A pledge on the 150th Anniversary of Gandhi's Birthday
On the night of 2nd October 2019, I sat on my bed after dinner in my apartment at San Jose, California, and suddenly a thought came to my mind. This was not the first time that I had this thought but I have been thinking about this ever since I realised the difference between poor and rich, privileged and underprivileged, abled and disabled, happy and sorrow, comfort and discomfort. I was brought up in a very humble, middle-class and hard-working family where I had the fortune to have good education and strong family support.
But often times, even the basic necessities may not be guaranteed in the lives of majority of human beings. For majority of people in this world, survival is struggle, but for some fortunate people, survival is to flourish because their basic needs are taken care of. You may be guessing at this point about which class you belong to. I constantly question myself about this same thing. But I have questioned myself for too long and too many years to get an answer. Instead, I thought I would take an action.
The decision to act gave me the courage to move forward without hesitation. I strongly believe that if your intentions are good, how hard the path may be, you will succeed. So, I started my journey in my own little way to learn the habit of giving. Thanks to the internet, I got connected to an amazing charity organisation in my state of West Bengal, India. I picked up the phone on that night and spoke with a person named Ansuman Das who heads some of the programs of that charity. The 30-mins conversation with Ansuman, the man whom I did not know 30 mins prior to the phone call, enlightened me to take action. I realised that people in this world need your support and they need it now. The rest just happened.
I am extremely grateful to be part of a charity organisation named “Sabuj Sangha”, located in Sunderban, West Bengal, India. The website is http://www.sabujsangha.org/. This is one of the decisions in my life that I am most proud of and pledged to myself that I will involve into the act of giving in whatever way I can throughout my life.
The program I am part of supports residential school for child labor or deprived children. The program is shortly described below.
“Children have the right to grow up in a safe and healthy environment. When faced with poverty, many children are deprived of this basic right. In a large number of cases, parents are forced to send their children to work to generate an additional source of income. Many of these children end up working in homes, shops and hotels. In other cases, parents are forced to go to the city in search for work, often working long hours. As a result, the child has to remain at home and carry out the domestic duties that their parents are now unable to fulfill.
However; in order to prevent child labour practice, Sabuj Sangha took effort running one residential school in its registered office location at Nandakumarpur. There is residential accommodation and the children stay and study in this school. They are provided age-appropriate education and on completion are mainstreamed into formal system. Food, learning material including IEC, school uniform, shoes, school bags and other materials are provided and the children are taught and taken care by 24 X7. Health checkups of children are done by the medical team of the organization once a month.”