Friday, February 27, 2015

Charity

Vasu Reddy From Chicago
vasureddy@aol.com

In nation where people are constantly looking for SOPs and have their hands out for government programs, it is difficult to find individuals who will offer a helping hand.  It is true that India has plenty of great examples of men and women who have extended their life time to charity and wellbeing of the others, but as our population continues explode and our needs continue to multiply the demand for resources both natural and manmade are so great, it is impossible to extend a helping hand to everyone.  Politicians promise the moon every election year and every word they utter prior to getting elected will be that they will provide everything to everybody at no cost.  We, the people know that it is impossible to expect the government to do what they say, and we also know it is impossible to be able to afford the election promises.  Yet, we will continue to hear the expansive promises and we vote with continued vigor every election cycle, and then we do the same again and again.  The only difference is that none of the claims made by the politicians become a reality.

We love to hear forward looking and thoughtfulness in projecting a better society for our children and better days ahead for the nation.  While we listen to the rhetoric on the loud speakers and on radio and television we are intent in our belief that the government is going to look out for us; common man.

We love our country and we love our flag and we love our national anthem.  We don’t need to go to school to understand the meaning of national pride, we are born with the national pride.  We are a country of great belief in almighty, and we have millions of names and many religions that we practice, all side by side of each other, and we really believe that good Karma is only a door away.

In built in our systems is charity.  Giving is a part of Indian.  Every occasion be it a birthday, wedding, a visit to a friend or a family member, friend, strangers, places of worship, birth and death and everything in between, we Indians like to give at least a little bit to the occasion.  It is not charity, rather contributing to the cause we are participating in.  When natural disasters or man-made catastrophes happen we extend a helping hand, and try to do our best with what we can.  It is built into our system to share, give and feel the humanity of life around us.  We are born to be a part of the society weather or not we know it and appreciate it.

Some of us have a bit more than the others, and certainly our contributions typically scale to the wealth factor, and sometimes the circumstances where we participate in giving.  Poor or rich, when you ask an Indian for help, they typically react the same.

The latest government’s emphasis on cleaning up Ganga, and other rivers is a great initiative to subscribe to every Indian.  Ganga is our mother, and has been as long as Hindustan existed.  It support about a third of all our population and is sacred for 100% of people of India.  Even if we give a tiny amount of money towards its cleanup then we would have made an extraordinary contribution to saving our most treasured resource.  Helping to clean up the river (in fact all our rivers need to cleaned up) and maintaining the sanctity of the great river will simply enhance the nation’s greatness further.  As Ganga has supported the country since its inception, and still continues to take care of Indians, despite the constant abuse, it is a simple matter of survival to be kept clean for both the mother and its children.

Supporting the Ganga clean-up is not really charity, rather it is our responsibility.  There is no charity that is greater than taking care of your mother, it is in fact not charity but personal responsibility.  Modi or Tata or us common folks; for all of us it’s the same, and it’s a part of our life to help take care of the Ganga.  If anyone of use feel that we are being charitable by helping with the cleanup of the Ganga and continuing to keep it clean for generations or centuries to come, then so be it, as the context is to protect our most valuable resource, and the terminology in helping can be anything we choose to call it.

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