Every Diwali we try and do something special for the housekeeping folks and the security guards of the condominium complex that we stay in. There are nearly 50 guards and another 50 odd housekeeping staff that includes gardeners, sweepers and the garbage collectors. Last year we had ordered a special meal for them. This year we decided to do something better, in keeping with our purpose in life – giving for education.
Krishnan and I just got back from addressing the evening shift of the security guards where we told them about ShikshaDaan. In just a group of 16 odd people there are nearly 6 of them with college going children and two of the security guards are so young that they are pursuing their graduation still ….
I was disturbed after that meeting because here are two young men who have to stand guard for 12 hours or more and they need to do that for nearly all their lives to provide for their family. What a punishment !! All they needed was a little help to get a better education and they could probably move up to being a supervisor or even start an agency of their own. Most security guards have no security, no fallback option. They are mostly the breadwinners for their family and work their way to the grave. It was heartening to see that a couple of the older guards had put their children through college. They didn’t have much of a response when I exhorted them to get the girl child educated … but well, even if they get the boys educated, its still a huge step forward.
Last year I had renamed Diwali to Give-wali. This year, I urge you to “Do ShikshaDaan” as education brings better paying jobs and opens up more opportunities for the underprivileged to move out of their poverty.
Do ShikshaDaan, through ShikshaDaan or by yourself, but don’t waste money on buying yet another set of toys or yet another set of jewellery or yet another set of new clothes or yet another appliance that you rarely use at the Amazon super sale …. and definitely don’t waste money on giving gifts to people who have enough. Pay the fees for your maid’s child or the milkman’s daughter or your security guard.
Do ShikshaDaan. Light up lives instead of lamps.