Did you know that there are 13 million homeless children in India?
Did you know that 3% of India's children are mentally/physically challenged?
Did you know that of every 100 Indian children born 1 dies before birth?
There are many more alarming statistics about the aged, the destitute and other under privileged that I can pull out to prove my point but this post is not for dramatic effect. On the contrary, I am sure we are all aware of the situation around us. Whilst we are all proud that INDIA is indeed SHINING on the economic front, I am sure we are also in agreement that there is lots more that needs to be done.
Social revolutions do not need special people - all it takes is for each of us to realize our responsibilities towards the society we live in. "The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step" But why is it that we are all so pre-occupied with our own lives that we think we have done our bit by simply sending in that odd check towards our favorite charity. I am not, in any way, demeaning our efforts but isn't it time we realized we needed to do more than that. Finances are scarce and yes, the monetary angle is definitely one that needs attention. But when was the last time we took a Sunday afternoon off to meet these abandoned old citizens and spend quality time with them. Do we remember our last outing to an orphanage when we set aside half a day to see life through their eyes?
When I say "we", I do not take the moral high ground and exclude myself. I am as guilty as you are. I still remember the delight in the eyes of all those wonderful, old people at Annai Ashram when we visited them to gift them the clothes we had collected at RECT. I still have fond memories of that trip to the orphanage in East Tambaram when I was working in Infy. Why, even that half a day trip to the home for abandoned children near Churchgate during first year at SP remains fresh in my mind. Why is it that I have never been able to do it more regularly? Isn't it time we all woke up to the fact that we are so much better off than some of our other brethren? Isn't it time for us to do something about it? Think about it.
Leaving you with a link to one of the people I tremendously admire in my life. I am sure you must have heard about Vidyakar of Udavum Karangal
Anyone who has ever visited his facility at Tiruverkadu will be a reborn person. However if you are weak at heart, I would advice that you stay away since one is sure to be emotionally gutted.
I guess I have made my point. At this point I would like to acknowledge the efforts of a few people.
My friend Jayashri in Chennai who for all her crankiness unfailingly devotes time teaching under privileged children every weekend.
BP for your unselfish and tireless work for the Infy foundation
All my fellow Rotaractors, particularly Mansur, Partha and BK who believed in what we did (however small it may have been) those days
And lastly, KS, for being my conscience keeper and reminding me that my writing this post could actually make a difference. I am proud to have known ya and I gotta thank Infy for it.