August 13, 2010

Make a difference: Donate

Winter is round the corner and we're gearing up for another long, chilly season with- let's face it, excitement. The thought of slurping on garma garam Maggi, in snug overalls, in heated rooms gets most of us a little fired up. And there is no denying, for the middle class people like us, the cold winter is a sure respite from the hell that is summer. The elite of course are out of the equation here.

That takes us to the next level.... the poor people. The winter season kills more people than all the others combined. I took a General ticket to Hyderabad once and ended up sitting at one of the doors. I was wearing a light sweater and the first couple of hours felt great. The train was cruising at medium speed and the breeze seemed really pleasant. Trouble started after Dornakal(where our engine gets swapped for a high speed electric one), the train was now doing atleast 80kmph and my fingers went numb. Then my face lost all sense. My friends, and a few seniors were totally enjoying themselves smoking away at each stop. A considerate senior then took my place sensing I'd go overboard any minute.

Poor people are at the recieving end of the winter onslaught. There are various NGOs and charity schemes for the underpriviliged, and of course the politicians "distributing blankets" but India is a huge country, no matter how much they try, there are still millions who're in need of
help. Only when common man takes an initiative, will there be progress. In Islam, we have the system of Zakat that binds every earning muslim to pay a part of his income as charity. No wonder a large number of people from villages come to Hyderabad during ramzan. season to collect Zakat.

And it's not always about money, most people shell out some money and think they're done. It's not enough.

Dad started going around the villages around our colony coupla years ago. There is poverty all around us... some villages have no access to safe drinking water, some don't have medical facilities for kilometres around, some have no schools. As a small contribution from his side, he started distributing old clothes to some kids in the nearby villages . Before long, relatives and friends were pouring in their unused stuff for Dad to distribute. Dad called in some of his friends too, some came and some turned their backs. Subramaniam uncle shares Dad's zeal and has become a key volunteer now. Dad and uncle have divided their work by the method of "adopting". Once or twice a month, they go about a village or two looking for people who need help. As of now Dad's looking after a blind woman while uncle has taken resposibility for building another old lady a shelter for the coming winter.

In Images

This woman was a servant once and worked in nearby houses and her husband did petty jobs around the village. Then old age took over and to make matters worse, she lost both her eyes. With no home or living in sight, hope came in the form of a kind family giving them shelter in one of their store rooms. Dad and Uncle have taken responsibilty for providing rice and rations to the lady including one time breakfast for the couple.

Not far from the blind lady lives Saidamma, walking with a stick to support her frail legs. That touch-and-go shelter to her left is her "home". Made of twigs and dry branches, it won't last a second in strong wind or rain. And neither is it warm enough for the coming winter. Through
donations and some government help, a cement shelter was constructed for her, shown behind her. The ceiling work is now pending for want of funds.

These little school kids from a remote village are poor, have no access to medical care and usually end up doing farm work due to lack of money. Subramaniam uncle has adopted one kid, Raju with polio.

At another Panchayat school, shoes and uniforms were distributed along with packets of Parle G ! Last year they collected money and built a shelter for an old woman abandoned by her kids. She lived there happily for about a month before dying.

This time on my manuguru trip, I'll make it a point to visit these villages myself and do my bit to help these needy people. Any financial or material donations appreciated.


Baseer said...

Bhai.. how do I donate ? ... U have any ICICI account ?

Kelly said...

Whenever I read blog or see a picture showing the situations of the poor in the remote areas I feel really sorry. I know different way in helping them aside from donating your money, you can also do car donation.