With the 2008 economic meltdown, millions of Americans were stripped from their jobs and homes, leaving many to find themselves with a hard time fulfilling the minimum criteria to get by, which has resulted in countless of individuals living on the street without an ounce of hope for a promising future. The financial crisis shattered millions of lives around us and was the final blow to their existence. Many people were already hanging by a thin thread since in the past few decades the real wages have not kept up with inflation; there was nothing to lay back this time.
Seeing the suffering around, in 2011 INSAN Foundation, led by one of the founding student of INSAN India, launched a pilot project, INSAN for Humanity. Our project embarked on mission to help our neighboring communities gain strength, stability, and security, while devoting special attention to the most helpless individuals.
In the beginning our goal was to do one feeding a month. But given the severity, we got busy. For example, barely few weeks in the program, someone mentioned that his group is doing a backpack drive for the children whose family couldn’t afford it. Call it naive but It was a shocking revelation that even this problem existed in our communities. It wasn’t part of our plan, but we volunteered to help out. The organizer asked whether we had the budget for it, and our answer was — no, but we will get the money. Consequently we were able to assist with several dozens of backpacks along with seven boxes of school supplies. It has been a non-stop journey since.
Initially started with two volunteers, followed by few from a local mosque, four years later, as the name “INSAN” implies, the foundation now includes thousands of volunteers from all backgrounds, faiths, and walks of life driven by a mutual goal to serve mankind.
INSAN for Humanity has also a rich history stemming back nearly 50 years as an educational and humanitarian organization known as INSAN in India. Founded by an eminent educator and humanitarian, Dr. Syed Hasan, INSAN India has transformed a tradition-based community to one focused on education. During his education in India and the United States, young Syed was deeply affected by the disparity and misery of his countrymen, and those around the world. From the constant fight against poverty in his country, and the suffering during India’s struggle for independence, to repetitive world wars, and racial segregation across the world; along with many peace and progressive efforts taking place in rebuilding the world, they all played a vital role in the development of his mission.
Located in the district of Kishanganj, a traditionally very regressive and poor area of India with staggering illiteracy and poverty rates, INSAN commenced with the mission of using education and humanitarian engagement to advance the region economically, academically, and socially. INSAN has been an educational and humanitarian metamorphosis not only for the region, but a unique model for India and areas across the globe.
The INSAN’s founder Dr. Hasan was inspired by many initiatives taking place in America during his stay (1955-65). He incorporated those ideas; fine tuned them according to the needs in India. 45 years later we brought back some of those programs and tweaked them according to local needs.