I happened to read an article on Facebook posted by someone, with a hard hitting on your face photograph of street children in India. I almost came to tears…seeing a bunch of kids who neither had a confirmed source of food nor even clothes to cover themselves.
Despite having three different and distinct models that Governments and parties the world over have run, Communism, Socialism and Capitalism, as I have known them, none of them have shown or demonstrated to have reduced inequality significantly. Anywhere in the world. If you know, please let me know.
I just read some stark statistics on the net – just about 85 global billionaires own as much as what 3 billion of the world have. To put in a numbers perspective, these 85 billionaires have a combined wealth of $1 trillion that half of the world population, 3.5 billion have.
In another article on the net, I read that of all countries, South Africa has the worst inequality record in the world. I could easily correlate this when I visited South Africa in the year 2011. While one side of Johannesburg had swanky, clean, huge bungalows, with electrified fences and fully armed guards, the other side had equal to or even worse then slums in India.
If Governments, despite three different and distinct models, over several decades could not deliver and find an answer to the inequality issue, can we as individuals make a difference.
My view, we can. We should. In many countless ways.
It may appear small for us. Especially the privileged ones.
How do I make a difference as an individual?
Educate. While we may question the quality and value of education, the fact is that education has delivered socio-economic value to millions around the world. We set up a foundation that helps connect individuals who require financial access to pursue and complete their education in touch with those who would be glad to provide them with financial resources. So far we have supported 27 students. Seeing the difference that we can make, we have now developed an audacious plan that will roll into action next year. We are at the planning stage just now.
Give your surplus items – my wife and I realised one day the amount of surplus items lying unused at home. These items could be household items, groceries, clothes, books, magazines, footwear…the list is endless. In the last three months, we have given away more than twenty five cartons of a range of items to Goonj. Goonj is a highly acclaimed and validated NGO that collects redistributes materials all over India.
Give your time – keep aside your surplus time for these underprivileged ones. It may be an hour a day or an hour a month. Go and spend time with them. You may be able to motivate them out of their situation with your being there for them and your wonderful ideas and suggestions.
If each and every one of us, who have much more than what we require to sustain, can adopt just one child, just one, and take care, we still make a huge difference.
Why wait for the Governments to deliver when we have the power with us? If you have an inspiring story on this subject, please do share.