Bring Some Festive Cheer To Those Who May Have None
By: Hitesh, Chiara
Published On: November 11, 2020
How should we celebrate Diwali in 2020? This year has made us question a lot of things. Even our festivals and their celebrations are being analysed in a new light. Is Diwali just about shopping, visiting friends & family, and exchanging gifts? Or is there more to it?
Diwali signifies the victory of light over darkness, of good over evil, and of knowledge over ignorance. This 2020, with our actions and our efforts, we can help make this Diwali special for everyone. Especially for those who cannot celebrate it.
There are many people in our lives who we take for granted. From the person who collects your garbage early in the morning, to the watchman sitting outside day and night, to the sweeper who keeps the streets outside your home clean. Think about it: a day without them, and you will start feeling their absence. But their Diwali is going to be even more muted than usual, in the shadow of the pandemic. Why not make it special for them? This could be as simple as getting them something they may really need (masks, sanitizers, gloves), to ensuring that they have some money to send back home. They keep our lives ticking; can we help make them realize how much it means to us?
They need your help, but they cannot say it!
Diwali brings not just festivities; it also brings crackers & pollution. Be it stray dogs or cats, or even the winged visitors outside your home; they are all affected in different ways. But you can do your bit to help them. If you can, try to leave some food (bread, rotis, grains) and a bowl of water outside your house. Make sure that no one in your vicinity tries to harass the stray dogs and cats outside, and that you are able to give some semblance of a safe hiding spot for them till the crackers stop.
Come online and make a difference
This is that time of the year when we are bombarded by advertisements, and with posts by happy families we know of. It is only normal to wonder whether our celebrations are enough, whether we are doing enough. But pause for a moment, and think of those who will be unable to celebrate Diwali this year. Maybe their loved one is in the hospital or maybe they don’t even have a home, let alone a lamp, at this time of the year. We can’t change their lives by our efforts alone. But with the help of other kind strangers, we can help crowdfund a miracle!
Buy Local? Yes, But Buy With A Cause
There are so many things we need at this time of the year: diyas, lamps, lights, the likes. But rather than looking for the best discount or the best store, look for something else. There are a large number of NGOs helping women Self Help Groups make products and sell them online; TRIFED (under the Government of India) sells products made by tribals across India. Have a look at their portals and buy from them. Yes, you may have to spend a bit more, but you will not just be buying any other diya or dress. You could be supporting our country’s rich heritage in one way, or making socio-economic independence possible for some.
It is said that the first step is the hardest step. Maybe, you want to help but are unsure of how to help. Or maybe you know what to do, but cannot do it on your own. In such cases, how about volunteering for already established organizations? You can choose to offer your time and expertise in any way possible, knowing that your efforts are helping people & causes close to your heart. A simple search online can throw up names of a number of NGOs working in your area.
This festive season, as you light up your home, bring some light into other, less-fortunate lives as well. Happy Diwali!