Friday, 19 September 2014

Charity Or Empowerment?

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime" 
- Chinese proverb, by Lao Tzu

Given a choice out of charity or empowerment, I choose empowerment for the same reasons as expressed by the above Chinese proverb.

But, then charity is also needed for empowerment.
Empowerment needs investment- resources like time & money. Charity can step in for this.

Charitable donations are a temporary solution, while empowerment is a long-term means for progress.


I feel excessive charity or free funds, where one doesn't have to work to earn/receive the necessities,  can make those privileged people dependent, lazy & expectant. Those who receive such sops might want the party to last as they are doled out unlimited supplies. If the able-bodied citizens fall in love with idleness then it'll spell serious trouble. 'An idle mind is a devil's workshop'.

In contrast, empowerment by skill-development and training can make the recipients of such skills & knowledge more competent, confident, ready for our India & the World. Their time & efforts will be optimally tapped to be in tune and tandem with our nation & its development.

As per this news report:
RBI says that "those spending over Rs 32 in rural areas and Rs 47 in towns and cities should not be considered poor".

The fact is we need to flash much better figures than this & make our India better.


Wish-list & Action-Time:

- India needs to tap its population so as to be more productive and to contribute to our GDP & shape India into an economic superpower.

- People-power can be employed only if they have the technical know-how & the physical capacity & well-being. They must possess a sound mind and healthy body.

- As not much can be expected from a hungry populace with not a roof over the head or proper clothes, Roti, Kapdaa, Makaan (Bread, Clothes & House) are basic necessities that need to be addressed in the initial few days.
Thereafter, proper skills can be imparted that can bring about the needed change.

- May the charitable donations be made to NGOs who can judiciously use/channelize the funds as described above.

- May there be no vices in the process/system. No red-tape or corruption, please.

- The Donors need to be proactive. Accountability is a must.

- Mere donation is no solution. Funds must reach the correct & deserving target-audience.



Which is your pick- Charity or Empowerment? Do share your views  in the comments section below. 


Charity or Empowerment? Are charitable donations to feed and house the poor really the way out of the mire of poverty or do NGOs need to focus more on skill development? Should we as donors be more proactive rather than merely donating money? #CharityorEmpowerment
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52 comments:

  1. Empowerment is the ideal. But sometimes charity can be a means.

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    Replies
    1. Very true. I share similar thoughts.

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  2. A very thoughtful and beautifully written post Anita !
    I fully agree with you on the topic of giving more importance to empowerment than giving away more charity!
    Empowering a person is much profitable than giving away charity, I can tell from what I have seen those who take charity have no will to work hard again ever in life :|

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you liked it, Nisa :)
      Yes, empowerment is required as we invest in people-power that can last a lifetime.
      Free access to charity has terrible consequences.
      Thanks for sharing your views.

      Delete
  3. BOTH ARE NEEDED OF COURSE! WELL THOUGHT OUT POST!

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  4. It is a beautiful question to ask Anita :). I am completely with you on the empowerment part .

    I think charity comes with a baggage, the person giving has an upperhand, no matter how kind it sounds, I find it a little conceited. But empowerment has a greater undertone associated with it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, Vinay.
      Yes. But, both charity & empowerment have their own reasons/motives. Fine when such are India-friendly.

      Delete
  5. Wonderful thoughts Anita, I am fully in support with your line that empowerment should be chosen over charity....

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading & sharing, Alok.

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  6. Right on the spot girl .. i agree on the empowerment part... charity till you make them able to get empowered is may be fine.. but EMpowerment is the word ...well worded thoughts Anita :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Kokila for sharing your thoughts & for your appreciation :)

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  7. Maybe both should go hand in hand. Education is a means to empowering someone...charity could be a way for that education too.
    I loved your thoughts :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes Red. Hand-in-hand, but with more focus on empowerment.
      Thanks a lot :)

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Thanks for reading & sharing, Rahul :)

      Delete
  9. Anita, I have very closely observed how UN staffs make merry on their resources accumulated for better purposes. Agencies are more concerned to flash their catchy banners and get their snaps clicked.... few days back I found a NGO in fb looking for specialised volunteers matching my skills and when I mailed the HR executive I got no reply or call back, as if I applied for a job... there are too many holes to patch up :-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's sad when the resources never reach the intended recipients.
      Siphoning off & stealing funds/items meant for other purposes is pretty common. That's why I mentioned no "corruption".
      It'll be possible if people at all levels will think of India first, and not about feathering their own nests...
      Thanks for sharing your experience, Anunoy :)

      Delete
  10. Charity is always a means for empowerment. Very interesting post Anita, as usual :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Soumya. But, excessive charity can have the reverse effect.
      Glad you found it interesting :)

      Delete
  11. Balance and discretion is the key....of course empowerment is absolute and effective approach but then in case to case basis

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Chaitali for sharing.
      Balance & discretion are needed in every sphere of life :)

      Delete
  12. And I am confused as to who said the fish proverb? but nonetheless exactly what I feel.
    Strategy to tap the talent in potential and empower and build a strong nation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From what I have read, Lao Tzu has coined the Fish saying.
      Yes, it is very valid. Much needed for a strong India.
      Thanks Datta for sharing your thoughts.

      Delete
  13. 'But Charity is also needed for empowerment'. Well said. And you explained the paradox very well.

    I sometimes wonder whether we have got the 'oldest profession in the world' wrong. Is is begging and seeking charity?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading & for your appreciation, Saket :)

      Yes, you have a point. Research needed whether begging/seeking charity holds the said distinction...

      Delete
  14. A pragmatic approach with very effective suggestions. Yea, empowerment is the key and I think that empowerment could be given as charity, couldn't it?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That's a great point, Ravish.
      May charity sponsor empowerment. But, thereafter may the empowered individuals have no need for charity.
      Rather, let them be so empowered that they can, in turn, do charity!
      What a self-sustaining cycle it will be!
      Our India will benefit if we have this model...

      Delete
  15. Charity becomes necessary only when a Society had failed in empowering all its people.

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    Replies
    1. True, Sureshji. If everyone was empowered, no dependence on anyone's wealth or charity as all individuals would have enough of their own.

      Delete
  16. I will quote the same example which i used on this topic earlier on Rahul's blog, if a child is good at studies and cannot afford going higher, charity will help him as he already has the skills to go ahead. So i agree with Tomichand saying charity is sometimes means. Having said this I truly like the flow of your article, its so well written, quotes and complete. (P.S. how have you been soul sister?...long time no see and are you enjoying going self hosted?)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks for sharing this apt example, Shweta.
      Agree with you.
      My post's 3rd & 4th lines deal with this idea. Charity is needed for empowerment as the latter requires resources like time & money that charity can supply :)
      We are on the same wavelength, soul-sis :)

      (I'm doing fine! Own Domain-Name disadvantage is that now my Alexa rank has fallen by a lakh & my IndiRank is at its lowest :) Hopefully, should jump up soon!)

      Delete
  17. This topic is doing rounds now and I liked the views you expressed on them.
    Empowerment for all is a distant dream so charity is required and this will continue till all are empowered, that i feel is the practical part of this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Indrani :)
      Yes, charity is needed for empowerment. But, do hope somewhere the line is drawn and dependence is cut-off...

      Delete
  18. well done Anita once again. And i want to chip in too with my views although i know i will be called names but i don't care. i have experiences that i want to share about charity. u r right when u say that it makes them lazy and wanting the party to last. i see it on a regular basis...that's how that word has come about Kaamchor...heard this word ever...
    i am seeing it and experiencing it from those with whom i've been charitable beyond belief.
    Then to my horror i saw this happen in Chennai and am seeing it in Delhi too... Govt working so hard to provide neat homes for the homeless. Provide them with sanitation facilities, clean drinking water, electricity. And guess what do they do. They sublet it out...rent it out...and create another huge slum elsewhere in the city.
    Thing is if i have to make a selection i will always choose Empowerment over charity...and somehow now this word itself makes me sick because we have not understood the essence of charity at all for the way it is done with all drums banging and all that honking going about and all those publicity about this being done and pics being shown about the upliftment of this and that it makes me sick because actually where it is most needed it fails to reach. Moreover nowadays there is another disease that has caught on. Charity begins at home too. What's the use of donating a huge sum to a senior citizen home when you leave your own old ailing parents to one day meet their own sad lonely death...and stories like that...
    Also Charity the essence of which is where even the left hand should not know what the right hand is giving...
    The word charity itself Anita makes me sick...because of the way it is misused rather than used these days...
    Empowerment...Empowerment and Empowerment...and that should be it for our people because any amount of funds are allocated for whatever noble purpose...people will devise ways and means to hoodwink the govt and gulp it down...even if it means for their cheap desi hooch( arrack) which perhaps might lead them to their deaths...such is our Janta. Yeah when people can buy stuff from ration and can sell that in black market...when they can take the money allotted for the girl child after she is born and then kill the girl...they can do anything na...that's why the govt reverted that policy so instead of money being allotted to the girl being born now it is given for her education. Therefore i said Empowerment 3 times. Yeah i am done. :) :) :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing your wise words & enriching my post. Really appreciate.
      I agree with your points, Shivani.

      Empowerment is the key & is more relevant than Charity.
      May we make the most of resources like time & money.

      Your views deserve a separate blog post. Request you to please write a post about this latest IndiSpire Topic.

      Delete
  19. Interesting points made. Charity with accountability is a must to empower people.

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  20. Well written!!!! On the most confusing topic...
    I loved the points though that precisely clearing charity for empowerment :)

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    1. Thanks for your appreciation, Akrati :)

      Delete
  21. A very nice post, very well written. I share similar views
    http://prakritisingh.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/empowerment-over-charity-lets-patch-up-some-lives/

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    Replies
    1. Welcome to my Blog, Prakriti :)
      Thanks! Checking out your post now :)

      Delete
  22. In the current scenario charity will be needed to power empowerment. Ideally, empowerment is the key!

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  23. Very well said... I second you Anita. We have sufficient resource, as you rightly said, only we have to correct the way they are taken towards the needy... Those who have crores of black money, will they understand that they will never use it and will never allow others to use it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing your valid points & for raising this issue, Sindhu.
      Sad that people stash away crores of Black Money that could have been used to empower our India... They are our nation's thieves/enemies.

      Delete
  24. That's a comprehensive wish list!
    Charity and empowerment can and must go hand in hand. Judicious charity will ensure empowerment. Actually, I would personally prefer to use the words 'financial support' instead of charity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, charity & empowerment do have a link.
      Financial support sounds nice like euphemism :)
      Thanks for reading & for sharing your views.

      Delete
  25. Definitely Empowerment, but charity has to done where needed and essential.
    India had so much talents and untapped potential that if utilized properly in the respective field we would be second to none! If only we would channelize our energy for the positive and the betterment, if only we all stand united...literally...it could propel us to heights unknown, unconquered!!!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Very right, Deepa.
      Totally agree.
      We need proper management of resources for our country's development & progress.
      Really hope our wishes come true.
      Thanks for sharing!

      Delete

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