Stop Showcasing Charity Work | Ajaz Ahmad Khawaja

The concept of charity includes selfless giving, sharing, caring, and look-after without any anticipation of return or any materialistic benefit to the donor. As they say, charity begins at home. It always holds true. Some of us prefer charity by just feeding a homeless alongside a road, while a few others sponsor the whole educational expenses of a needy child. Both are perfectly fine as one should do it only to an extent to which he/she can afford. 

Representational image | source

If you are a contributor, you should keep the whole of your charity work to your own self. Don't consider it as you are in any sort of competition with your rivals. Charity is a noble cause. If you have nothing to offer to needy people around, you can just help them by teaching their wards without rendering any amount and plenty of other such activities like donation of blood, raising awareness regarding charity and other social issues in the society, motivate people to raise funds, lend helping hands to poor, etc. 

In the words of Prophet Mohammad (PUBH), those who will be granted shade on the Day of Judgment also include those who give charity but hide it, so that even their left-hand does not know what their right hand has spent in the name of charity. Zakat (Charity) is one of the five pillars of Islam, wherein you have to donate selflessly for noble and righteous causes. Similarly, in other religions, like Dana in Hinduism and Buddhism, Tzedakah in Judaism, Dasvand in Sikhism, etc. also teaches the same moral duties to the followers of these faiths towards charity. 

Stop filming poor and needy while you help them. You're earning more money from videos when you publish them. This is the grave exploitation of poors' sustainability to generate more fame and funds. This is their public shaming and one shouldn't take advantage of their helplessness. This is called poverty porn where you highlight one's suffering for your own public fame. Even though this may sympathies with many contributors and donors towards the poor livelihood of people, but let this do by an organization like UNICEF and not by a single individual. Talk to the people, if you comprehend that they are willing to be approached and need financial help, prepare a blueprint with your team and do the needful. Ever tried asking permission from a needy before clicking his/her picture? Do it next time, he/she would surely reject your proposal. 

If you're raising money for an underprivileged class, keep a transparent account and let the donors know how you're spending the amount. The only pleasing thing while going through this COVID-19 catastrophe is to see how young and aspiring youth are enthusiastic about raising money for needy people during these days of crises. COVID crises have created many new challenges and needs as the people at the receiving end spiked all of a sudden. Facing all odds, donors are still doing their best to cater to the needs of hungry, jobless, and homeless people. There are mountains of other basic necessities which you can deliver other than collecting money. When you observe that a locality is running short of food, don't just donate money to them, run a food campaign. Similarly, you can hold other drives, like, shoes for children, clothing, milk, etc. Make sure that the supplies you have collected are systematically transported and distributed to the people where they are needed the most.

Don't always brag about charity and donations. Donate more to poors and orphanages than to religious places and shrines. Unfortunately, a majority of our young juniors have no idea about raising funds and donations. Children should be exposed to these social realities of poverty and immiserization by their parents. The way these children value empathy, volunteering, and all of their ideas regarding charity should be supported and appreciated. Preach the concept of Zakat and other such conceptions mentioned in various faiths to the younger generation. Children have a natural tendency of helping others, this nature of theirs should be nurtured and maintained with proper care by parents. This world can be more livable if you start instilling these ideas of empathy and generosity to your wards right during their tender age before they become future adults and caretakers of this dwindling human society.

About the Author: Ajaz Ahmed Khawaja is a teacher in Jammu and Kashmir Department of School Education. He belongs to Poonch district of J&K.

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