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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cliched Altruism

Yesterday evening as I returned to my hostel room,a person with long beard and wearing a khaki shirt came to my room.As he opened the door and I saw him holding a printed booklet with pink slips in his hand ,I knew what it was all about.Its Diwali time and numerous NGO's ,student bodies around Kharagpur,infact across India are scuttling to celebrate the festival of lights with down trodden,the less fortunate and numerous other phrases used.At this point of year suddenly everybody starts recognising society is not equal...its about inequalities,unfairness,poverty and hunger.As they say
"Life is the left ass of a black woment...neither fair nor right"
And everybody wants to play a part in it..small maybe by donating,by atleast giving the joy of festival of lights with the lesser fortunate sections of society.No this is not a post where I ask you all to do this,quite the contrary,I beg to differ and I am not ashamed of it.I feel all this activity of celebrating diwali with downtrodden,donating clothes etc is nothing more than a cliche,an economically and socially useless activity,done with nothing more than a sole aim of showcasing or advertisng your human side.Infact celebrating Diwali like this when you say astute the whole year around is quite similar to a political party distributing free sarees on an election day.Busy exectives the whole year around plot how to snatch jobs from workers,how to pollute the enviornment and by donating in such causes are they trying to buy their soul from God or what?
Let me pen down the reasons why I find this astute activity of celebrating Diwali with poor etc nothing more than double standards and a socially disastorous activtity
The purpose of any social activity in the society should be to reduce the boundaries,the narowing down of rich poor gap.I dont see how Diwali celebrations achieve this.Giving sweets to a child one day only to leave him begging the other day for a square meal is the worst form of torture you can do.Its dehumanising...infact your donating,or go out to celebrate diwali is nothing more than a picnic for you that satisfies your are not that bad.Yes if anything all those person who do these activities do it forthemselves and not for the damned society.
The money spent on such activities could be easily diverted on other better activities that creates sustainable solutions ..for example donating books to local school libraries,arranging evening classes,initiating microfinancing schemes to creates sustainable employment .Infact the focus of all social activities in our country should be on education and poverty allevation through encouraging small and mid size enterprised.This will help in reducing unemploymemnt,increasing awarness and ultimately reducing the poor section of our country
I guess but we would continue donating for such useless celebrations,I did too because it makes us socially acceptable,participation in such activities whether delievering any results or not looks a tad good on our CV,helps corporate their so called CSR activities and make it a marketing gimic and ultimately its about a concept called cliched "altruism"..the new buzz word

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