The Art of Giving!

Giving is imbibed into Indian Culture. For us every occasion / celebration is linked up to some kind of giving. Giving is rightly defined as an Art because it is neitherGiving gained by virtue of money nor intelligence. It takes its form in a kind heart that can pause and think about a fellow human being. There are rich who haven’t yet developed a taste for giving and there are people at the other end of the spectrum who have mastered the art of giving. Let us explore some avenues and grasp some tips while we embark on the journey of giving.

Why do we give?

Giving gets us happiness. Yes, more happiness than any THING that we could buy, any TRIP that we could plan, any SAVING/ INVESTMENT that we could do for future. Don’t we all fondly remember every detail of our giving experiences? Can you recollect that smile on your face when you gave away those old clothes, that satisfaction you felt while drawing a cheque for that girl from the NGO, that call you get from a beneficiary saying he / she has got the book set / computer that you sent, that news that the child you tutored passed the exam, that uncle who called up to say the Uber you installed on his phone changed his life? Yes I do too. Every single act of kindness will make us happier. They help us identify the cause we live for!

What can we give?

Besides money there are various things that we can give in various forms

FOOD: Giving food full-fills the most basic need of a fellow being

  • We all give the unconsumed food to our helpers.
  • We could carry some spare food to donate to aged beggars we find at the signals
  • We could avoid food wastage after parties by intimating GlowTide or any other NGO which picks up the food and distributes among the needy.

TIME: The greatest gift you could give someone is your time

  • Do a task – ask that elderly couple if they need something before going to grocer; help them install APPs and make their utility payments online.
  • Make someone feel important – Call up that old aunt of yours on her birthday
  • Fill up a survey / feedback form – Be a good customer, take a minute out to fill up that odd feedback form with genuine information.
  • Share the load – Try helping an over worked colleague in your spare time. Trust me what goes around definitely comes around

KNOWLEDGE: Knowledge is a peculiar thing which increases by sharing!

  • Tutor a kid – look around you will find a maid’s son struggling with Mathematics / English. Couple of hours on weekends that you spend with him helping him with his basic concepts could make a sea of different to his education.
  • Train someone in a skill – it could be as simple as teaching an enthusiastic watchman how to type. We may never know how such skills help them in the future.

OLD / USED stuff: Pre-loved things are special and they could become more special by giving!

  • Clothes / shoes / bags /accessories – We could donate these to our helpers at home. I feel happy whenever I see my maid wearing that favorite salwar kameez of mine which doesn’t fit me anymore. There are NGOs who could arrange pickups like cssvision.org
  • Electronics – We could forego that 1000 rupees we may get on selling an old phone and give it to the neighborhood repair shop guy. Trust me he will disassemble it make much more out of the spare parts.

LIFE: Family is not always blood relations. It could be made of people who want you to be in their lives.

  • Adopt a kid – Instead of having a second child we could adopt one. Giving life is any day better than giving birth! There could be a lot of social stigmas attached to this. But we have to be the change that we wish to see. Adoption Coordination Agency (ACA) could help us through the procedure
  • Adopt a senior citizen – In this age of globalization, the kids live far away. If we stay away from our parents and we miss them dearly we could adopt a senior citizen in your locality. My husband’s friend drives my in-laws around whenever they can’t find a driver. He has become a part of our family now.

ORGANS / BLOOD: Don’t we all want a part of us to stay back in this world?

  • Blood: A healthy human being (> 18 years) could donate once in every 3 months. We stand to gain by donating blood as it boosts the production of red blood cells besides we also get a regular and free blood screening.
  • Organs: It hurts to know that only 1 out of 30 people who need a kidney receive one. Organ donation allows us to live after death in not one but multiple forms. The website Donate Life India provides a lot of information to bust our myths and make us take the plunge.

COMPLIMENT: Last but not the least; we could occasionally spare a heartfelt compliment. It has the potential to make a person’s day while it costs nothing to the giver.

When do we give?

Give to Celebrate: We could inculcate the habit of giving in your kids by celebrating their birthdays at an orphanage. A wedding could get bigger and better by donating food to an equal number of needy people as the number of guests.

Give on Success: My employer, Greenko, takes up complete responsibility of educating 3 girl children for every win of the Telugu Titans team (The Kabaddi team owned by Greenko). What a way to celebrate success! We could definitely try this on a smaller scale that fits our bill.

Give to Mourn: When a beloved one passes away, the pain associated is excruciating and the memories haunting. Get relief by donating the belongings to people in need.

Give to de-clutter: If you find anything in your house that you have not used for the last one year. Then GIVE it away

How do we give?

I would like to differ with the age old saying that goes, “Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand donates”. I would say let people know and let them get motivated. Your giving gets bigger by encouraging others to give.

Happy giving and happy gaining!

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Read, weave or translate Stories!

It is an uncontested fact that stories are the best tools to teach kids. Besides the moral values, they could help provide the child a wider vocabulary, introduce them to different characters, increase their world view. The kids who read more are  much more confident in facing the world and sailing through unexpected circumstances.

Last but not the least, they are awesome soothers. They help the kid calm down, forget the stress and slip into a peaceful sleep. Not one day passes with out a bed time story routine for Little D.

Thanks to the group The Reading Raccoons , I was introduced to this website  storyweaver.org.in 

Weave your stories here!

Launched on September 8, 2015, this platform is started with an objective of increasing literacy. With 800 stories in 24 languages it is definitely the largest database of Indian stories. Besides open access to these stories, the platform enables users to create stories of their own with the help of 2000+ free sketches. One could just pickup few sketches and weave around a story. One could also translate stories into their mother tongue. I took a shot at it and now have a story to my name – Take a look .

adhi amtha pilli thappu!

Just imagine if all the stories there were in all the languages are translated across all the other languages, will there ever be any shortage in the availability of good stories?

I am a great fan of my mother tongue – Telugu. But I always got disappointed when I search for Telugu story books for my son. This initiative will quench the thirst of many moms like me!

And I have no doubt that this platform will grow leaps and bounds in spreading happiness through those short and sweet stories. I urge all of you to let your creative juices flow and weave awesome stories or if you are half impossibly-non-creative as me then translate few stories!

Memories of Teachers’ day!

This day every year the nostalgia of the good old school days come back to me. On this day way back in 1998, in senior school, we were expected to enact as our teachers and manage the whole school for one full day. That day we looked forward to, that day which brought excitement along with chills down our spines. Ah Teachers’ Day it is again!

teacher

My math tutor got me upto speed on some calculus topic. My mom lent me a nice crispy green saree of hers for my big day. I held my head a little higher than the usual as I hung my hand bag (instead of the usual school bag) and got into the school bus. Good morning teacher! pleasant greetings from all the junior school kids really boosted by confidence. I needed a lot of it as I was headed to play the triple role of our vice-principal cum class teacher cum math teacher.

To put a stop to my trembling nerves, I rushed straight to my own class. I killed some time by handling the routine tasks like attendance and  started off introducing Calculus. I thought I cracked it until an innocent hand shot up into the air disguised in the form of a doubt. I hardly reached the boy and asked him what his doubt was, the naughty last benchers took off. They just started making some noises, moved the benches around and would act deaf when I asked them to calm down. I remember I had to fight back my frustration and just keep my pace to accomplish my target of conveying the importance of calculus. That day gave me glimpse of how hard being teacher was and my respect for my teachers went up by many notches.

Besides the mock classes by students we also had on stage cultural performances by our teachers. We the enacting teachers turn judges to evaluate their performance and distributed prizes. The whole this was so much fun while it helped us get closer to our teachers.

teachersday

I am not sure if such celebrations exist across schools but would definitely make sense to introduce them!