The True Joy Of Giving

September 14, 2009 Pune, India - Every time when you step your foot over the decelerator of your car over the traffic signal, you unknowingly become a part of their numerous targets. There comes a small kid with a torn, muddy shirt and a running nose in front of you. He keeps on giving you painful expressions, attempting to grab your sympathy and keeps on tapping you every second of your stint at the signal. He keeps on doing so but you do not budge. He notices your agony and then starts playing his professional tricks on you.

“Doh dino se khana nahi khaya hai saab!” says the boy.

Although, initially trying to move your mind away from him, you are now attracted towards the pathetic plight of the poor kid. Why shouldn’t you? That’s humane, isn’t it? You give a small thought over the situation the little kid must be facing. His claim that he hasn’t eaten anything for almost a couple of days, moves you. You are now not bothered about the cheesy taps that he was making on you, rather you take off a five rupee coin from your wallet and generously donate it to the boy. He could at least afford to buy a Wada-Pav (the Indian version of a burger) from my coin, you think. With no room for the magic word, the kid immediately moves to the car next and repeats the story. A tiny kid who hasn’t eaten for two days is standing on his own feet, asking for money on the sunny street and is wise enough to fool people like you – you think. That almost hurts you and makes you repent on your doings. You were just a part of their enormous customer base – the one with no face, no identity or an official list. A majority of these customers like you merely give and forget. A rupee or two doesn't matter much to these customers disguised as the so called compassionate souls. A few ones proudly bring out currencies of relatively greater denominations in the belief that they are really doing something great and supporting a noble cause. Of course that makes you feel blessed and relieved. The fact that you have helped someone in need makes you gain the feeling that you are spreading the goodwill of compassion and charity. Next, you forget it and move on just as soon as the signal goes green.

You think you just did a wonderful job, don't you? Just have a second thought, what difference has your small donation made to the life of that little beggar? Well, your five rupee coin was not used to quell the hunger of the beggar. In fact, you have just produced a couple of more beggars in the city. Imagine that the signal goes down every two minutes; every slot gives him more than enough chances to win the hearts of the passer-bys. He is not at all begging for food - that's the thing to be noted in the first place. Your hard earned coin wrapped in the sheath of compassion, was just being used to promote and encourage beggary. Don't be surprised if I say that you have just boosted the already prosperous bank balance of the beggar by a few more bucks. Winning mercy and kindness is the key of this illicit profession.

My father once said to me - "You give a man a fish to eat, you make his day; you teach a man how to fish and you make his life".

A couple of weeks from now, India is going to celebrate the 'Joy of giving week' - of course there is joy in giving as in the case of donating something to the needy and even if you fail to realize that your donation didn't really help improve the life of the recipient. Donations of such sorts doesn't help the recipient in the long run, it rather encourages the practice of begging. The task of the giver doesn't end when the receiver accepts the donation. A good donor must go a step beyond, ensuring that his donation is utilized in the desired direction and that he is really meeting the cause. This gathers utmost significance not only when your donations carry high monetary value, but also when you donate a rupee to a beggar on the street. Imagine thousands of sympathetic donors donating a rupee to a beggar – will fetch him enough money to beat your monthly income. If you're really desirous of a serious help to a beggar, spare some time and buy him a snack or a pack of biscuits and experience the real joy of giving. This is what I call a joyful giving. Unfortunately, you would find it difficult to catch hold of a beggar who is ready to accept your non-monetary donation - which is because most of the beggars around you are the professional ones.

Sponsor a child's educational expenses, become a part of some authentic non-government organization - there are many in your city, spend a weekend in a remote village, teach your favorite subject to the less fortunate children - something you always wanted to, donate a toy to a poor kid and enjoy the smile on her face, work part-time for an orphanage and experience the real joy of giving. I understand that we all are really pressed hard for time and sometimes money. The least you can do is get in touch of such an active person or institution and donate a few words of appreciation and encouragement. Tell them that they are doing an awesome job and experience the real joy of giving. Simpler even, say your Mom a 'Thanks'. I know that is much less to give to a person who has given so much to you till date - who else can you think of appreciating than a person who, for her entire life, has been doing nothing but giving. Tell your favorite person in the world, that you like him, send an appreciation email or letter to someone whom you always wished to or adored.

The real joy of life is not in expecting all that you ever wanted from life; it is rather in all those little good wills you obtain from your heart-winning gestures. Life is all about giving in the real sense. You never carry anything when you depart. Everything you have now, aren't really your possessions, those are mere obsessions. If this is the divine truth of life, why not cultivate this habit from now? Start making some meaningful donations and make sure you meet the cause. Stop wasting your money on the traffic signals and on professional beggars. Your joy will gain the true meaning when it will solely meet the cause. Your donations must work towards making this world a better place.

Happy Giving!

India is going to observe September 27 to October 3, Joy of Giving Week. The Joy of Giving Week is the beginning of a national movement. The first of its kind for India, and for every single Indian.


  1. Hey Neeraj, i second your thoughts.Each and every word of this post was true.Very well done!


  2. To see an underprivileged other getting better, like oneself, to see poverty erode away into oblivion, to see prosperity always and all ways....... true bliss! By God....may that happen!

    Very well written, as always!

  3. really awesome post dude..I am associated with an NGO udayan care( have a look at their space..they are also participating in joy of giving!!

  4. Infact those in Pune must talk to an NGO called Akanksha....It is one of the better NGO's i had a chance to interact with just by the sheer scale of their work....

    the link to their website....I have been involved with them for sometime...lets hope u can join them too

  5. Hi Neeraj, loved your post! Keep up the good work and the world will be a better place to live!

  6. you write beautifully....
    and your blog is also awesome..
    will be on a journey through you blog..

  7. Hi neeraj...

    my first and you know the template.... ur customization to the template attracted me a lot... I liked the header was beautiful...

    and I am blogrolling u... really nice blog.... I will read through ur contents and other posts in the next few days..and let me give my opinion...

  8. Hey buddy...

    Check this out..

    I have a shiny, gleaming award for you.

  9. I am sure the inspiration came to you from a recent thread in Indiblogger. Really, you have depicted the reality in a lucid way. A good reading indeed. Beggars means somewhere our planners failed to deliver. of course, it is not desirable to give some change to one at the traffic post but .... you will hardly think of giving a pack of biscuit or a toy or something, just parking your convenience there.

    In our society there is higher form of begging like donation campaign during pujas. Some educated people would come to your house or just stop your vehicles and show you a receipt book. You will be made to give a certain sum not less than 100 or 50. Beggars in the street are satisfied with a one rupee coin but this kind of beggars will not be satisfied unless you give them fifty one. What these people do; just organize another pandal within 50 meters and that also hogging the road. There will be 50 puja panadals but you as a part of the society will be made to pay fifty times because you are there to become victim for as many as fifty times.

    Now you say, what will you say this kind of begging?


  10. Blog vachun khup chan vatale...!

    Excellent! Great perspective and very articulate...keep blogging...

  11. Hey first time visit.. liked this post.. thought provoking topic.. agree with you completely.. but yeah that's democracy right - "poor remain poor, rich remain rich".. but I cannot see a kid hungry and crying and press my accelerator.. I would term that inhumane..

  12. This beggar thing is really turning into a nuisance ..most of us know giving alms to them is no good .. yet its hard not to .. anyways nice post

  13. If possessions were obsessions, Id spare no one from greed. You write well but it isn't really necessary to analyse everything as if you were under the Bodhi Tree.

    There is no such thing as the divine truth, God is a very confusing person.

  14. i avoid giving to the beggers most of the time unless they are seriously handicapped or old..

    i totally agree with you, there is certainly a joy, a joy in giving and i have experienced it numerous time...

  15. I have an award for you at my site :)

  16. my first time here...must say the visit's truly worthwhile!
    brilliant blog...
    superb post
    but i adored the pic...clicked by u??

    the quote by yr father is very apt!
    gud job neeraj!:)

  17. u r a great person man keep it up and i hope u will make others to think in a way u think.... all de best