November 11, 2015
Philanthropy is fast becoming an essential part of Diwali celebrations for quite a number of families in Coimbatore.
Next to family weddings, Diwali is the biggest celebration for North and South Indians, bringing the families together. Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth is worshiped on this day. Business establishments work only half day. Poojas are performed and the rest of the day is spent with family members and close friends.
“It is customary to exchange sweets and gifts among family members and with close friends before Diwali. On Diwali, the entire family gets together and we burst crackers. This year both my children have decide not to purchase or burst crackers. The money that we would have otherwise spent on crackers has been donated to a city NGO for children,” Sapna Vishal, homemaker and mother of two teens, said.
The Diwali celebrations of Shalaka Vora, a Coimbatore-based entrepreneur, had a similar tone. Shalaka pays monthly visits to the Seva Nilayam home in Thondamuthur. “My daughter has decided that she will not burst crackers this Diwali. Instead, we will celebrate Diwali and Children’s Day with the inmates of Seva Nilayam home in Thondamuthur. I prepared dinner for all the inmates and my family visited the home and celebrated Diwali in the evening.” Shalaka said.
As a gesture of gratitude, the children of the home performed a surprise group dance for Shalaka and her family.
Murk Selvi, the founder of Coimbatore-based NGO, Aatma Foundation, joined hands with another city-based NGO called Vinmeengal Youth Foundation, and celebrated Diwali with an orphanage home for the boys. “The home has 85 inmates and we celebrated Diwali by distributing sweets, cakes, and chocolates. We had also burst crackers with the boys. About 15 volunteers spent our Diwali with the inmates of this home,” Murk said.
This Diwali, the husband-wife duo of Vijay and Rinky Shah turned good Samaritans. The Diwali gift boxes containing the north Indian snack, Khakada, which was originally planned for friends and family, were given away to the homeless people on the streets. “My husband, son and I gave away these boxes to the needy on the streets in R.S. Puram, Gandhi Park, Ganndhipuram, and on Avanashi Road. Today we plan to visit and distribute gifts to the needy in Sai Baba Colony,” Rinky Shah said.
During the festival of lights people do different things. However, this year it is nice to see a few people doing things differently this Diwali.