Give, and let live!

giveIt’s been a while since I blogged, but I thought it important to share information on some very interesting NGOs/charities I’ve come across [recently]. I understand the India has a huge number of NGOs (read a debate about the legitimacy of some of these NGOs a while back!), and it’s rather difficult to find good NGOs/charities on a regular basis. I do get badgered by enthusiastic management trainees from the popular NGOs once in a while, and I often turn them away since I like to donate to more obscure and upcoming charities rather than established ones (I also suspect they have more ‘overheads’, like paying the salaries for the MTs!).

I must emphasise that is very important for each one of us to give; we all have [one or more of] a roof over our head, good clothes to wear, and the luxury of a bike/car and smartphones, tablets and laptops. Let’s try to help others educate themselves, lead a healthy life and sustain themselves in changing and challenging circumstances. I think there’s an adage that 1/6th of one’s salary must be spent in ‘good deeds’; assuming that the taxes we pay are part of this, I am sure we can still part with a few thousands every year to help the needy. I also think that many of us are happy to donate, but aren’t aware of the best charities. All of us can’t become Bill and Melinda Gates (दाता लक्षेषु जायते), but I think a little help here and there can go make a big difference to at least a few people!

I think we all have causes we’d really like to support (mine are usually health, education, food, culture), so it’s good to share the word and let people know. I even toyed with the idea of a social portal for sharing, rating and ranking NGOs, but here goes my first effort. Here’s a list of NGOs which I have donated to in the past and I firmly believe to be sincere and doing good work, in their chosen sphere (I hope to have a dedicated post about each of them, and hope to update the links below):

  1. Deepam Trust (email; no webpage as far as I know for this Deepam trust)
  2. National Trust Niramaya: A Health Insurance Scheme for the welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities (web)
  3. Uday Foundation for Congenital Defects and Rare Blood Groups (web)
  4. Ramakrishna Mission Students’ Home (web)
  5. Madras Sanskrit College/V. Krishnaswami Iyer Sanskrit Educational Trust (web)
  6. Sevalaya (web)
  7. Samskrita Bharati (web)
  8. Teach for India (web)
  9. Veda Rakshana Nidhi Trust (VRNT)*
  10. Vidya Vikasa Trust: College Education of the Visually Impaired (web)*
  11. Wikipedia!
  12. Khan Academy!*
  13. Blood! Check out

There are any number of sayings about the importance of giving, and here’s a large collection of Sanskrit sayings!

*updated 11-Feb-2016

Anne Frank  “No one has ever become poor by giving.”