Sunday, November 16, 2008

Help underprivileged children

There are several ways in which you can help underprivileged children get quality education .

1. You can identify children in your neighborhood / extended community whose education is restricted due to lack of financial resources . Sponsor the child's education and mentor them ongoingly .

2. Donate money to a NGO you trust will do a sincere job of providing education to underprivileged children .

Wow ! Wish I had a large family and could refer all of them to HSBC Premier and rack up good karma points for the contributions that the World's Local Bank will make to the cause of children's education . Since my family members already endure the trauma of being Premier customers of HSBC guess I'll have to let this opportunity to do good pass .

Seldom do large corporations do something altruistic because they are committed to it . Most such causes are promotions for business development , brand building , product selling . This 'initiative' from HSBC India sets a new low in the category of 'companies using charitable causes to peddle their wares'.

Nowhere does the mailer (received last evening by courier ) mention that HSBC has already donated a certain amount to the cause or is supporting the education of 1000 children . And your referral will add to the good work . Instead the mailer says ' At HSBC , we are keen to make a difference to the society that we live in and with a little help from you , we are confident that together we can make a significant difference' . Highly possible that Muktangan may get funds from the world's local bank for the education of 2 children at the most.

This initiative from HSBC is a study not just not the crude commercialism of corporations and the willingness to resort to any means to peddle their wares - it's also instructive in inefficiency and waste . For a program valid from 30th Sep 08 to 1 Dec 08 I received the mailer on 15 Nov 08.
A 8 page mailer (of which 1.3 pages are devoted to 'the cause' ) shrink wrapped in plastic . All this waste when an email would have sufficed (if they found themselves unable to resist concocting such an offer ) .

Education is a serious need for millions across the world . In India especially ( and unfortunately) we don't have to go too far from our homes to find children and adults who need support for their education . As the world gets more and more interconnected education or the lack of it creates a divide that makes the Grand Canyon look like a small crack . Pl do support and encourage education directly or through groups that have a proven track record of sincere and efficient efforts .


Anonymous said...

Hmm... Special newspaper supplement on World Environment Day. Ditto for Fair Trade Coffee or Organic stores that sell stuff made from "Underprivileged" markets. Its all fluff.

My suggestion - donate with time and not money. Or donate money to the underprivileted who work with you - your maid or gardener or driver or their kids education...

Savitha Rao said...

I agree with your suggestion to donate time and not just money (time these days is precious currency).

While there are a lot of flaky organizations and initiatives out there not all are so .

Individual and collective efforts are needed to make this planet a more equitable one for all it's inhabitants.