I think we have wandered very far from these, and these are really beautiful guidelines on how to be as a citizen of India.
So posting them here in the hope that seeing them in a new form may trigger people to think about what they mean:
To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.
To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom.
To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.
To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so.
To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.
To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture.
To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures.
To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.
To safeguard public property and to abjure violence.
To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement.
I think this is the most life-affirming and wise advice I have ever received on how to live and how to be and I think it is incredible that it is sarkari and "free" and in the first document of relevance to us as Indians itself.
Cloth Bank is an initiative of Ahambhumika. It aims to match surplus clothes many of us have and provide them to those in need.
Particularly children's clothes. Kids grow up so fast, the ones who do have loads of clothes outgrow them while they are still in great condition. The ones who have few clothes keep needing clothes as their bodies grow. There are many village kids spending large parts of their childhood naked. Tender skins dried and rough from over exposure to the dust and dirt of their conditions. Kidding you not. But while that is an area of special attention, they do this service for all ages and genders.
Now think of your family's wardrobe. Are there clothes you simply haven't used in ages? Good clothes that don't fit you? Ahem... from the time you were over optimistic about your weight in the shop.. *cough*... or in this festival season, gifted clothes that are simply not you? Or clothes you don't use any more because they aren't all that great looking for your image conscious needs at work, but are perfectly wearable? Or simply if you are like me... you have many ignored clothes lying there for no specific reason, that you fold and put back each time you tidy up. Those are the ones they want. They will delight someone without many clothes.
Many times, when it comes to discarding clothes, I hesitate, because I see value in them, even if it isn't value to me right now 😀 I have heard this from other friends too. It is a great opportunity to KNOW that you are making a difference to someone's life through this sacrifice of a vague maybe value later. To know that even if you end up missing them later, you would still find it worthwhile to know that some person who didn't have clothes is now comfortable because of your gift.
Enough poetry. You get the point.
Ahambhumika wants you to send these clothes to them.
If you are a lazy bum, you can still help. Organizing all this takes money and resources. You can help with those. To quote from their appeal for help:
The ones who can't help Cloth Bank with clothes for the given age group can help us with monetary donations if they wish. The donation made can be according to your generosity which can be as little as Rs. 365 per year which amounts to Re. 1 a day.
Its the spirit of giving that matters and any amount, however little it may be, will add to the help we get and hence is welcome. The money donated will be utilised to empower our initiatives by finacing the infrastructure required to keep the work going like transportation , fuel, packing material etc. We will be equally obliged if you can help us by providing the aforesaid required materials directly, if not with the money needed to invest in them. Currently our prime requirement is a basic four-wheeler, in good working condition, to help us with the transportation issues.
Which means, if you have an old four wheeler lying around, that you are hanging on to, because it doesn't get the price you had imagined it would, it is a good opportunity to think of it as a donation of the cost you thought it was worth, rather than accepting some piddly amount, or paying for the parking indefinitely 😀
Helping out is always a good idea. You feel good.
Generosity is a symptom of power. The weak need to hoard, the powerful can afford to empower. Your actions make you who you are.
The above line is intended to make you feel more inclined to give, but it I also really mean it - like everything I say on this blog.