Charity begins at the mandal: donations used for causes | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Charity begins at the mandal: donations used for causes

For the organisers at the Barvenagar Bhatwadi Mandal, Ghatkopar, charity does not mean providing short-term help in the form of money or things. Instead, they give young students the agency to plan for their futures.

mumbai Updated: Sep 27, 2012 01:16 IST

For the organisers at the Barvenagar Bhatwadi Mandal, Ghatkopar, charity does not mean providing short-term help in the form of money or things. Instead, they give young students the agency to plan for their futures.

Using donations they have received during the festival, the organisers will open, in their locality, zero-balance bank accounts for hundreds of students aged between 14 and 24 years.

"By helping them start a bank account, we teach them about saving and organising their own finances," said Ram Chavan, chief advisor at the mandal.

Last year, the mandal collected donations worth Rs. 6 lakh, of which 30% was used for charitable purposes. They plan to do the same this year as well.

"We also run a training centre where we take a nominal fee of Rs. 150 for a three-month period. Here, we conduct classes in computer skills, English speaking and personality development," added Chavan.

The GSB mandal at King's Circle, gets more than Rs50 lakh in donations and reserves more than half of it as scholarships for underprivileged children.

"Students have to give us details of the course they want to take up, show us their marksheets and details of their family income. Our committee decides whose need is the most urgent, and allots money to them accordingly," said Bhujang Pai, the convenor of the GSB mandal.

The organising committee of the Abhyudayanagar Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal at Parel has charity events planned for the entire year.

Their first initiative after the festival has been scheduled for Diwali, when organisers will distribute crackers, sweets and clothes at a Badlapur orphanage.

The organising committee also conducts free health check-ups and blood donation camps through the year.

The Ganesh mandal at Lalbaug's Ganesh Gully will also conduct medical camps, blood donation drives, cancer check-up camps after the festival ends.