A pleasant day. It was drizzling as I drove my Climber. I was on my way to Bhaskar Arts to pick some art materials. They home deliver on WhatsApp-ing; however I find my reason(s) to go out for sometime. That keeps me sane. As I stopped at a signal, a man in his rags and may-be-50s, came to me and started talking.
He said "Amma, I have no one to take care. I have not eaten for 2 days. Please give me some money."
"I will park the car, crossing the signal. There is a hotel there. I will get something for you to eat. Please come there." I replied.
He got a little irritated. "Amma, give me money. I dont want food."
I said "I wont give you money. I can get you food."
"Why amma?" he questioned.
"You might get into liquor store as I drop money into your hands." I was straight.
He stared "Amma, liquor shop is 50 steps from here. You can find many people there. I don't even visit that place."
I had all smiles. "I can get you food, but I would donate you money." I asserted.
"I dont need food.", he walked away.
The signal turned green and I drove ahead. As I drove, this man on the signal reminded me of an incident that took place in the office few years back. An employee in the office had requested for a crowd funding for his son's projected heart problem. Quite some amount was collected. However just before handing over the collected fund, a back ground check from few sensible ones revealed that the projected heart problem was fake. The collected funds were rightly returned to all individuals.
Several such instances took my faith off charity and some big names involved with charity. I don't believe in crowd funding and donations unless I know the details and am involved in person. I was often told at home, "dhaana"(charity) is good thing; but "Apaatradhaana" (charity to wrong hands/reasons) is not just bad, but worse. Instead of help, it might cause damage. Say, had I given money to that signal person, he might have spend that on liquor and spoiled his health; probably lying on some corner of the road OR probably venting out his frustrations on the weaker ones of his family after liquor consumption.
As a kid, I was often told at home, "Dont give fish to a hungry man, teach him fishing." True that to any person or condition. When you give a fish to a hungry man, it works probably once, but when you teach fishing, one knows to self feed anytime in need. So probably, a better way to help people in need is to empower them with means to earn; rather than one time feed. Of-course, it's a different case in situations like covid19, where employment and food both have been a challenging aspect to a certain sector of people.
As I drove further, I remembered a situation in office, (sometime during 2016), a random chit picking to pose a question on a public event. I strongly felt the chit numbers were pre-planned; but yes I have always been a sport. It was my number and I was questioned "What would you be doing, if you were not working for this company?"; My heart-felt answer was "I would probably be working for Mother Teresa organization." Now when I look back at it, I see the dots getting connected.
I do want to write more on this, but its time to tuck my daughter to sleep. Would talk about this again sometime for sure. Until then, happy rewinds, if this read has triggered some rewind buttons in you. If not thumps up for the food I gave you for your thoughts. C ya ...... :)