I was in India during the year 2002 with a voluntary organization I was a member of, to participate in social welfare program which was aimed at giving the street children some elementary education and training in drama. The objective was that The National School of Drama was intending to take one of such children as their trainee who would later become a professional drama artist for the School in future.
Any way, when we reached there and started to train them I found them to be so poor that they could not get a square meal for many days at a stretch. I thought that since I would be staying there for next 6 months I must do something for those children. I proposed the organization who invited me there that why should we find one, put them in hands of NSD, and go back to our place. Why should we not try to make a permanent school for them where they would learn the art of drama and the school itself would promote them as performing artists to several fields of performing arts where they would be needed. The organization informed me that they did not have such infrastructure and it would require a lot of money. It was then I gave them this idea to raise funds by applying some unique method.
As I knew that Indians were very much fond of foods, I suggested them to publish a cookbook where we would include 500 recipes by 500 chefs of 500 Five Stars Hotels of the world. I knew a website where all five star hotels’ address and other details were posted. I prepared an email which requested the recipients to send a recipe as he/she found fit to help for this noble cause. We had more than our requirements. The best part of the program was that most of the chefs had sent the recipe with their photos and with an offer to contribute some money for this great purpose.
What was next? We did not even have to spend from our pocket a single cent to print and publish the cookbook. As I had expected of, the cookbook was sold like hot cakes. The royalty was enough to meet the cost of preparing the school for them moreover, donations started to come from many sides as we had mentioned the cause of publishing of that cookbook in its preface.
The school is still operating in West Bengal, India as well as the cookbook is still getting its royalties.