Too busy to care
Mumbai is a mirror of entire India. You can find people from all the states living in Mumbai for their bread and butter.Mumbai has towers which are touching skies and also the slums with the worst face of poverty in the world. What makes Mumbai different than other city is the 'Spirit of Mumbai' which is unmatched. The people who doesn't even care to talk with their neighbors; have given shelter to the victim of flood in Mumbai in past. We have seen people coming on streets and showing their unity after the Terrorists attacks on Mumbai.Thus Mumbai has all the 'heart' which is required to build a really great society. Then what is the reason that we all get united only after worst events like Bomb blasts, Attacks and Natural calamities etc.? Why does the people who celebrate all festivals together, celebrated Victories of Dhoni and team in World Cups don't show unity on day to day life. The reason is simple. Everyone is fighting for own survival in this city. The people have togetherness and competitions at the same time. Those who fight with each other to get into the crowded locals; travel together without further tussle once they get into the trains. Yes, the city streets are always busy with people. And no one has time for others due to their routine work. Again it's not easy to survive in such costly city where inflation is rising but not the income. Many people live hand to mouth lives. There are people who feed their families on daily wages. So no one affords the Bandhs and Strikes in Mumbai. When it come to donations; only few people show generosity. Even if they want to wish to help others they find themselves unable to do so.Just because they themselves doesn't have surplus money to keep donating others. But some do understand the importance of donations. Donating the needy people not only gives us satisfaction but also helps us to diminish our ego of being earner. Also the blessings which we get from people create kind of positive shield around us which helps us grow in our life. But in Mumbai the worst part is you never know whether your help is seriously reaching the needy one or not?
There are many fraud people who gain sympathy just by fooling people as they find it's a big business where no hard work is required. Many times you will find some family standing near platforms asking you some help; they will tell you that they have come to Mumbai but their all money is finished and request you to lend you some money so as to return their homes. But if you tried to buy them ticket; they will straightaway refuse and ask you to help in cash.Well; it's more than enough to understand that this couple is local and it's a trick to gain your sympathy to get some money from you. Children have become their important assets.They know that children are liable to get more sympathy than the grown ups and so they will force their children into begging. But all these things has some adverse effects. Due to such beggars,people stop giving alms which affects the real poor dependent beggers who really doesn't have any other way of living. This is not true only about beggars. All the NGOs in Mumbai are facing the same problem. Many people have made NGOs and TRUSTS their biggest businesses. They make these organizations to convert black money into white and misuse the donations of people. Due to such bogus social entrepreneurs real NGOs which are really working on some great causes suffer a lot in raising funds. Hence it's always advisable that rather than helping unknown NGOs, first get associated with them for some period, volunteer for them if possible; check their genuineness, understand their projects and then donate your money. Ofcourse these steps are important if you are donating any big amounts. It's interesting to note that people who work for NGOs sometimes doesn't even bother about how Management is raising its funds and how they are utilizing it. Many people say TIME is the biggest constraint in involving such social work. But really it's an old excuse now. If you have real interest in something you will really manage some time for that activity. Leisure time can be cut to some extent if you have passion for social work.Someone who really has a hectic schedule and not able to devote any time for social causes can at least help them passively. Spreading awareness about the cause can be really helpful to Organizations. Many people nowdays use Social Media for spreading awareness about the social causes right from their homes or work places. So any small help is useful. During Anna Hazare's Campaign against corruption we saw the power of social media.Now about "I don't have Money" syndrome. Do you know Marathi actor Nilu Phule who died recently. He was gardener before entering film industry. He used to donate 10% of his earnings to social organizations that time too when his monthly earning was merely Rs. 100/- and he continued his habit till his death. So rather than how much you are donating; what really matters is how genuinely you are donating? We can easily overcome the 'Too busy to care' syndrome using some small steps. No need to become full time social worker or start your own NGO to help society.
In my life I have done good bit of work for Society in an education sector. I have taught many students from slum areas of Mumbai during my twenties. I have seen how much struggle their parents take to educate them.So I have always found teaching a noble profession. But as I was working with some greedy people who were selfish and materialistic; I decided to quit it. I started to ignore the thing which always gave me satisfaction just because I really got some worst experiences about the people involved in this profession. Apart from that I have also felt cheated because of some parents who showed double standards. They cried in front of us about their poverty but had luxuries like dish antenna,refrigerators at home. Seriously you get pissed off when you realize that someone used your kindness for their selfish motives.
Today I would like to tell you about a true incident in my life which keeps me haunting many times.It was in 2006 when I was returning to home in Virar at late night around 1 a.m. As I closed my classes shutter late at 10:30 in Santacruz and had some food outside in restaurant at Santacruz itself; I reached Virar late. I sat in an Auto rikshaw and felt little bit relaxed. Auto driver took different short cut that day which was darker than the routine main road. Suddenly he took sharp turn on a road as if he is avoiding a big pothole and again started to drive. For a second I thought I saw a baby laying down on road. I asked Rikshawala,"What was that?"...Rikshawala told me to ignore it. But restlessly I asked him again "Arey boss, muze aisa laga koi chota baccha pada huwa tha raaste par". I was still not sure was it really a baby or just a dog sleeping on street as it was really dark and that turn was really sharp. Rikshaw wala shouted loudly, "Chodo na sahab, kisine apne najaayaz bacche ko marne ke liye chod diya hoga". We reached at home and I gave him money. While he was leaving I asked him can he drop me there again? He simply refused by saying, " Saab, aap is lafde me mat pado...Ho sakta hai, kisine jaan boojhkar bich raaste par bacche ko rakha hoga, taki Rikshaw rookne ke baad hamlaa karke passenger ko loot liya jaye". I saw his grinning face which chilled my spine. For a moment I thought as if he knows the real secret behind the 'Baby-on-the-street'. After I reached home, I kept bag, washed my face and sat on sofa thinking about the baby. There was several possibilities about the mysterious baby. I had mixture of feelings in my mind. I was kind of freaked out; little scared; little disappointed and little sad. I was not sure what action would be correct? I was worried about the baby and was afraid that someone will crush it under vehicle or some stray dog might injure her. At the same time I was hoping that someone travelling on the same road after me may have lifted the baby or may be the auto rikshaw wala himself may have reached there to see what happened to it. I wanted to go there again but it was almost 2:00 a.m. now and the place was too far to reach by walking. Also the threat about the trap told by AutoRiksha wala was more that enough to scare hell out of me.I could not sleep that day; but I didn't even took any action that day. I really found myself a gutless common man who get scared of uncertainties, darkness, black magic and above all another human beings. The very next day when I woke up after a nap I went straight to the place to find out the baby and to my surprise there was nothing. I don't know what happened to that small baby-on-the-street and I never discussed anything about it to anyone as I was afraid to be named as coward. But today after so many years; I have really started to feel that if people stop making presumptions about things and if we stop doubting the others we can really do something for someone. We may get cheated once-or-twice but atleast we can help the real needy people in the same process. So rather than stopping, we should keep giving to others till we doesn't get hurt.
I do want to work for Children. I have been teacher for many children and I have worked in education field many year.But for me the biggest challenge is to build an Organization where I can provide many needy students education in really affordable fees. I have seen my school troubling due to decrease in number of students opting for Marathi medium schools. I want to help them out somehow. Through my Ashwamedh Foundation Trust I have started my work. I will be coming up with some really important projects for children in health and education sector. In Mumbai 48% children are undernourished and most of them are not even getting food twice a day. I want to change this scene.Those who are responsible for not providing the most necessary help to children should be taught lessons. Corrupt people should be removed from these departments of services like health, and education etc. Right to information act has become the best weapon against them. I am determined to play a much vital role in Social sector of Mumbai in coming future.