My son Ridhan, or Rio’s 8th birthday, was on 17th October 2020. I used to spend an average of ten thousand rupees on the celebrations every year. The majority of the kids were from our society, along with a few parents. Food was ordered from one of the top Chinese restaurants. My son, like any kid, was always very happy with the celebrations.
This year a thought crossed my mind that the expense on these celebrations was a waste as I have been feeding people who were already well-fed. This expense would be of more value if we were to feed those who were not well provided. Also, we need to ensure that Rio’s happiness was not compromised. After a lot of thought, we approached a family friend, who is a small restaurant owner. His business was at an all-time low following the pandemic. We asked him to prepare and pack 75 vegetarian meals. On Rio’s birthday, we collected the meal packets and distributed them to beggars and hungry children all over Guwahati city.
On our return, we called the restaurant owner and his family (wife and 2 daughters) to our house for cutting Rio’s cake cutting. Although he couldn’t make it, his family arrived.
The house was already decorated with balloons and Spiderman stickers. We cut the cake, and then all of us sat down for dinner. This was Rio’s happiest happy birthday, and though the budget was the same, we:
Fed the hungry and put rare smiles on their faces.
Supported the business of a struggling businessman.
Ensured that we cut a cake and ensured that we didn’t compromise on my son’s happiness.
Helping the needy actually doesn’t cost extra, yet the returns are multiplied many times over.
~ Bikky Singh