While we are all in the process of promoting Clean Diwali, asking Punekars to refrain for celebrating the festivities with crackers, there are a few others who go a step ahead and celebrate the festival with a difference. Most would say that not bursting firecrackers is the least we can do. However, we have a few examples that dare to ask the question, “What more can we do?”. In their tryst to finding the answer to the same question, here are a few things some Punekars did during Diwali.
Beyond Human is an organization of the youth which provides a platform to one and all to play their part in the unjust political and social scenario in India and around the world. They have undertaken a lot of events up till now,which have got an encouraging response. For Diwali, they are promoting Clean Diwali, just like us. However, while we use our website and Facebook page to promote the same, the group has gone a step ahead. They have taken to the streets, distributing pamphlets and talking to the common man about the small way in which he/she can contribute to making this festival less noisy and smoke free. A member of the Punekar team happened to come across them on FC Road and got to know that they have also associated themselves with ‘Chetna Mahila Vikas Kendra’, an organisation for women. The products the organisation are selling, like panti, are made by the women who are protected and helped by the Chetna Mahila Vikas Kendra and the amount collected will be donated to the same. So not only are they helping make Diwali clean, they have gone a step further and helping the lives of the needy. To get in touch with the members of the organisation or contribute to their effort, follow the link: http://youmightchange.com/contact-us/
Another organisation, with a similar goal in mind is Incredible India. It is a student initiative nation building program, performing many social activities in the city to promote Nation building itself. Not only do they believe in celebrating a cracker-free Diwali, they believe in helping out for a good cause too. From Saturday, 2nd November to Wednesday, 6th November, they organised a fund raising activity to help out Chetna Mahila Vikas Kendra, the same organisation that was helped by Beyond Human. The group sold pantis and aakashkandil made by the women of this organisation and donated the earnings back to it. They can be contacted at: http://www.clubincredibleindia.com or through email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The city has one more group that is taking efforts to help the underprivileged and they too, celebrated Diwali in a similar way. The group shall remain nameless as they specifically asked to be kept anonymous. Respecting their request, we will refrain from giving any information about the organisation, however, their work is worth mentioning, which I will talk about. The organisation celebrated Diwali at an old age home called Olava. The Vrudhasharam is situated near Sinhagad Road, where the members of this organisation brought a smile on the faces of the elderly. They also will be organising a donation camp, mainly a Blood Donation drive. The members of the organisation told us about the low availability of blood during the festive season, thus they encourage people to donate blood more often. The donation camp will also accept plastic, clothes, paper, books, toys, etc. for the underprivileged. One can also pledge to donate eyes and organs at the same camp.
Punekars should definitely keep service to others in mind while celebrating festivities. Afterall, we Punekars are a community of people who maybe known for particular traits and characteristics, helping each other should definitely be a part of the same, right?