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Building an emotional network

SRAVASTI DATTA
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Passions A team of IIM Lucknow graduates has started a website, where you can share your problems and find solace

Right now, you might be facing a challenge that is too personal to be shared. Yet you want to seek help and get some perspective on your problem. Where do you go? www.SharingDard.com would perhaps be one of the options you could explore. This website started by Sumant Gajbhiye, Gaurav Rajan and Ritika Sharma within a few months of it being established has approximately 20,600 registered users as of September 2. “We hit upon the idea a year ago. The website started functioning in August last year and was launched mid-May this year,” says Sumant.

The idea came to the 2011 IIM Lucknow graduates in college. “We used to have parties where we would share our experiences. We realised we were benefitting from each other’s experiences and thought if we could start a website where people could share their problems, without feeling inhibited,” says Sumant.

The trio and team member Lima James together run www.SharingDard.com. Each of them worked in high-paying MNC jobs, but quit to devote time to the website.

Sumant and his team have researched on the mental and emotional health sector across India. “We decided we would need help from psychiatrists. We have two eminent psychologists and psychotherapists Dr. Kanan Khatau Chikal and Jasmine Khattar as our advisers.”

SharingDard has had its share of inspiring cases. “We had a volunteer who was always upbeat and positive. He had lost his wife to cancer three years ago and tried to cope with that loss by helping others. He helped a lady who had lost her husband to cancer to come to terms with her grief. It was after this incident, that we started a feature on our website where a person can get in touch with people who are facing similar issues,” says Sumant.

By helping another person to overcome their problems, Sumant says, one can find strength to deal with their problems too. “People find peace by helping others. When people see that there are others who are going through far worse problems than they are, do they appreciate their own lives.”

Youngsters between ages 18 and 35, says Sumant, undergo some common problems.

“Job-related insecurity is one major issue. Then there are relationship issues. A lot of people are emotionally disturbed and it affects their lives.” The team at Sharing Dard, plans to integrate a pre-paid service www.yourcandidfriend.com.

“This will help people to talk directly to personal counsellors.”

Given the complexity of human emotions, does an online forum actually help? “I agree that online forums aren’t comprehensive, but there has to be some starting point. Those who have friends and family can seek solace from them, but what about those who have no one? It’s forum like these that can help them.”

To register in www.SharingDard.com, a person must be 15 years and above. Sumant says privacy of the users is guaranteed.

This column features those who choose to veer off the beaten track.

SRAVASTI DATTA

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