Indian film stars should walk in Jet Li’s path

Just a few days after posting “Poor India,” a post in which I beseech Indian film stars like Amitabh Bachchan to start a charity and use their star power to get other Indians to do charitable work for the poor, I read the article, “China’s Pusher of Philanthropy” at the Washington Post’s website. The article reports that Jet Li took two years off from acting to travel through China, research philanthropic organizations and bring in other known names to help raise money for a charity he  started.

The charity is helping children affected by the devastating May ’08 earthquake in China. Another goal of Jet Li’s endeavor is, to quote, “The role we played is more like a pusher of philanthropic culture,” Li said in an interview. “Right now, people still have a fuzzy recognition about philanthropy and volunteerism. . . . My dream is to change the concept of philanthropy in China from simply helping others into responsibility.”

The core idea of Li’s One Foundation is that in a country the size of  China, if everyone gave a little, the impact would be enormous. Li is urging everyone to donate one yuan — about 15 cents — a month. “We set the lowest entrance barrier,” Li said. “Nobody can say no.””

Couldn’t agree with you more, Mr. Jet Li. You are  my hero. And I am heading over to the Amitabh Bachchan Blog to post a comment requesting him to do the same!

Poor India

The Lives of Poor

As if the lives of poor in India wasn’t hard enough, The CNN article, “India razes slums, leaves poor homeless” reports that to improve Delhi’s look for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the scant dwellings of hundreds of people were razed to the ground in a matter of minutes — the huts were too close to a major road that needs to be expanded. Of course expansion of roads is required in Delhi to ease the clogged traffic but the inhumanity of  it all was the fact that no relocation or help was offered to the poor residents — many of them had lived there for 10 to 20 years. And to be sure, such an event has been and will be repeated with frightening monotony.

For all of India’s strengths and positives, social consciousness isn’t one: be it the Government or the People at large. There are thousands of well meaning Non-Profit Organizations, and I am most admiring of  the work they do, but in a population of a billion they are but a drop in the Ocean.

So what can be done about a problem that has burgeoned to a point that it envelopes India?

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