I was at my friends baby shower the past weekend. As always, we were talking about cricket, politics, India and finally we stopped at “Charity” work. All my friends knew that i spend lot many hours on a weekly basis doing this , doing that and doing what not ( according to them 🙂 . One of them during the conversation, said, i think the right time to spend someone’s resources ( time, effort and money ) is when someone is well settled in their lives. According to him, that person, then, will have a lot more resources at their disposal and can do better justice to their resources. He also said, this why he was concentrating on his career now and cannot really afford to spend any time in other activities.
He had a valid point ( sorry dude i’m not trying to bash you here 🙂 , but not valid enough to undermine the importance of one’s duties towards the society. I replied to him by giving a practical example and i thought he was convinced that there is never a more right time than NOW. I shall reveal the response in the end.
I refrain to use the word “Charity” , as i strongly believe it’s every individuals responsibility to take care of those ( in whatever way one can ) who didn’t get the same opportunities as I/we did. Anyways, enough of professing, but practically speaking, since I’ve been involved actively in these activities for almost 7 0r 8 years now, is there a way to measure this and say this is the impact I had helped create. While i can’t really go back to 7 – 8 years, as i think what has been done was in the past, i wanted to reflect on what I’ve been doing in the past 3 months and see how my time, effort and money were spent and whether it had any tangible results.
- Dandi March II – Coordinating ( with a team ) the walk in Oak Tree Road, NJ in support of the Walk Against Corruption. Almost 100 people joined the walk on a cold winter day
- Virtual Hunger Strike – Coordinating ( with a team ) to participate in a Virtual Hunger Strike, in support of the Hunger Strike led by Anna Hazare .
- The result: The government agreed to the Joint Committee discussion on the Jan Lok Pal Bill. Ok, may be this didn’t directly result in this, but we can take pride in the fact we reached to a good 100+ people outside of our networks to help create awareness. This fight cannot be won without everybody’s contribution, however , small it may be
- Raised $1750 to support the pochampally weavers: This money will be used to buy the “AASU” machines , each machine will help 4 families with their day to day work. We are also working as a group to create awareness and raise funds for the silk bank.
- 20 families will benefit from the AASU m/c
- Raised $600 for the Braille printer: A visually challenged teacher from a small town has taken upon the project to publish braille text books and distribute them for free to the blind children. ( My friend was one of them who contributed 🙂
- Result: Help blind children with their education
- Raised $900 for sponsoring education for underprivileged kids: Thanks to my undergrad friends, we are supporting 5 kids with this money. This is the 4th year of our sponsorship.
- Result: 5 kids have been going to school and receive quality education for the past 4 years.
- Planning Events in the near future
- Cook for a Cause: An awareness event to highlight the work being done by TeluguPeople Foundation in supporting students with professional education
- Hosting Euphoria/Indian Ocean concert: This is still in the works. The plan is to organize a fund raiser/awareness event for AID INDIA.
I think if we can help make a difference to even one person, then we should do it. Be it our time, our efforts or our money, if the past 3 months can result in all of the above , then imagine the impact with more people working in the same 3 months. To answer my friend , i gave the example of the weavers project. Nothing against my friend, for he does help financially whenever something appeals to him, but there is so much more one could contribute and yet go on with the normal life with the focus on one’s profession. I’m saying, it’s all in a day’s work !
I would end with Hellen Keller’s quote : I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still i can do something. I will not refuse to do something I can do