THE festival of giving and sharing is here. During Diwali, we exchange gifts, spend time with family and friends and soak in the atmosphere of festivities all around us. Diwali is also the time when we reach out to the less fortunate and donate to charity. Since India is just coming out of a harrowing eighteen months, many Indians are cutting down on self-indulgence and giving more to show that they care for their fellow citizens.
Last year, a survey by Give brought to light how Indians would like to donate more than ever before. This appetite for giving increased radically because of the coronavirus crisis, with 85% of the people surveyed conveying a heightened desire to donate or give back. Only 12% said they would have to reduce their charitable giving in these difficult times. 40% of those wanting to give back opted to volunteer their time.
Here are five causes that you can donate to during Diwali and brighten the lives of the needy:
Many family members who come to cities from rural areas searching for medical care for their loved ones often end up on the pavements outside hospitals as they cannot afford a hotel or any other facility. Many of them rarely have enough money even to have decent meals. Vikas Parchhanda, CEO Akshaya Chaitanya, supports 1500 family members living outside government hospitals in Mumbai with hot and nutritious meals every day. “We wanted to ensure no families of the patients getting treated in these hospitals go hungry or compromise on their meals,” says Parchhanda.
Food for the ‘Hospital Feeding Programme’ is made in a centralised Akshaya Chaitanya kitchen where 110kgs of rice, 80kgs of dal and 140kgs of vegetables are cooked every day. Rice, mixed veg gravy, sambhar, pulao and curd are some items they serve.
But with funds drying up, Parchhanda and his team can sustain only for another month. You can help Akshaya Chaitanya provide free meals and help these families save at least Rs. 100/- every day – a big amount for low-income individuals.
You can donate here so that Parchhanda can continue feeding the needy.
Cheshire Homes has been a loving home for girls with disabilities who are often ostracised, discriminated against or abandoned by their own families.
“When a disabled girl is born to a poor family in the rural areas, then the girl child suffers from total neglect. They just are allowed to rot literally and waste away their lives. We open doors to such girls and help transform their lives and become productive members of society,” says an official of the Cheshire Homes India.
Cheshire Homes India in Bengaluru shelters 28 girls, and it spends around ₹16,000 a month per girl to meet all their needs, including nutrition and shelter, education, corrective surgeries, skills training, etc. But with the dwindling number of donors because of the pandemic, they are struggling to fulfil it.
You can support the 28-vulnerable girls with disabilities. Donate here.
It’s hard to ignore a mother’s cry who has lost two sons to a rare heart disease, and her third son is also facing a similar fate. But Chandra is trying her best to save 12-year-old Ramajayam.
Ramajayam is diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick, making it hard for the heart to pump blood – eventually leading to organ failure and death. His only way to survive is an urgent heart transplant worth ₹75 lakh, which his poor mother cannot afford.
There is no one Chandra can turn to in her time of need to save her son. Without your support, Chandra will probably lose her only child. Help Ramajayam get a heart transplant at the earliest. Donate here to save him.
The twins are just like any other 3-year-old kids. Shraddha and Shreeya smile and giggle and like having fun together. But they can’t do what kids their age can do—walk, run or play.
A rare condition called Arnold Chiari Malformation has led to a growing tumour in both of their brains, making it difficult for them to gain balance. The disease has caged the spirit of these young kids who are yearning to have a normal childhood. Only a surgery costing ₹ 9 Lakh will make it possible. But their farmer father has no means to afford it and needs your help to save the lives of his precious daughters.
“Even if I work on my farm 24×7, I won’t be able to afford it in a short period of time. With pandemics and lack of monsoon, there hasn’t been much harvest in months. Please help us get our daughters surgery… else they will be disabled for life,” cries father Nagnath.
Donate here and bring sunshine in the lives of Shraddha and Shreeya
Mumbai-based Triveni Acharya has been fighting the battle for over twenty years now. The co-founder of Rescue Foundation has fearlessly led the way in rescuing over 5,000+ victims of child trafficking through her organisation.
Often, the young girls she has rescued are barely 8 to 12 years old, locked up in brothels for days, starved, beaten, and raped until they learn to service up to 25 clients a day.
Rescue Foundation has four homes for the survivors where they are provided housing, food, healthcare, psychological support, education, vocational training and legal aid. Rescue Foundation also takes care of girls and women who are HIV positive or even pregnant, when they are rescued.
Keeping in the spirit of Diwali, make a donation to a cause and brighten the lives of the needy. #RoshanKaroDiwali!
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