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AICTE, Mumbai University announce online workshop from 13 May to 17 May on 'Universal Human Values in Education'

The University of Mumbai in collaboration with AICTE (Western Region) will be organising an online workshop on 'Universal Human Values in Education' for institutions offering technical education.The workshop will commence on 13 May and end on 17 May. According to University of Mumbai, the workshop is of paramount significance to continue learning process amid COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown.The workshop will be conducted in Hindi and English. The morning session will be from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm and the evening session will be from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.File image of Mumbai University. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons “To understand the basics of value education an online workshop is being organized exclusively for the Vice Chancellors of Technical Universities and University Coordinators appointed for coordinating the activities related to FDPs on Student Induction Programme,” the circular said.The workshop is specifically designed for sharing All India Council for Technical Edu…

There's a philanthropy outbreak over the COVID-19 pandemic; don't stop it by selfie-shaming

They jump out of your social media timeline wearing gloves and masks, overseeing or helping load sacks full of cereals and vegetables on to trucks, neatly packing hundreds of lunchboxes, or supervising movement of thousands of masks.

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages, there has been a happy outbreak of philanthropy in South Asia. It is not necessarily without conspicuous self-promotion or narcissism. Some of it is being lampooned as "selfie service", "PR philanthropy" or "kitty-party activism".

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But what the heck. Who said charity was without its personal motives and had to always be anonymous and selfless? Why should we not embrace the infectious generosity of the well-off and socially hyperactive, however awkwardly it sits with our traditional notions of giving?

To the startled indignation of the West and much cavil from its media, South Asia has done well so far in handling the coronavirus pandemic. India, despite its 1.3 billion population, is way below the US, UK, Italy, France, Germany, Spain in terms of cases or deaths. So is Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan or Myanmar.

In spite of that, the healthcare and social support infrastructure in these countries are abysmal. Their economies are under severest strain. While governments may announce impressive relief schemes, the poor need immediate relief, and charity by private citizens is coming as an unexpected saviour for the distressed.

Representational image. PTI

In India, tycoons and celebrities like Azim Premji, Mukesh Ambani, Ratan Tata, Akshay Kumar and Shah Rukh Khan have given hundreds of millions in donations and relief. Among prominent citizens, fashion designer Suket Dhir is overseeing thousands of hampers packed with food provisions being sent to poor households across India from the Delhi Seva Bharti Centre, for instance. Filmmaker Manish Mundra is sending free personal protection equipment (PPE) and other stuff to health officials and actor Prakash Raj is feeding 250 homeless and daily wage workers in Kerala's Kovalam and Thiruvananthapuram.

In Bangladesh, a growing number of business, media, political and social entrepreneurs like Silvia Parveen Lenny, Khandaker Anwar, Masud Hasan, Shabbir Ahmed Bokshi, Nazma Masud Parul, Emadur Rahman and Mahjabeen Khaled have spontaneously come out to the streets with their resources. These philanthropists are taking up a particular area each and ensuring that food and other essential supplies reach the poor every day.

The well-off in Pakistan's Karachi, for instance, are standing in front of grocery shops and doling out provisions for free to the poor. While at some places in Pakistan the official distribution machinery is discriminating against minorities, private citizens are more generous. The Muslim holy month of Ramzan ensures a lot more zakat or religious charity is going to the poor. In a nation where, by Prime Minister Imran Khan's admission, 25 percent of the people can’t afford two meals a day during this gargantuan crisis, such charity is providence.

In psychologist Abraham Maslow's famous pyramid representing the hierarchy of needs, self-actualisation is at the tip — above food, security, sex and success. It is the stage in which an individual seeks self-fulfilment, self-growth, spiritual satisfaction and a need to give.

The urge to do charity may sometimes hide baser impulses like guilt or showing-off. But more often, we give to reinforce our self-worth, and to feel that we are not tiny, fleeting, pointless beings after all, we have the power to make some demonstratable change.

Society shouldn't stop it by moral judgments and selfie-shaming. One meal means the world for a struggling family at this time.

Also, seeing one give, others step out of their shells of stinginess or shyness to donate. Philanthropy is infectious. We have a far better chance of defeating the coronavirus if the kindness infection spreads far and fast.



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