Diwali is one of the most sacred festivals celebrated by millions of people around the world both young and old. It marks the triumph of good over evil; of light over dark. People celebrate Diwali just like how Christmas is celebrated in other parts of the world. On Diwali, it is a time honoured tradition to wear new clothes to symbolise starting anew.
However, on this joyous day, thousands of the forgotten poor across India can never dream of a new set of clothes (costing as little as US$5).
Take for example, Mrs Jayammal, a 70 year old widow whose children abandoned her. Mrs Jayammal lives in a mud hut, is blind in one eye, and despite her age, has to work as a day labourer earning 60 rupees (US$0.97) a day just to survive.
As work is not regular, Mrs Jayammal barely has enough to money to feed herself, let alone dream of buying a new saree for Diwali. A simple saree costs 300 rupees (US$5) but this is money which Mrs Jayammal does not have.
In our feeding and educating the poor children throughout India each day, we have come across many similar heart-wrenching stories of elderly men and women struggling such as Mrs Jayammal to survive each day.
That is why for this Diwali (2 November 2013), besides all our 2,900 HoPE Center children, we want to give 200 elderly poor people a joyous Diwali and we are asking for your help to make a difference in their lives.
This Diwali, besides a nice hot meal, we want to give the gift of a new set of clothes to 3100 young and old poor people that we serve in and around in our 83 HoPE Centers across India.