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Donating to flood relief is not an invitation to dispose your expired, spoiled items. It involves responsibility and sensitivity, writes a donor to the Jammu and Kashmir flood relief efforts.
Donating to flood relief is not an invitation to dispose your expired, spoiled items. It involves responsibility, sensitivity, and dignity, writes a donor to the Jammu and Kashmir flood relief efforts.
As I saw the images of water sweeping away houses, roads, and lives, a simple dinner of dal chawal looked like a luxury to me. It made my four-year-old ask questions – why are people walking through water?
I wasn’t happy being a spectator or being an armchair volunteer sharing pictures of heroism of our army in the flood relief operations in Jammu and Kashmir. “How can we contribute for this calamity?” the husband asked too. I looked out for a trustworthy non-government organization (NGO) and found Goonj. It has been working for flood victims for many years.
I reached out to people through Whatsapp and Facebook groups. Out of 40 odd people, only 8 friends responded. I shared the list of items needed by Goonj, and within two days, we pooled in much-needed items like toilet supplies, footwear, medicines, woolen blankets and utensils, hired a vehicle, and sent it to their collection centre.
My experience of this little contribution was that we have become insensitive and too busy to care for others.
My experience of this little contribution was that we have become insensitive and too busy to care for others. We have all the time to share jokes and silly forwards on Whatsapp and Facebook, or to plan parties or buy sequinned chania choli for kids for dandiya. But who has time to figure out what’s happening to people who have lost their house, assets, vehicles etc in a natural calamity?
Another thing which I noticed is our tendency to give stuff from our storerooms! On its Facebook page, Goonj repeatedly requested people to stop sending old, dirty, and ripped clothes, expired medicines and namkeens etc. Sheetal Mehra, a volunteer from Mumbai, who along with her sisters started a drive to collect stuff for Jammu flood victims on behalf of Chinar International, received just clothes for the first few days.
“People came out in large numbers to contribute, but at one point we had to refuse old clothes outright as it isn’t the only thing that’s needed” says Sheetal Mehra. Now, as she has the list of most needed items, she is requesting donors to give as per the need.
Anything given without dignity will have the worst psychological impact on the taker.
“We want the best food and best clothes, but we end up giving used clothes or leftover food. Anything given without dignity will have the worst psychological impact on the taker” says Dr Rita Savla, founder and director of Radhee, a disaster and education foundation. She has a first-person experience of how people donate, because she has worked in the rescue teams for more than 10 natural and man-made disasters, including the Kutch earthquake, the Indian Ocean tsunami, and the Mumbai train blasts. She has seen alu puri being donated to sick people in the hospitals, and basmati rice being distributed to the flood victims in South!
Well, this weekend, I will be giving alu puri and sprout salad too. But at a price of Rs 20. The proceeds of this food sale will go to the relief fund which my son’s school is raising. I hope this little contribution will give people in the valley hope, for better days to come again!
Pic credit: PTI and Hindustan Times
Rachna Monga Koppikar aka The Great Gruhini is a finance writer who’s worked with India’s leading publications for well over a decade. Having swam and mastered the treacherous waters of corporate and personal read more...
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Tripti Dimri had completely won everyone over with her performance in Bulbbul. so there is a great deal riding on her new Netflix film Qala.
Netflix’ latest release, Qala (2022) is Tripti Dimri’s second collaboration with Anvita Dutt and Clean Slate Filmz after Bulbbul (2020). Her performance was applauded in 2020 with Bulbbul’s character becoming well known in most Indian households.
Thus, the audiences certainly had high expectations from Qala, a film that portrays a protagonist who suffers from schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder, in terms of what Dimri, Dutt and Clean Slate Filmz would together deliver.
Does Qala match up to Bulbbul?
A few Bangalore schools recently did a search of students' bags for mobile phones that are banned inside, and were shocked to find condoms, oral contraceptives, cigarettes, etc.
When schools in Bangalore conducted surprise checks of the bags of students to see if they were bringing cell phones to school, they were in for a nasty surprise.
As this report in the Deccan Herald says, “In addition to cell phones, they found condoms, oral contraceptives, cigarettes, lighters and whiteners in the bags of students of grades 8, 9 and 10. To their credit, the school authorities handled the situation with maturity- instead of suspending the students, they informed the parents and/ or guardians and advised them to seek counselling for their wards.”
People are, understandably shocked to find out that adolescents in the age group 12 to 15 years are potentially indulging in sexual intercourse. People largely fall into four camps–
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