On Sunday, when I saw Nitish Kumar's appeal to contribute towards Bihar flood victims I thought, haan bhejna chahiye.
But four days later I had done nothing. Cutting a cheque and mailing it required some initiative on my part. And I just did not follow through.
SO this morning when I checked my ICICI bank account online I was happy to see a quick and easy way to contribute. Just before you log in they have created a page which allows you to send money towards Bihar flood victims through internet banking. Which as you know takes less than a minute to complete.
So I did make my small contribution.
And I know that many others, like me, will 'follow through'.
The money contributed will be handled by GiveIndia, so I know it will be wisely spent. Incidentally, GiveIndia will also deliver at your doorstep the tax exemption certificate under Section 80G (not very important to me but could be for others!).
GiveIndia's mission is to induct people like you and me into a culture of 'giving'. But it's also about coming up with ideas like this one, which make it easier for us to actually do it. Understanding the 'end user', as they say.
And well, I could go on and on about GiveIndia but you can read the whole story in my book 'Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish' which will be out on September 15 in bookstores across India. Of the 25 stories in the book, GiveIndia is one of my personal favourites.
Meanwhile I cannot help wondering whether 'giving' means I actually care. Which is the ultimate objective of GiveIndia, to engage us, to shake us out of the inertia of 'me, myself and I'.
The floods in Bihar are a colossal human tragedy but they have failed to move India in the manner of the Gujarat earthquake, or the tsunami.
I think somewhere in the back of our minds there is the thought:"Bihar? Deserves it". Jaata hai to jaaye, good riddance.
Acknowledging the feeling is the first step towards releasing it. Giving money I hope is the first step in the long journey towards making us more 'giving' - in so many other ways.
And not just when there are floods and earthquakes.
As Venkat puts it in Stay Hungry Stay Foolish:" People don't realise that India is a daily living disaster. Diarrhoea is a bigger disaster than earthquake, tsunami, cyclone - all of them put together..."
Actually it's all too overwhelming, which is why most of us look away in the first place!
But more of us are accepting that each one can make a difference.
The starting point - for any change - is believing that in the first place.