‘Giving’ must begin young in 2018

New Delhi:Former State Bank of India (SBI) Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya at the recent launch of a book written by a 15-year-old girl urged greater involvement of youth in various activities.

“The youth may not be involved in the way we want them to be; but in their own way. ‘Different’ is a book about managing a situation that is not of your own making, by treating it as a challenge,” she said.

Her statement come after the author, Neeha Gupta, pledged the accrued sales proceeds of her book to the Surakshit Bachpan Fund of the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation. She is beginning her journey of giving ‘young’.

Responding to this, Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi tweeted promptly.

“My best wishes to the young change maker Neeha Gupta on the launch of her book ‘Different’,” he said.

The Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF) also took to twitter and said, “We congratulate very talented Neeha D Gupta on the launch of the book ‘Different’. At such a young age, Neeha has taken the pledge to do her bit for a safe childhood for every child.”

India’s biggest philanthropists and educators too feel that it is time we taught our children to give. In June, 2016, when Forbes announced 40 philanthropists from 14 countries across Asia Pacific, the list included six Indians. One of them was Rajiv Mehta of the Ratna Nidhi Trust Mumbai.

Mehta also believes that philanthropy must begin young. “The youth who are studying don’t have time, or money, but they have energy and can volunteer with their time. They can donate their school books year after year, pack their old clothes aside and give them away and celebrate birthdays with other underprivileged kids.”

Educationist Raghav Podar, Trustee, the Podar Education Group added, “the younger the child is when the discussion begins about giving, the more it becomes a matter of practice and habit that continues into adulthood.Children who perform acts of kindness experience increased wellbeing, popularity and acceptance among peers. This, in turn, leads to better classroom behaviour and higher academic achievement.”

Neeha agrees that pledging the proceeds of the book sale of ‘Different’ to charity has taught her about a world beyond her own experience.

“With 41 percent of India’s population below the age of 20; giving must begin young.Children learn, just by small acts of giving, how to become a change maker, what it means to be a good person and citizen as well as learning from and teaching others how to collaborate and make a difference. They learn about the multiplier effect of small acts and the large impact that can have on their communities,” said Podar.

This approach, when endorsed by NGOs, students, educators and communities, would make all the difference to a more balanced society in 2018.