Bharati Dasgupta – NGO Co-founder, HR Professional
A lasting childhood memory is that of a constant flow of visitors into our already-cramped flat. Relatives/friends/their friends—anyone visiting Bombay, stayed with us. It was unending hospitality. And so, we shared-our food, our bed, our woolens, our bathrooms! The smallest hostility was reprimanded: ‘you are contributing to their holiday; don’t grudge them that little pleasure!’ Helping people in need, small loans, assistance when in distress, sharing food/a coin, was likewise a common family trait. Those experiences were perhaps, the first steps into nurtured giving.
Teenage was characterized with an obsession for animals and a substantive amount of work on animal welfare—my first foray into Social Giving. Subsequently, however, family priorities took over: marriage, family, career, ‘necessary-luxuries’, larger flats, and holidays. Then equally suddenly, things changed. Children grew, career prospered, splurges diminished and small-money became big!
2002 was when I, along with my daughter and son-in-law, founded Catalysts for Social Action. The decision was the consequence of our family ‘adoption-experience’ when two unimaginably-lovely children entered our lives and transformed us. We have not looked back.
I have never considered charity to be a ‘connect with God’ nor ‘the way to a good ‘after-life’. But we are clear—we have the ability and transform we must, in every way possible!
So, here I am, pledging to donate half my wealth to Charity after I am gone. My decision will be incorporated in my will.
- Bharati Dasgupta