Spreading the Light this Diwali
Old friends, new clothes, fireworks, diyas, boxes of sweets, family visits, pujas, card parties – some of us are blessed to be celebrating Diwali with all of these. But, can we spare a thought for those who aren’t?
Here are some ways to light up the lives of others this Diwali:
Charity begins at home:
Festivals mean extra work for your maid. Why not sweeten her bonus with a hamper for her children with a box of sweets and crackers, or even the cricket bat her son has been coveting?
While we take care of our household help, what about the street sweepers who have to clean up post Diwali. You could save a few goodies for them.
Instead of rushing to your usual sweet shop, try to source your sweets/chocolates/dried fruits/decorated hampers from Self-Help Groups.
Alone on Diwali:
Spare a thought for those who might be spending Diwali alone. Your aunt whose children are abroad, your colleague who couldn’t get a ticket home…. Call them over to join the party at your home or Association. They will look forward to it all week.
For the cost of a set of clothes you can have pizza or ice cream delivered to an orphanage or old age home in your neighborhood. Swing by to distribute the goodies yourself and feel the love. No time? You can organize it online.
When you go to the local fireworks shop, chances are you will find a bunch of eager-beaver urchins being shooed away. Buy a few boxes of flowerpots, sparklers, chakras and distribute it among them. The light on their faces will be brighter than anything you see in the sky.
Raise funds for your local charity while you have fun. Here’s how:
Have a dress code (like ‘wear one sparkling item’). Those who come in costume pay half the entry fee. Those who don’t, pay double or have to buy a sparkling paper cap at the door.
Sell artworks or handicrafts –
These could be painted diyas, wrapping paper or gift envelopes made by the kids in your apartment
Charge each participant a small fee and let the audience vote who’s best.
Ask guests/apartment members for contributions (home-made sweets, cakes, pickles, etc). Make them up into hampers and raffle them.
At the very least keep a labeled jar in a prominent place, into which your guests or other apartment members can slip in contributions.
Happy gifting this Diwali!