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Old 22nd May 2008, 12:53   #1
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India faces a thousand issues and many are beyond the help of the Government. Could we float a Team_BHP Fund after polling the cause we wish to support? Monies collected could be channelled to the PM's Relief Fund, or any appropriate NGO (again after collective decision). I'm sure we can obtain Tax waiver.

Issues I see are:

Food insecurity: many including (and especially) children are malnourished.
Housing insecurity: millions without a roof over their heads (we can see the homeless around us in every single city)
Natural calamities
Education
Child labour

Could people please add to the list so we can prioritize?

Way I see it is we Team_BHPians are the creamy layer. We are successful, and some of us even rich. While we indulge in banter about cars, gadgets and other things inconsequential and inane, there are people- Indians- not much further than our own doorsteps who can only focus on where their next meal is going to come from, where they will find shelter from the rain. And many are not successful.
It's a safe bet that NOT ONE Team_BHPian has ever HAD to go hungry for even a day!

Speaking for myself, I feel rotten for indulging in such frivolities knowing another faces such dire circumstances. (I ride a Honda Fireblade. The construction workers kids wave insouciantly and joyfully at me as I pass them every morning, but they live in makeshift huts that-I'm pretty sure- leak when it rains. Rs 20 would probably cover the dietary requirements of that entire family for a whole day, so where in any macro equation is there justification-in this context- for a guy whizzing past on a bike worth 5 lakhs? It's so mind-boggling, it's criminal. To one for whom food is a struggle, mere transport like a simple moped would seem a luxury. A superbike is off the scale. I think it's hugely unfair that I can even discuss a car worth 3.5 crores when the person down the road cannot manage Ten Rupees to get a decent meal. I'm pretty sure we have each- at some time or other- seen a fellow human eat out of a dustbin.

To get some idea of how removed we all are from the life-threatening situations the unlucky have to weather, take a look at the 'Issues' section on the Forum: you'll find us discussing and cursing the state of our roads, poor street lighting, the damage caused to our expensive vehicles by floods and more. Weigh that against a situation where a man is starving. And then tell me we don't have to put something back to help tip those scales even a little bit.

My point is NOT A SINGLE TEAM_BHPIAN has to worry about his or her next meal. Or a home to protect them from the weather. We can and do take them for granted. Others are not so lucky. Are we going to sit back and see them become victims of their luck -a luck that didn't ensure they were born into the right families, luck that didn't give them the right education, luck that didn't place them in the right row when the good jobs were being dished out.

(There are tears in my eyes as I type this, and I think they are tears of shame.)

Anyone with me?
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Old 22nd May 2008, 13:06   #2
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@netchef: while I agree to the emotions, I would rather help someone poor directly than pay to a Govt Fund like PM's relief Fund becasue this is how our money is utilised:-
Quote:
MUMBAI: More than Rs 1,400 crore contributed by the public to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund are lying unused, a right to information (RTI) application has revealed. Another fact which came out in the query filed by Mumbai-based RTI activist Shailesh Gandhi was that the PM’s Relief Fund, which was instituted in 1948, swelled by Rs 239.68 cr last year but only Rs 64.77 crore were utilised.
Read more here

Rs 1,400 cr in PM's Relief Fund lie idle
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Old 22nd May 2008, 13:19   #3
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@ Netchef - Am with you here.

As pointed out, govt. funds and the likes do seem to possess their inherent lack of focus in executing a purpose.

Having said so, the purpose need not also be a nation-wide scheme.

If in your personal capacity, you can identify a small cause that needs attention, am ready to place my faith and shall do my needful bit and together as a team - we could help a small cause. In my limited opinion, that's workable.

Maybe just a start, but then long journeys still start with a step.

Keep us posted,please.
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Old 22nd May 2008, 13:25   #4
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Another example of Govt. funds not finding its way to the needy. 5600 crore worth of Tsunami Funds are yet to be utilised. Netchef, your thoughts are noble but instead of giving to the govt. its better that we help the needy directly.
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Old 22nd May 2008, 13:26   #5
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netchef, while I appreciate your emotion - I do not think starting a thread is going to sort the country's problems.
Quote:
Speaking for myself, I feel rotten for indulging in such frivolities knowing another faces such dire circumstances. (I ride a Honda Fireblade. The construction workers kids wave insouciantly and joyfully at me as I pass them every morning, but they live in makeshift huts that-I'm pretty sure- leak when it rains. Rs 20 would probably cover the dietary requirements of that entire family for a whole day, so where in any macro equation is there justification-in this context- for a guy whizzing past on a bike worth 5 lakhs?
It is indeed laudable that you feel empathy for the poor.

There are many ways you can help the poor. Either with money or with help, education and more.
Remember there are two basic rules of charity.

1) Start at home. -
One example - pay for your maid/ housekeeper/driver's kids education. Ask them to get the school fee bill and you pay it. Accompany your staff to the book shop every year and pay for text books. Pay for uniforms. From primary school to the 10th standard. At least for one child.

2) The best charity is the one done quietly with the least fuss.
We have a wonderful saying in Hindi translated as, when you give something, it should be so quiet that the other hand shouldn't know what the other hand did.

Charity done in a big way with publicity is no charity at all.

If each one of us does a little something starting from the people around him, a lot will change.

I speak for myself. If each one of us speaks for himself and does something, we will have achieved much more than by starting a thread and sending money to the government which will either be misused, or unused.

Quote:
There are tears in my eyes as I type this, and I think they are tears of shame.
If you can follow the above two points, you will feel no shame to enjoy the money you have.

These views are my own. No one has to agree with me.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 22nd May 2008 at 13:28.
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Old 22nd May 2008, 13:31   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technocrat View Post
@netchef: while I agree to the emotions, I would rather help someone poor directly than pay to a Govt Fund like PM's relief Fund becasue this is how our money is utilised:-


Read more here

Rs 1,400 cr in PM's Relief Fund lie idle

Very good point, Sir- I read the article. But, you are for the idea of a Fund in principle?
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Old 22nd May 2008, 13:34   #7
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@Netchef, I believe more in the ways mentioned in my original post & best described by Sam, than starting a fund.
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Old 22nd May 2008, 13:37   #8
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I would agree with Sam, even though I do make a yearly donation to CRY (on my birthday) it's better to do the charity ourselves.

Helping someone like your household helps children or your driver's children to a better education is a better & more effective idea. Plus, since you can monitor the children you can also see if the money is being wasted or utilised which we cannot do in Govt. funds. We all know what Late Mr. Rajeev Gandhi said about the percentage of funds that actually reach the poor, and that is true even today.
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Old 22nd May 2008, 14:05   #9
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I believe a fund and such is not the right approach.
Micro is the best way to go.
For example lots of us give lavish parties on our birthdays to our friend or family.
How much more it will cost if all of us take a wow that on every b'day we will go out and make sure 10-20 street kids have a full decent meal.
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Old 22nd May 2008, 14:27   #10
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Like sam said charity begins at home, yes you got to help the people who help you, at the same time, if you can do more, i would suggest spending time as well as money & effort in helping out in real projects. Sometimes more than money, your time & effort are precious.

And you do not have to do charity just so that you dont have to be ashamed of your money, do it if you believe in it.
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Old 22nd May 2008, 14:42   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
1) Start at home. -
One example - pay for your maid/ housekeeper/driver's kids education. Ask them to get the school fee bill and you pay it. Accompany your staff to the book shop every year and pay for text books. Pay for uniforms. From primary school to the 10th standard. At least for one child.
There is no better place to start than at home.
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Old 22nd May 2008, 14:43   #12
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Originally Posted by esteem_lover View Post
And you do not have to do charity just so that you dont have to be ashamed of your money, do it if you believe in it.
Icouldn't agree more. All of us drive nice cars and live in nice houses because we work hard/ our parents worked hard. Unless you cheated someone, there is no reason to be ashamed of what you have.

Do charity because others don't have much. Not because you have a lot.
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Old 22nd May 2008, 14:54   #13
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Agree with All that charity begins at home, Could we not think of something which can be done at the Team-BHP level to help any people or organization that is in need??

We have a group of 30 friends at college and formed a team "Spandana" which got registered last year. we try to pick some institute/place/old age homes/etc... every six months and raise funds(for this there is an account created for "Spandana" and people can directly do on-line transfers on how much ever they feel like contributing)

Request to Mods:

Would it not be possible to establish such a facility at the Team-BHP level where thousands of people can contribute for the good cause and the fund can be spent on some one who is really in need from Team-BHP. I understand that this can take little amount of time from couple of people on tracking. But feel it is really worth considering the potential of TBHPians and how we can emerge as team helping the Nation

sorry for the long message as I wanted to share what I really felt after reading the post of netchef
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Old 22nd May 2008, 15:19   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
There are many ways you can help the poor. Either with money or with help, education and more.
Remember there are two basic rules of charity.
Entirely agree. It may seem difficult for one person to change the world for the better, but if one has to do something, he can change it one being at a time. In the film `Schindler's List', there was a quote which says `to save one is to save the world'. Personally, I prefer to do whatever silently and privately.
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Old 22nd May 2008, 16:50   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
netchef, while I appreciate your emotion - I do not think starting a thread is going to sort the country's problems.
It is indeed laudable that you feel empathy for the poor.

There are many ways you can help the poor. Either with money or with help, education and more.
Remember there are two basic rules of charity.

1) Start at home. -
One example - pay for your maid/ housekeeper/driver's kids education. Ask them to get the school fee bill and you pay it. Accompany your staff to the book shop every year and pay for text books. Pay for uniforms. From primary school to the 10th standard. At least for one child.

2) The best charity is the one done quietly with the least fuss.
We have a wonderful saying in Hindi translated as, when you give something, it should be so quiet that the other hand shouldn't know what the other hand did.

Charity done in a big way with publicity is no charity at all.

If each one of us does a little something starting from the people around him, a lot will change.

I speak for myself. If each one of us speaks for himself and does something, we will have achieved much more than by starting a thread and sending money to the government which will either be misused, or unused.

If you can follow the above two points, you will feel no shame to enjoy the money you have.

These views are my own. No one has to agree with me.
Sir, we each do our little somethings, I'm sure, but the problem is running away from us. My idea is not to start a thread but to feel for consensus and start a Fund. The thread is only a tool to achieve this, provided the Forum allows it of course. I firmly believe the magnitude of the issues we see call for a macro-level solution. If you infer that we may not be able to handle the logistics of a larger scale (hence nibble away at the problem in a small way), I agree- it's why I suggest we channel the money to a professional set-up.

Technocrat too rightly points out that money sent to the Government might not be the wisest solution, and I buy the argument. But I'm pretty sure there are more than a handfull of NGOs where the tyres will really hit the ground.

All I ask is can the average Team_BHPian not pledge Rs 100 a month or Rs 500 a year or whatever? Don't we want to do something to stem the tide?

BTW, I'm certainly not rich by any measure. I do know that I've never starved or come close to it. And that puts me in the 'other' camp- the only camp that can change things for the helpless.

That's how I see it. It's my humble opinion. If TeamBHP does not agree it would like to do something, that's fine- no law binding anyone, but we have the mass and the quorum. And the reach. There are lots of fine, sensitive people in our rank and file and it would be wonderful and fulfilling if we could channel our 'association' into something concrete, something of gravity. Something we can be proud of.

20 years down the road (if I'm still alive), I don't think it will make an iota of a difference to the planet if I put a turbo into my car, or hit 300 kmph.
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