I've been having these series of email exchanges with family lately, and one of them dealt with charity and Indian corporate houses/tycoons. We'd a pretty long 'thread' running at one time on this particular piece that talks about how some of India's finest education and art institutions are in existence because of Parsi beneficiaries. And like many, I believe charity especially that made for education, for children, is of the noblest kind.
I got an e-mail this morning from a leading consumer durables group, titled, bravely in my opinion, 'Invitation to light a Diya and bring a smile on a child's face'. I was all for it even before I read the mail, they've got the perfect catch line there, even if you're nowhere close to being a parent.
'Light a diya online and we will donate Re. 1/- to Child Rights & You (CRY), towards ensuring basic rights of Indian children.'
Wow, I dint know you could get a slice of bread in a rupee, forget basic rights. I mean it's a noble gesture and all, but seriously, a single rupee. But I've spoken long and hard about a single step, one small effort, a single individual's contribution and all that jhaap, so I decide to long on in any case and click till kingdom come, or at least till I've lit at least a thousand 'e-diyas'. Aah, but there's a catch. The company accepts only one click per IP address. Of course, it does invite me to invite the people on my address book, but I doubt even if every single one of them visited the site, we'd be nowhere close to raising a measly grand. There is also no way I can follow up with the company to check the actual contribution my furious clicking and forwarding may have made.
Of course I understand how tough the current market scenario is for this electronics giant. I mean their profit margins dropped a massive 90 per cent to stand at a measly $18.9m (Rs941m). I've been unable to dig out the exact figures, but I'm sure emerging economy India contributes a large amount to this figure. They'll probably buy a full page ad in a national newspaper highlighting their social conscience, building brand value at the cost of the unnamed child whose image springs to your mind when you read their carefully chosen words. Lousy Gasbag.
And yet, I'll ask you to log on and pledge your one rupee. Every small bit does matter.
Told you the other woman in my head is a neurotic, guilt-tripping mum, dint I? But then the first one couldn't resist the title of this post.
3 hours ago