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Feed The Hungry Mouths and Raise Yourself

Truly, one has complete freedom to perform an act of charity and be more humane only before death.

A 16-year-old girl stands inside a protection home on the outskirts of New Delhi, Nov. 9, 2012. She was rescued by Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement), a charity which rescues victims of bonded labor. In the state of West Bengal, police officers are helping rescued women to make a new life. VOA

By Salil Gewali

Charity begins at home. But when that charity stands up and steps out of the threshold of a home, it definitely brings comfort to the deprived. Then, the true love for humanity begins to take root. Only then does compassion and love find their better expression. One starts to feel a better “human” whispering from within.  Inner satisfaction out of the act of charity always makes one feel overwhelmed with a good amount of happiness.   This is how one can fast cleanse oneself of the worldly toxicity has been just gathered all through. No amount of money held with a tight-fist has ever helped anyone to become good in life. The virtue is earned only by giving away, by being generous and kind.

One should be watchful of such self-centered charity.

In India, there are many charitable trusts. However, Akshaya Patra Foundation, which was inspired by a renowned Spiritual master – Srila Prabhupada, markedly stands out. This foundation has taken to practicing what Prabhupada of ISKCON preached all his life. Initiated by a great philanthropist Mohandas Pai, this foundation is now feeding countless hungry mouths across the country. How people wish blessings upon the foundation — and those associated, is beyond the materialistic calculation.  But what is very clear is that many people have already learned from the TRUST how to make one’s life more meaningful and more joyful. It has immensely awakened the spirit of “benevolence” in many prominent businessmen which otherwise has been just lying dormant. This has brought about positive vibes in the whole nation since our government has introduced the mid-day-meal which was inspired by the service the Akshaya Patra Foundation. This apart, lot many other organizations have followed suit and now in the service of filling the empty stomach or empowering the destitute in various states in the country. Many Sikh organizations and others are always at the forefront when any natural calamity come about.


The enlightened sages emphatically assert that amassing fortune has no value if the major part of it has not been used for the betterment of the society and the “environment”. In a practical sense, we are heavily indebted to Mother Nature. So, only by generously giving away a part of our wealth towards the righteous causes do we become free from that “debt”. Just imagine what would have happened if we had to buy “air” from the laboratory. Could each individual be able to buy air without which we can’t survive even for 2/3 minutes? We get it all for free. Similarly, we get water, we get all food products grown out from this amazing earth. What would we do if from tomorrow all such nourishing plants, grains, and cereals stop growing! We will just die of starvation. We can’t eat mud and stone for a living. So, we can thus imagine how we “owe our survival” to every part of the Mother Earth; the entire NATURE. Thus, by exercising the charity we clear our “debt” and also clear out the accumulated dirt from our mindset.

Also Read: Right of Nature: Are Rivers Living Beings?

However, there is a bottom-line and a complete no-no in charity. Here is where many individuals just fail and fall down and become too small. That is an “expectation of return” after the charity.  There is no greater “eyewash” than this. This is indeed a “dealing”.  ‘Philanthropy with eyes set on favors from beneficiaries is like a trade’, says Vivekananda. Most of the political leaders just put on the garb of philanthropy while their intention is only to earn the materialistic benefits. Their generosity is limited only to certain classes of people, for a certain period of time and for certain places only. This is absolutely unethical and non-spiritual. It will not reap the spiritual benefit at all. One should be watchful of such self-centered charity. We should not encourage such things that stifle the soul from breathing the air of virtues. Let our souls breathe easy now and hereafter. Truly, one has complete freedom to perform an act of charity and be more humane only before death. After the death, that amassed wealth never be helpful.  Moreover, no dead body has ever carried his/her accumulated wealth to the graveyard!

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’.  Twitter: @SGewali.

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Kids in LMICs Receive Excessive Amount of Antibiotic Prescriptions

Kids in low income countries prescribed excess antibiotics

Antibiotic Prescriptions
Children who receive excessive antibiotic prescriptions may lose the ability to fight pathogens. Pixabay

Kids in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are receiving an excessive amount of antibiotic prescriptions that could harm the children’s ability to fight pathogens as well as increase antibiotic resistance worldwide, warns a new study.

Children in these countries received 25 antibiotic prescriptions through age five – a “remarkable” estimate, given that two antibiotic prescriptions per year is considered excessive in many high-income settings, said the study published in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

“We knew children in LMICs are sick more often, and we knew antibiotic prescription rates are high in many countries. What we did not know was how these elements translate into actual antibiotic exposure – and the results are rather alarming,” said lead author of the study Gunther Fink from Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), Basel, Switzerland.

Antimicrobial resistance is one of today’s biggest threats to global health and development, according to the World Health Organization.

Children in LMICs received 25 antibiotic prescriptions through age. Pixabay

One factor contributing to this global health threat is the excessive use of antibiotics worldwide.

The research team from Swiss TPH and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the US analysed data from 2007-2017 from health facilities and household surveys from eight countries: Haiti, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nepal, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Results showed that antibiotics were administered in 81 per cent of cases for children with a respiratory illness, in 50 per cent for children with diarrhoea, and in 28 per cent for children with malaria.

The researchers found that the number of antibiotic prescriptions in early childhood varied from country to country.

While a child in Senegal received approximately one antibiotic prescription per year in the first five years of life, a child in Uganda was prescribed up to 12.

Also Read- Here’s how Casual Drinking Turns into Heavy Drinking

In comparison, a prior study showed that children under five in Europe receive less than one antibiotic prescription per year on average.

“This number is still high given that the vast majority of infections in this age group are of viral origin,” said study co-author Valerie D’Acremont from Swiss TPH. (IANS)