Like any normal working day, I went to meet my friends late in the evening. We planned to have coffee at Café Coffee Day. Nothing so unusual about it.
While ordering our cuppas, the waiter requested us to donate some money for the Mid-Day Meal Program implemented by Akshaya Patra. I politely declined.
Don’t get me wrong, I like working for social causes. But I have a genuine distrust of these intermediary based donation schemes. Just by putting up a donation box or asking for some donation from you for a charity, they earn lots of brownie points. I always wonder why they don’t donate money themselves by giving a percentage of their earnings to the charities and therefore actually do a good deed. Lets not forget the doubts about whether the donated money actually reaches the people who need it.
We returned to our seats and continued our conversations. In time, our respective drinks also arrived. Our evening continued on as planned.
After a while, a few child beggars came outside the café and started staring through the glass walls with a longing look. We, in India, are so used to such scenes that I doubt many people even noticed the kids. Before I even registered their presence, I saw one of the waiters come forward with a bunch of cookie packets and give them to the beggars. I was stunned and humbled. Not often do you see such generosity.
I don’t know who paid for those cookies and neither do I care. The workers at that particular franchisee of CCD, and in turn the organization, had earned a significant amount of respect in my eyes with that small act of kindness. I not only saw people preaching others to do some good, but also saw them practice what they preached.
I went to the bill counter and gave them some money for the donation. I believed now that maybe the money would be put to good use. I thanked the workers for what they had done and came back to my friends to continue on with a day that didn’t seem so normal anymore.