GIVING - By Anamika Majumder

My inbox was recently inundated with emails from various organizations seeking support during Giving Tuesday – a global movement that marks the beginning of the ‘giving season’ and happens on the Tuesday after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. It was interesting to learn that close to $20 million were raised this year on this day – almost twice that of 2012. This took me back to a topic I have often been intrigued by – “GIVING”.

I have always been amazed and impressed with the willingness of the people living in the States to not just contribute financially but also to spend the time and effort to raise funds for causes close to their hearts. I most likely wouldn’t have cared to start this foundation in order to give back to the country where I have grown up had I not had the opportunity to live in the United States a good number of years.

The economic reforms of the early nineties has brought millions above the poverty line – and yet this country where 1.2 B people live faces several challenges from mass attainment of meaningful education to access to health care to the repercussions of our antiquated caste system AND there are 250 million people that are chronically hungry (not because there isn’t enough food, but a poor storage and distribution system). Can today’s middle class that although is only 10% of this vast population but has a huge disposable income (that was unimaginable in the pre-reform years) play a role in molding a better tomorrow?

If each of us who is privileged in so many different ways makes a continuous attempt to improve lives and not be apathetic to the plight of the not so fortunate ones around us, we can certainly make a difference. I am not saying we should give up the comfort we have earned - but take it upon ourselves on a regular basis to do an act of kindness that might change someone’s life completely. This giving season (and the rest of the year) give to a cause that is close to your heart because each one us has the potential to bring about change - the election results in Delhi have shown us just that!

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