When we think about the important thrust given by Freemasonry to the aspect of Charity, I am reminded of the old adage which says - “We can make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”.
Freemasonry enforces the utmost importance to the aspect of Charity, amongst other virtues like Brotherhood, Relief and Truth. Donating to charity is a major mood-booster. The knowledge that you’re helping others is hugely empowering and, in turn, can make you feel happier and more fulfilled. Research has identified a link between making a donation to charity and increased activity in the area of the brain that registers pleasure - proving that as the old adage goes, it really is far better to give than to receive.
I am reminded about the famous axiom which says “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”. While donating for social causes like amelioration of poverty, extending our hand towards succour to the distressed or the infirm or the destitute, satiating the pangs of hunger amongst the starving, providing timely medical assistance to the ailing, etc. motivates the generous donors to give regularly to charity for the sheer enjoyment they receive from giving as a key influence.
The District Grand Lodge India S. C. in conjunction with the Grand Chapter USRAFIC, in its own humble way, has always adhered to this axiom of extending a helping hand to the socially deprived sector of the diaspora by optimising the deployment of its Charitable funds towards this end. One thing is certain when you set your sights to a Charitable disposition; identify the genuine beneficiary for deployment and the sources will ensue. Whereas each individual Lodge contributes its mite towards amelioration of poverty and also mitigating the deprivation of necessities of survival of the needy and the deprived, the District Grand Lodge of India and the Grand Chapter USRAFIC have contributed their mite for the same purpose.
On a regular basis, substantial quantities of doles have been dispensed regularly to the poor and the needy, majority of whom are Senior Citizens and Widows. In addition, whenever a worthy cause is brought to our notice, we offer monetary assistance either for educational, medical, incidental purposes or for general amelioration of poverty from our Benevolent funds.
During the onslaught of the COVID pandemic, our District was in the forefront by offering assistance to various hospitals and donating PP Suits, masks, equipment and other necessities. Oblivious to the resultant impact on our finances, it was deemed prudent to adopt to the humanity approach than otherwise.
In the very recent past, Umbrellas to overcome the fury of monsoon were distributed to school children in a remote village together with school books and bags. We had also availed of the services of the renowned “Robin Hood Army” for distributing food packets, milk bottles and water sachets during the pandemic.
Thereafter, just at the onset of winter, apart from the regular grants and doles dispensed to the aged and the infirm for various purposes on a regular basis, the District Grand Lodge of India and the Grand Chapter USRAFIC have contributed their mite for the distribution of 1,000 Blankets to the roadside dwellers throughout the different areas in the city of Mumbai. This activity was supervised by none other but our District Grand Master.
As is also known, on Universal Brotherhood day, we had joined hands with the Masonic Fraternity of Mumbai towards their charitable activities including monetary donation to the Cancer Patients’ Aid Association.
Cash donations have also been given during visit to Charity Camps organised by our upcountry Lodges in rural areas, especially to schools, orphanages and widows’ homes.
Recently the District had financed our Ladies’ Wing in their project of distributing number of equipment and medicines to the largest Government Hospital in Mumbai.
We have set our sights now to proffer monetary help to a Home for the terminally ailing senior citizens, which would satiate their wants to some extent.
Freemasonry, inter-alia, behoves one to adhere to the axiom:-
“Silence will create respect and dignity, Justice and fair play will bring more friends, generosity and charity will enhance prestige and position, courtesy will draw benevolence, service of mankind will secure leadership, and good words will overcome powerful enemies”.