Sunday, 28 December 2008

Mumbai Cares - Because All We Have Is Us

A little bit of anger once in a while isn't necessarily a bad thing, so long as it's converted into positive energy. Mumbai has been boiling over with rage at our political leaders for their apathy towards the security of ordinary, innocent people.

But there's a danger that after a few days of blowing off steam in the form of marches, posters and SMSs, we'll return to business as usual - and allow our politicians to return to business as usual. To allow that would be a waste of yet another opportunity to make a difference. So many lives would then have been lost in vain. There are encouraging signs, though, that this time it's going to be different, that the people of Mumbai will not forget that they are determined to make change happen. The Times of India has been flooded with offers to help the families of the less affluent victims of the terror attack. What's equally heart-warming is that many of our readers have offered their time and expertise to worthwhile initiatives undertaken by civil society groups.

We would like to be able to direct all such offers in the appropriate direction so that something tangible, something good can come of them. Mumbai Cares is an initiative which extends a helping hand to the families of the victims of Mumbai terror attack. This is not merely a charitable cause, but an attempt to create a self-help group by caring citizens.

You can contribute by selecting one or more of the following options.

1. Time

Time is the most important gift that one can give to another human being. Many families have been left without members with whom they spent wonderful times. We cannot replace them. But we can help them in difficult times. You can contribute in many ways: providing moral support, being an adviser (for example, in financial planning and help with the deceased's paperwork), a simple act like babysitting, especially with one parent now gone or alerting the rest of the group on more serious help (for example, need for a psychiatrist or serious financial help).
How many hours per week can you contribute towards this mentorship role for the next few weeks? hours
Do you have experience in psychiatric counselling?YesNo

2. Be a vigilant citizen

Would you like to receive special training which can help you identify such threats in advance? YesNo

3. Want to adopt a child orphaned during the attacks?YesNo

4. Financial Support

While it's assumed that this attack has only affected the well-to-do, ground realities are different: the affected people include families of hotel service/security staff, police personnel and other common citizens out to make a living.The "Mumbai Cares" fund set up with the support of Times Foundation seeks to provide monetary support to the families of the victims of the attacks. Please send your cheque drawn in favour of:
"Times Foundation (HDFC Bank a/c No. 0601000137448)" and send it by courier/registered post to:

Mumbai Cares Cell
The Times of India Building
Dr DN Road (near CST)
Mumbai 400001

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