Published: 21st November 2020
Generosity in the times of COVID: What makes us open our hearts and be generous?
Why are we being so generous now? Is the call of generosity falling on more attentive ears than before due to the onslaught of COVID-19? Or is this just another farce? Monteiro thinks about this
Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need
Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931), Lebanese-American writer, poet and visual artist
Recently, there had been a survey report saying COVID-19 has made respondents more generous. It is pending to be scheduled as an EdEx topic-essay. Meanwhile, here is a heart-warming story brought to us by Pearl Maria D’Souza, date-lined Bengaluru and published in The New Indian Express (19/10/20) and excerpted here.
The ‘Adopt a School’ initiative, where Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) adopt three government schools in their respective constituencies to improve them, has become a hit. The principal proponent, M R Doreswamy, Advisor (education reforms), said, “So far, 1,414 government schools have been adopted under the initiative.” The scheme was recommended in February 2020, to improve the condition of government schools.
In an interesting development, as many as 25 universities (state and private), including Mangalore University, RGUHS, Tumakuru University, University of Mysore, NITTE University, PES University, REVA University, adopted 10 schools each.
The government has now approached 200 IT companies, with a request to adopt 100 government schools each under the CSR funding scheme. They have also created a list of 10 priority areas with a guide for private players who want to donate and help develop the schools. The current requirements in government schools include safe drinking water, toilets for boys and girls, teachers, classrooms, library, computers, furniture, stability of physical infrastructure, compound, repairs and painting.
The advisor has invited philanthropists to contact his office, at 080-22133678, if interested in adopting a school in their vicinity. As many as 213 schools have been adopted by MLCs and 135 by MPs.
This then begs the question — does generosity only come to the fore when there are situations of great adversity around us? Or is it a bit strange that during this trying time, when industries and the economy have been so badly hit that it will take months for it to regain normalcy, companies and corporates can find the money to contribute to a genuine cause for the betterment of society.
If it is the former, then perhaps there is hope for the human race. But if it is the latter, then the question arises: Why were nearly 55 lakh people deprived of jobs by these very same companies using the pandemic as an excruciatingly convincing reason?