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India is the land of festivals, celebrations and many varieties of food. Festivals are filled with colours and mostly celebrated with lip smacking food, fun and frolic.

Ganesh Chaturthi is approaching and everyone is preparing for it. The shopping lists are about new dresses, sweets, gifts, pandals and specially Ganesha idols.

It has been noticed over a period of time that people become highly vigilant during festivals over environment protection, noise pollution, water saving and its over consumption. For example, the Hussain Sagar lake which is a popular tourist place of Hyderabad but that lake is suffering with heavy pollution and the percentage of pollution does not vary much in normal days as compared to visarjan days.  (Source: http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/in-other-news/120716/hyderabad-ganesh-panel-deflects-blame-of-polluting-hussainsagar-lake.html)

We are the ones who need to understand that simply stopping or raising our voice at certain occasions will not bring the change. It has to be a continuous process rather than getting it started and then leaving it mid-way. As Mahatma Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world”. It is easy to talk about what you want to see in world but it takes courage and determination to be the change. I often question whether altruism actually exists? Yes it does exist! It is the moment one feels the pain of others at the first instance. You must have experienced it many times.  But it is really important to notice whether it is Effective Altruism or not.

We have many legendary examples that have made it possible. These are the ones who have contributed their effort, energy and determination to bring change in the society. We also have many NGOs running for social benefits, environmental hazards, women rights protection and child abuse.

Kalpana Ramesh is one of the examples to be admired. She is a Hyderabad based interior architect who has felt the pain of the polluted lakes of the city which are dying. She along with her team are working day and night to save the lakes of Hyderabad. “Live the Lakes” is an initiative from SAHE (Society for Advancement of Human Endeavor) which has been started to save the lakes of Hyderabad. The team and other volunteers are working upon three lakes – Kudikunta (beyond Chirec school, Kondapur) Gopi Cheruvu (behind Doyens, Lingampally), and Regula Kunta (at Deeptisri nagar, near Alwynn X roads, Miyapur).

Her recent initiative for the Ganesh Chaturthi is about ‘Plant Ganesha’. Her team and many other volunteers came up with the idea of clay Ganesha i.e. plant a Ganesha at your home. For “Plant A Ganesha” please watch https://youtu.be/aZoc1_4gH84 (#LivetheLakes #SAHE #Socialimpact #savethewaterbodies)

We have many other examples surrounding us but the biggest example is within us. We can be the change we want to gift to our future. Let us be together. Let us all join our hands heart and spirit to be together.  ‘Hum badlenge, yug badlega’ is the ideology of one the famous Socio Spiritual Movement that says a lot in itself i.e. the change should begin from ‘Self’

Just answer one question to yourself whenever you do anything “Are we doing what is right? Is it justifiable to my soul?” The moment you get the answer you will be in the right direction.

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