Poverty is a major problem, especially in India. In winters several people fall sick because of the cold and not having the resources to protect them from it. It is getting particularly cold in Surat, and our small gesture could mean a lot to them. Therefore with my family, I went on a couple of night drives where we distributed blankets to those in need. We visited areas which usually have a high concentration of homeless and underprivileged people, as well as those which aren’t popularly visited by people. This allowed us to help a larger group of people.
LO6: Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
The issues focused on are poverty and unequal distribution of resources. The issues are globally significant and are prevalent almost everywhere. It is quite obvious that the distribution of a few blankets is not going to even dent the gigantic problem that poverty and unfair distribution of resources is. But, this CAS experience did allow me to reflect on my privilege and how I should be more grateful for what I have. Knowing about this issue also gives me an insight into the big picture, about how others live. We and our circles are usually the 1% that have access to an abundance of resources and are privileged to use them at our disposal. Doing a CAS experience surrounding this issue has made me realise that the problem is even larger and worse than we can imagine.
LO7: Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions
The issue made me feel sympathetic and also a little guilty. Looking at how people live below the poverty line really makes you feel quite culpable for consuming the resources that are available to you and not them. It also makes you regret all the times you knit pick small problems that are nothing compared to those of these people. In my opinion about this issue, it has remained the same before and after the activity but it has definitely made me understand the gravity of the situation better than I did before.
In this experience, I became a caring and reflective learner. Both of these go hand in hand because the interaction with underprivileged people induced a sense of empathy and made me reflect on my privilege and lifestyle. It also made me feel so grateful for everything I have and helped me realize how many times I had taken my privilege for granted. The highlight of this experience was exactly that, the feeling of gratefulness. I realized that I am so privileged that my family can afford resources for itself and also help those who don’t have enough. My learning will help the community because now I know my privilege and will not exploit it as I may have in the past. My major takeaway from this experience was to always be grateful and help as many people as you can. It is vital for us to understand that we are a very small percentage of society and we need to empathize with others who aren’t as privileged and understand their lifestyle.