Celebrating Good Deeds
MD, Mirachem Industriies
I follow the mantra, ‘We make a living by what we get; but we make a life by what we give’.
To improve the lives of the underprivileged, I actively support several NGOs like ALERT India, NASEOH, Rajasthani Mandal, Gokuldham and Hum Aawaz through guidance, donations and fund-raising initiatives.
This Diwali, I was at Udaan Ghar, a shelter home for homeless girls. I personally distributed sweets and new clothes among the inmates and spent time with them. It was a special occasion for me. The talents exhibited and the warmth exuded by the young minds filled me with immense pride and satisfaction.
Director–Marketing, Mantri Developers
I believe life is a circle where everything we do has a similar and reciprocal effect. I follow the same principle in my business dealings. To support and encourage voluntary action, we have Mantri’s corporate responsibility initiative ‘Mantri S.E.V.A’.
In our bid to improve the lives of the underprivileged, we have set up the Indus Community School in Bengaluru, where education of an international standard is imparted over 450 children from indigent families. I am also a founding member of a Singapore-based company, Billion Bricks, which aims to improve the quality of life of homeless people, including those living in the slums of Mumbai and Bengaluru.
Miniature Artist and Designer
I prefer being with my family and friends in Jaipur during festivals. We keep it calm, though. Lighting crackers during Diwali or splashing harmful colours during Holi is simply not for us. Rather, we do something which gives us sheer happiness: we drive down at midnight in our open jeep, followed by a pickup filled with freshly made food, clothes and blankets for 200–250 people. There are so many living in the streets of Jaipur and the outskirts of the city! We try to serve as many of them as we can.
This Diwali, we did the same. We began serving food to homeless people on Dhanteras and continued to do so till the last day of Diwali.
Director, Pushpanjali Realms & Infratech Pvt Ltd
During Diwali, people light up their homes, burst crackers and share love and happiness. But it is also an occasion when we need to enlighten those in our surroundings.
My ideal Diwali involves using traditional diyas, instead of wasting electricity on artificial lights. In our family, we believe in being environmentally friendly. I love everything natural, which is reflected in the eco-friendly products I have used for the construction of my own house.
Bursting crackers is again a no-no for me and my family as it harms the environment and also affects animals. We celebrate Diwali by sharing sweets, gifting painted earthen diyas and decorating our house with rangolis that are made with petals of flowers and not colours.
My motto is ‘Make Diwali clean and healthy rather than noisy and polluted’.
Chief Functionary, Asha Ka Jharna
All children are born equal but not equally privileged. Asha Ka Jharna has been a stream of hope for impaired and underprivileged children since 1997 through three special schools in Shekhawati, Rajasthan.
On the evening before Diwali, we celebrated Lakshmi puja. This was followed by decoration of the school premises with rangolis and diyas, and lighting of noise-free fireworks by students along with their parents. Sweets were distributed afterwards. Apart from this, new clothes were also distributed to the most needy and a feast was organised for all the children studying at our schools.
One very heartening event at our institution in recent times was the successful heart surgery of a five-year-old girl with impaired hearing. We collaborated with Fortis, which (under a project called ‘Little Hearts’ that is supported by Salman Khan’s ‘Being Human Foundation’) performed the operation free of cost.
CMD, Infinity Group
There are many reasons as to why I feel proud to be a Marwari. Foremost among them, perhaps, is the practice of sharing and giving back to society. As a child, I remember how my grandfather maintained a gaddi and a basa which provided anybody coming from Fatehpur, our village in Rajasthan, with food and shelter till he had found some work in the city. If they had a marriage in the family and were hard up, somebody would pitch in and take care of the expenses; but not on a quid pro quo agreement.
During Diwali, we distribute woollens across our labour force right upto supervisor level, keeping in mind the onset of winter. This year, we also initiated the cleaning and beautification programme of Chhatikara Road in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, which, besides being a major thoroughfare, is also the site of one of our most iconic projects. In order to be effective, this will be an ongoing exercise even post-Diwali.
Founder & Creative Director, Cocoon Fine Rugs
For Marwaris, festivities and philanthropy always go hand in hand. There has always been some conscious effort to ensure that during the festive season, we bring a smile to the faces of those who are not fortunate.
We, as a family, truly believe in education as a tool for empowerment. This year, we have formed an association with the Rajasthani Mahila Mandal in Mumbai to educate girls from weaker sections of society. We have also been long-term partners of the Thalassemia Society which is affiliated to the Santokba Durlabhji Memorial Hospital in Jaipur. The society helps thalassemia major patients with lifelong blood transfusions.
Besides this, we also try to minimise our family’s carbon footprint during the festive season by using e-greeting cards, recyclable diyas and only noise-free firecrackers. After all, at the end of the day, everyone’s efforts add up!