Akhila Krishnan plans to start the new year by signing a cheque for Child Rights and You (CRY), an international organisation that works for underprivileged children.
The 52-year-old mother of two is not an exception. She is part of a growing number of people who start the year with a good deed and not just a hangover.
“It feels really good and almost auspicious to begin the year like this. I feel very strongly about the cause and this has now become a tradition,” said Krishnan.
Non-governmental organisations across the city remain busy around this time of the year, as Christmas and New Year are seen as the season of giving.
Children from Happy Home and School for the Blind perform free of cost as a choir at various locations, including at churches, gymkhanas and five star hotels.
“Listening to our children perform gets people motivated to donate,” said Meher Banaji, the school’s director. “Our donations are still coming in.”
While some donate cash, others donate clothes and toys. Schoolchildren donated enough toys for 5,000 anganwadi children to Lifetrust, an education NGO, as part of its Joy in a Box initiative.
“People were overwhelming in their generosity this time. It meant a lot to us,” said Neeta Khajuria, head of programming and services at Lifetrust.
Some people buy cards and calendars from CRY because they support its cause.
CRY has sold 30 lakh cards and three lakh calendars in the country this year and Mumbai forms a significant part of it, because its oldest patrons are from here.
“Most of our bulk orders are from Mumbai. People see this as a way of showing support and we definitely see an upsurge in sell around New Year. People who buy CRY cards and calendars perceive this as showing their personal stand on children’s rights,” said Sangeeta Kapila, general manager, CRY.
The Education Today Foundation in Khar has received donations from 25 people adopting a child’s education within a fortnight.
But is it only about giving? December is also the month of filing tax returns and you get tax rebate on donations. Still, charity is charity.