a role can indulgence in extra-curricular
activities play in molding the lives of these children as they evolve into strong,
sensitive individuals. After all, these are the very same children who will represent
the face of a better globe, a responsible globe.
Street children are subject to malnutrition, hunger, health problems, substance
abuse, theft, harassment by the city police and railway authorities, physical and
sexual abuse. Inadequacy of budget allocation impacts on sustainability of projects
and, in particular, the ability to employ qualified and experienced social workers.
There is evidence that childhood and adolescent depression is on the rise through
the child's growing years. Play through toys helps the children distract their minds
from these hazardous environments. It helps them from succumbing to the distress
caused by their circumstances.
The fact that each day we meet and see so many kids around the slums on Bombay who
are either homeless or left on the streets to fend for themselves, these kids that
sit on the pavements playing with stones or broken toys or cycle tires, overwhelms
us to immediately fill in that need, the need of a proper and a rightful childhood.
The day every child in this universe, rich/poor, has his/her childhood back, be
it in terms of Toys, or education, or basic right to survival and development and
that no organization like Toybank or any other is required to give all that, will
be the day when we would have really accomplished our goal.
We at Toybank think that we are all pieces of a large jig saw puzzle; some fulfill
basic needs of food, clothing and education while some like us focus on bringing
happiness through play into the lives of children. The day all the pieces are put
in perfectly and the picture is crystal clear, will be the day Toybank can shut
At Toybank we have witnessed clear changes in many of the children Toybank has reached
out to. Many children now have learnt the importance of sharing, of being more sensitive
towards their environment, of respecting their elders and even their brothers and
sisters, of controlling their temper and most of all through the toys they receive
from Toybank, they have again become children, happy and joyous just as how children
should be. These observations and studies have convinced us all at Toybank that
there is a definite need for an organization as ours.
Kaymo Fastener Company
Vivek did his schooling from Campion School and graduated from St. Xaviers College
in Science and later went on to do his L.L.B. He was the Founder President of The
Association of Youth for a Better India in 1991. He is a faculty at MRA (Moral Re-Armament)
IofC (Initiatives of Change International). He is currently running his stapling
and nailing business at Kaymo.
Co-Founder & VP-Marketing
Jiby heads Marketing & Community Development at Quikr - India’s leading online classifieds
website and has more than 14 years of work experience. Before Quikr, Jiby was Head
of Kijiji India and a member of eBay India’s Management Team. He was also part of
the start-up team that launched Baazee.com (now eBay India). Prior to this, he was
with Contract Advertising - A WPP Agency. He holds a Degree in Economics, is a Post
Graduate in Advertising & PR and did a Executive Program in 'Leading and Managing'
from IIM, Kolkata.
Jiby has been closely associated with Toybank since 2005.
M V Subramanian
Head of Business Banking Division of Axis Bank
Subramanian, is currently the Head of Business Banking Division of Axis Bank. Earlier
to this assignment, he was the Executive Trustee and CEO of Axis Bank Foundation,
a public trust set up in 2006 by Axis Bank to carry out their CSR activities. That
job involved in the identification of credible NGOs for project grants on Education
and livelihood and monitor the utilisation of the grants. During the past four years,
ABF had partnered with more than 40 NGOs all across India and had committed grants
amounting to over Rs 20 crores. A Science graduate who passed out from Loyola College,
Chennai, he commenced his banking career in 1978 with nationalised banks. Subramanian
has been involved with Toybank activities in early 2011.
Vikram is the founder and techie wizard at Open Tree Web and has a rich academic
background. He completed his Bachelors in Computer Engineering, from Sardar Patel
College of Engineering, Bombay University. He went on to do his Masters from the
very prestigious Cornell University, Ithaca, New York in Computer Science. Vikram
carries with him a variety of industry experiences. He began his career with an
intensive Software Training Program with Infosys Technologies Ltd. Soon after his
post graduation he was absorbed by Electronics Arts Inc., Los Angeles. After moving
to India he worked as a Senior Programmer with India Games Pvt. Ltd. (part of the
UTV Group) He has been the founding supporter of Toybank since early 2004.
Bombay Core Coordinator
Farnaza has a background in Psychology and has also studied Social Entrepreneurship
from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies. At Toybank she focuses on volunteers,
children Toybank works with and also manages the activities within the toy libraries
set up by Toybank across Bombay. She also coordinates with all the NGOs Toybank
has partnered with and conducts follow up programs. She has been consistently working
at reaching out to more and more children from various NGOs and Government schools
Farnaza has been a part of Toybank since September 2010.
Shweta is an Electronics Engineer, a self-driven individual who is passionate about
everything she does in her life. She handles Toybank’s core strategies, ideates
on new concepts to expand Toybank. She also goes full throttle into raising toys
and funds for Toybank. She oversees the entire working of Toybank in India, UK and
Entrepreneur, Consultant, Mentor
Sriram co-founded Crossword in 1992 & helped build it into India’s leading bookstore
chain. He stepped down from Crossword in August 2006 & co-founded "Next Practice
Retail" that offers business design, incubation & consulting services for consumer
& retail businesses. He is an advisor to Seedfund, the early stage venture fund
and is an Independent Director on the Boards of Kokuyo Camlin Ltd and Kokuyo Camlin
Alphakids Ltd. He's a visiting faculty at IIM A & a guest lecturer at IIM L & other
business schools as it helps him keep learning. He advises & mentors individuals
& firms. He's is particularly interested in entrepreneurship, innovation, business
strategy & incubation, purpose & culture, leadership & next practices. He has been
a part of Toybank since early 2012.
Model & Actor
Purab started his career with a popular TV Show called Hip Hip Hurray, after which
he earned recognition as a VJ on Channel V. After his stint on TV, he made his debut
in a feature film 'Bus Yun hi'. He went on to act in movies like My Brother Nikhil,
Woh Lamhe, and Awarapan. His last Film 'Rock On' has now become a cult film in India.
Kohli's work in Rock On garnered him a Special Jury Mention in the 2009 Filmfare
Awards. Purab has been involved with social causes like Animal welfare, welfare
of under privileged women and children, low cost housing projects and also been
part of Toybank since early 2009.
Convener, NGO Council & Founder Karmayog
Vinay has been one of the founding supporters of Toybank since its inception in
2004. He has given his time and invaluable feedback each time Toybank has needed
it. He is the Founder of Karmayog, an online portal that connects all of the NGO
sector in India and across the globe.