We cannot imagine Diwali without fireworks, sweets, and food. Diwali is the most sought-out festival with social and religious significance. We all wear new clothes, eat sweets, burst crackers and light up our houses with “in –fashion” LED lights, candles and traditional ideas. But ironically these things are limited for a few. The underprivileged section of our society is deprived of such things. The meaning of Diwali, its significance, rituals and the reason why it is celebrated are beyond counting.
Imagine yourself walking to the market in new clothes on Diwali and you see two little kids by the side of the road, sitting with torn rags asking for food or money. If we have got more than we need, so can’t we spare some of it for the needy? A small gesture will bring smiles to their faces, a small initiative might just brighten their lives!
This Diwali, let’s brighten the lives of the underprivileged. If you wish to do something different in order to help the needy, then this article is just for you!
1) Help them clean their Surroundings!
We should start with ‘SWACH BHARAT ABHIYAN’ during the Diwali fortnight for spreading cleanliness. Jumping on the bandwagon, we can adopt one village for toilet building so that people should not defecate in open in that village.
2) Try Educating if you can
India is a place where one can easily discover roaming empty brains. Many domestic workers don’t give importance to their children’s education and after sometimes indulge them in the similar activities. Diwali is a festival of grasping the attention of the youth and campaigning ideas. The uneducated chaps along with ongoing kids can be taught in an open place about various aspects of life. Similar to what Gandhi Ji did during his Champaran visit.
3) Rather than Donation, Gift them
Everyone has his own self-respect regardless of age, caste,class, colour and religion. Don’t “donate” them anything instead show your love and care as “gifts”. Donating something is like adding insult to injury. This gift could be in the form of new clothes, crackers, a box of sweets, candles or even a financial help. Gifting ideas is a good gesture and an initiative to brighten the lives of the underprivileged.
4)Go Green This Diwali
This Diwali goes green. Plant the houses of the underprivileged with green plants and fragrant flowers that provide a healthy and friendly environment. It would also help in keeping surroundings clean. Govardhan puja can be dedicated to cow protection day. Wasteful expenditure on expensive sweets and other articles be avoided.
5) Work with an NGO
Contact and work with NGO. There are hundreds of successfully running NGO’S in every state that works for improving the lives of the needy. NGO is basically a social platform that connects one section of society to the other face of society. Identify the cause or domain you would love to work for. There are many such as health, education, food security, senior citizen, empowerment, employment etc. Working and helping them in any manner is always appreciated.
6) Destroy the Discriminating
Money alone does not help poor and needy, it never did. It is the effort that will make a difference. There are many people who donate but donating themselves to humanity is a real saviour. Changing society thinking is a mile to cover but changing our mental level is in our hands. Stop discriminating ‘Hijras’ and looking them as someone from another planet. This Diwali we should take the pledge to destroy the discriminating, biased human inside us. We should also treat ‘diwali’ as a pledge day to give up all bad vices and teach our neighbours, friends, and relatives to do the same; including the bad habit of gambling be given up. We should learn and teach the lessons of love, goodwill, tolerance, restraint, coordination, dialogue, balance, positive attitude, sensitivities and ‘sewa’ for weaker sections of society.
7) Help by Giving them work
Like about 15 days before we usually get our homes white washed by engaging poor labourers to white wash paint our houses completely with the help of these labourers, painters, and cleaners. This creates employment. Goods are purchased along with toys and structures of god from sellers sitting at roadsides fills the pockets of poor potters and toy sellers. If you succeed in giving a little to any one person for that matter, it will be one of your greatest experience.
8) Invest To Help
Investing our money in ‘JAN DHAN YOJANA’ in favour of our poor acquaintances like ‘kamwali’ laundry woman and other needy poor neighbours and relatives. Start recognising them as your brothers and sisters.We should also give our annual profit to poor by way of charity. As an educated citizen it is our duty to make lesser educated people know about their rights and ask them to invest a part of their income for future for the betterment of their children. Investing with a motive to help will not hurt their self-respect too as you are helping them indirectly rather than just give them the money directly.
9) Help in Kind (Indirect money)
Sharing home-cooked food with beggars is a good gesture. This makes poor to feel that they also deserve a better treatment in the society. Always try to help the needy beggars begging outside the temples, church, mosque or gurudwara. Offer your help without being condescending or judgemental. Replace your help with money. Help them instead by paying a needy’s bills, giving them your old utensils, clothes, stationary items, or fruits and vegetables. Hospitals nowadays are charging a huge amount for their treatments. This amount could be ordinary for most of us but a mountain high for weaker sections of the society.Paying medical bills or purchasing medicines for such people is a huge help to them.
10) Give them Books
Everyone needs a friend, a guardian, a partner in crime and a company. Books for sure tops the list. Books not only gives a company to a person but also helps a person to walk on the invisible path that relates human life with the reality of nature. Books are a map of the existing world whose every page has a deep mystery embedded on it. Giving our old knowledgeable books to needy is a great surprise. This will help a poor to improve his standard of living and leaves on him an impression of deep thoughts. Books are our good friends and sharing them with needy spreads knowledge and education. Books are the source of nectar. Spreading education is nothing less than worshipping god.
Read about ways to celebrate Diwali here.