Spring is here !!!

Spring is here it seems! As I drove to work today – I was smiling and absorbing in the warmth of the beautiful shining sun and the sounds of the chirping of the birds! Why isn’t it like this every day I wondered and then realized that if it was like this every day, I wouldn’t have appreciated today as I am doing so now J !! That’s what is why we have the seasons – they help us appreciate the spring after a long cold winter.  We appreciate and welcome autumn after a tiring hot summer!!  isn’t that how life is too ?  Where the ups and downs are like seasons.  We just need to be smart enough to know that spring is around the corner and days won’t be so gloomy forever! 

The power of clothes

My sister asked me to look into an organization called Goonj to see if we can work on a collaborative with them.  I was really impressed by what they are doing so I decided to Blog about it.

 

Goonj is an organization that simply puts clothing and other charitable products like furniture, books, medicine, etc to use for the poor, in exchange of  the much needed development work in their communities in India.  To explain, read the stories here .  One of the stories explained here showed that under the “CLOTH FOR WORK” initiative, villagers joined to make a 240 ft x 6 ft bamboo bridge on a river for clothing.  “It was a first for GOONJ and a moment of huge elation for the villagers who got involved in its making. No money involved voluntary labor by the villagers, under Cloth for Work.” — Goonj.  Today this bridge connects many villages and has brought many other villages together to do the same!

 

A lot of us, and a lot of people we know, give clothes to the poor outside the temples in India.  But we don’t know whether our goodness is really ending in a good deed or if it is actually used in harming the poor by maintaining their poverty.   After all who wants to work if he/she is getting things for free all of his/her life.  And this becomes their habit and nature for life.  I believe that the ‘Cloth for Work’ initiative can break this habit by giving the poor an option to find respect for themselves by being able to live, compete, and grow.  But this can happen only if we feed the poor with work and not a free treat.

 

You can help by just giving things from your home that you are not using.  And we all know that we have a lot of them!  The kind of things that Goonj can use are listed in the picture below.

For those of us who live abroad, but would like to help – please ask your friends and family in India to Give what they can to the centers in their area.

Click here for the list of centers where they can drop their items.

 

Thanks to Goonj for the photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My thoughts for today …

I’ve been told that I should blog more .. especially for my “non-facebook” friends 😉 ! So here I am :).  I’ve also been told not to put all these smiley faces in my sentences he he .. but I can’t help it.  If I am smiling why not share it?  You know what they say, “happiness grows when shared” !! Don’t you agree?

I’ve been working from my home office since I came back.  Working alone in the office is slowly teaching me how important discipline and scheduling is for a self employed.  You are fully responsible for your own actions or lack of, for that matter.  But I would say that it is all worth it 🙂 !!  It’s been so exciting making small successes; the kind I don’t think I’ve felt before. I start feeling like what was said in the Alchemist, that “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it’ :)!  That is not to say that failures/obstacles are not there, or that the universe always gives me what I want.  At this point, there are more uncertainties and obstacles than there are successes.  But that’s where we learn our lessons from.  If we pick up after stumbling from our obstacles, celebrate the small successes and continue believing in our dreams – what can’t be done?!  If anything, at least you won’t ever regret not trying to achieve your dreams.

Back home …

Glad to be back home to my family and friends!  It had been long!!!  So long that I had started referring to ‘restaurants’ as ‘hotels’ ! Yup, that’s the Indian way to call a restaurant!  Yeah I was in India!  I traveled to the North, the South, the East, and the West of India and yet still the thirst is there to see more!!!  Welllll  THERE is a lot more left to see – but I guess what’s the next time for right 😉 ??  So, what else was I doing in India besides traveling??  Remember one of my previous blogs where I wrote about some Artisans we met in Gujrat/Bhuj/Karnataka etc .. well I have started working with them on an initiative to bring their work oversea, closer to us. This initiative, a wish willing to be fulfilled for a long time is now called Ichcha, literally translating to ‘a wish’ in hindi.  I will write about that more in a few days.  For now, I would like to share the pictures of ichcha’s beginning where with the artisans we are working a little while having a little FUN 🙂 …

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DASTKAR BAZAAR

Dastkar, an NGO, dedicated to the crafts society, sets up a bazaar in major Metropolitan cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, and Delhi.  It’s definitely worth checking out this bazaar if you are interested in hand-made crafts and textiles from all over India!  Moreover, they set up workshops all day at the Bazaar for anyone who is interested in learning say pottery or jewelry making or any other craft! There are also different kinds of food available for you to taste and buy – also home made! Music and dance is also set up for entertainment!  All in all, it is a good place to spend a day or a weekend 🙂  For dates when the bazaars are setup, refer to their website – Dastkar.

Photos from Dastkar Bazaar in Banglore:

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