Tuesday, January 12, 2010

walk the talk baby

You have fifteen days to 26th Jan.

In these fifteen days, you’ll have conversations that run like this,

“ you know I always wanted to join the Air Force.”

“ Remember, the 26th Jan parade on TV, and how we used to watch it. Now it’s just a holiday ya.”

“I changed my profile picture to the flag.”

“Those Army guys, at Siachin, they’re doing a programme on them.”

Get my drift? In turns you’ll feel warm and fuzzy. In turns you’ll feel all cynical and grown up.

Because somewhere that’s what it’s become. Just another holiday.

So here’s what we’re asking you.

Stuff that cynical grown up into the laundry basket for a minute.

And think.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be part of a meaningful movement this 26th of Jan. Not one where you write placards, or light candles. But one where you can actually change the future of this country.

We feed 6,00,000 underprivileged children one hot meal every day. This meal is served at the municipal school they study in, and is very often the only way to convince their parents to send their kids to school.

One hot meal. For which the parent sacrifices sending the child to wash your car or sell flowers at the signal. One hot meal. Which is probably the only nutritious meal the child has in a day.

One hot meal. That brings a child to school every day.

And all it takes is Rs 700 for a whole school year.

So here’s what we’re hoping for. If we can get thousand people to donate Rs. 700 in the next fifteen days, then thousand more kids can go to school this year.

And 26th Jan will never be just be another holiday for them. Or for you.

To donate, you could use the internet payment gateway at www.middaymeal.com or call 022 40366866. Or send a cheque addressed to Nanha Munna Rahi Hoon, ISKCON Food Relief Foundation, 19 Jaywant Industrial Premises, 63 Tardeo Road, Mumbai 400 034. You could even call Seema at 9820842453 and have a cheque picked up, if you are in Mumbai. JUST IN: you can also drop a cheque at the rickshaw office in bandra. the address is flat 102, dheeraj grand, 15th road, bandra west, (the lane between mini punjab and bombay blues. look out for shaibaan restaurant at the start of the lane). we're up and about from 10 am to about 7pm. in case we're out, slip the cheque under the door. and we'll have it sent to School equals Lunch.

this is a message from a charity i support and work for. They are School Equals Lunch. And this is how they introduce themselves. We’re passionate about feeding children. You are more than welcome to visit our kitchens or call Seema at 9820842453 to know more, or even visit our website (www.middaymeal.com). We’d love to show you how much thought and effort goes into cooking that one meal. Whether it’s a different Khichdi for every weekday or the steam cooking kitchen we‘ve introduced, we’d love to share our passion with you.


Small Miracle said...

This makes me love you even more : ) Hugs for the great work and count me in!! If a fauji brat won't donate then who will ??

Nikita said...

hmm...i'm not sure about my thoughts regarding this. there is no problem with the thought behind the initiative, but i'm not very sure how it helps in the long run.

you hit the nail right on the head when you say one hot meal is often the only reason these parents send their kids to school. which means the end result is not an awareness regarding the need for education and if nething, THAT is where the energies must be focussed.

besides, as far as i know, and plz do correct me if i'm wrong, the govt has enough money for the mid day meal and so while 700 is not a big amount for a lot of people, i'm still not very certain why it is needed at all. the funds are already there....the meal is already given. i guess what i'm trying to ask here is, if an organisation takes over this work, maybe the quality of the meal being given to the children improves, but what is the larger purpose being solved as far as encouraging education is concerned. this argument would, of course, be invalid if you were to tell me that these funds are needed because the kids are not really getting the meal because there is a shortage of funds at this moment...in which case, forgive my ignorance.

(i do feel that even if the meal is not being distributed as it should be, the answer is not in collecting more funds but in putting to better utilisation the funds that are already in place but not being used appropriately due to reasons such as a lax attitude or red tapism. duznt that solve the issue more effectively? of course, once again, i'm assuming that the lack of funds is not the real issue here and so you must correct me if that is the case!)

Flickering Cursor said...

Finally. A charity program I can relate to. And despite ^^ Nikita's ^^ valid concerns, I think there would be no harm done in doing this,even if nothing good comes out in a worst-case scenario. Thanks AGG, this is something bloggers should be doing more often.

agent green glass said...

dear nikita,

you hit the nail on the head.

there are no funds from the government. school equals lunch is funded equally by the maharashtra govt and the ISCKON food relief foundation, which is not funded by the temple, and is a separate trust.

the government has not paid in three years, but the food relief foundation guys refuse to give up. their logic is can you suddenly stopping feeding those kids who come to school for that one hot meal.

like you, i'm a sceptic when it comes to causes. because i don't know how its run. seeing is believing. the food relief foundation is the most passionate bunch. they cook the meal more hygienically than any restaurant.

all automated, all cooked in steam, all in ghee, all sealed in steel tiffins. and a different khichdi for every day so the kids don't get bored. they're know looking to put up a roti maker (like the one at the golden temple) and an idli maker.

i would really urge you to call seema (her number's on my post)and see the kitchen for yourself. it's a revelation. that there are good people, who do good things.

also check out the event/group on facebook. http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=288181660883&ref=nf
and thank you for the comment. i'm sure many people have these questions. i'm going to post it on facebook as well.

agent green glass said...

and sorry for all the typos. damn.

agent green glass said...

@small miracle: yeah, i know. that's what i felt too. somehow it stirred the fauji kid in me too. desh ke liye itna toh kar hi sakte hain.

@flickering cursor: thank you. : ) cloudcutter saw it on my facebook profile last night and told me to put it up. btw she was the first to donate. shows bloggers are made of something else!

Corinne Rodrigues said...

I second what Small Miracle said! Hey, I'm a fauji kid too...and write now the hairs on my hand (no I don't wax!) are standing up..which means you've touched a heartstring!
Thank you so much for this information.
PS: Can I reblog this post?

Small Miracle said...

while u are at it...read my new blog update! : )

agent green glass said...

@corinne: woweee...you a fauji kid too. : )))))thank you, and of course you can post. you have so many readers - would love to have them involved as well. mwaaaaah.

@small miracle: happy to have the madness back. happy the sun is out again : ))))

Nikita said...


well, i stand corrected :)
i wasn't aware that the funds are a problem because the govt schools that i visited in delhi, and quite recently at that, seemed to be doing just fine with the meal and other stuff that requires govt funding.

however, i will confess that my loyalties lie elsewhere and i'm more motivated to always contribute by serving that donating. it is not bcoz i'm cynical about causes- i'm involved in a few and i love devoting whatever time i can to them. But i do like to work towards a specific vision and look for ways that require more of my skill and talent, or even simply motivation. charity is not a personal policy for me (service is), and hence the questions. plz dont mind them.

but i'm impressed with the vision of this organisation and of course, their method has its own significance and utility. so all the best and i do hope you guys achieve your targets :)

Shivani said...

Thanks for posting this. Is it ok if I share this post & the link ti the FB event on Twitter?

Sangfroid said...

Gonna tweet this to begin with.

agent green glass said...

@shivani: please please do.

@sangfroid: wheee. what a cool idea. i'm putting it on my twitter page as well.

Simply Me said...

This initiative is def applaudable ..im tweetin this fr sure but i want to link this to my blog to reach out to as many as i can..Hope its fine ..
I believe if u cant make a difference be there for someone who is ..
Thnks :)

P.S - Im a first time visitor and im comin back for more ..

Anonymous said...

Just because i read this i want to have my say. i am an extremist in the Gandhian sense. If i cannot meet the standards set by him than its damn all. i dont care how many people starve or kill. but i am all for non violence.

Eveline said...

I think what you are doing is absolutely fantastic. Thanks for sharing this with us. I've been doing loads of fund raising for a small mizo orphanage. Our little friends have had a really difficult time (not that you can tell it from them, they're amazing!), but support from this charity went a long way.

As the Mind Meanders said...

Thank You for this AGG

agent green glass said...

@simply me: thank you. its the first time i've been so involved with a charity, and i think i'm getting just a little bogged down. why is it so hard to find 1000 people who believe?

so thank you for all the encouragement.

@anon: i don't think i'll even answer that.

@eve & ATMM: thank you. both of you. i'm so close to thinking this will never happen, but now i think it just might.

Anita :) said...

I'd loved you for your writing and the style thats free flowing classy and dangerously frank.

Now I've started admiring you.

Corinne Rodrigues said...

Hi AGG - Blogged this - with a link to you. A friend from Australia mailed this to me on reading your post:

The AMEX link doesn't seem to work - the VISA link does work.

I went ahead and donated. So you can let Agent Green Glass know that I can count as 5 of the people towards the 1000. I'd imagine though that reaching 1000 donations should be relatively easy..?

Hope the total is reached.

So here's hoping we can get many more fives and tens...

And hey the Rickshaw office seems to be on the next road from us - we're on 1t6h!

Chandrika Shubham said...

I first time visited ur blog. I liked the style of ur writting so free flowing. :)
26 th Jan is now more a holiday than anything else.

Miri said...

Thanks for this, I'm definitely doing this!
Putting this on my blog too.

agent green glass said...

@anita: thank you. just increasing all my good karma points!

@corrine: tell your friend from australia, AGG thanks her biggggg time.

and we are neighbours???? really??? how??? shall we meet at the sandwich stall?

@chandrika and miri: thank you very much. all the help is welcome.