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Diwali celebration 2020: A gift for the needy & by the needy

( November 8, 2020 )

The diyas in the hamper—which contains cookies box, pie box, special Bordough Bakery blend of coffee and other customisable options—are made by members of The Blind Relief Association in Delhi.

We have drawn a curated list of places and groups you can buy from or donate to help the needy.

Diwali this year is different. It is about being mindful of the people in need. It is about responsible gifting & conscious giving. We have drawn a curated list of places and groups you can buy from or donate to help the needy.

Floating wishes

Delhi-based NGO Wishes and Blessings sells floating candles and diyas, made by special children, priced between Rs 10 and Rs 200. The proceeds support the well-being of the special children. Contact 9625535026 or email [email protected]

Light it up

What’s the festival of lights without lights? From pyramid, cube, pillar, glass wax, flower and Dhanteras candles to little light balls and diyas, Agra-based NGO Ek Pahel, which works to uplift underprivileged children and women, offers all these and more. Made by underprivileged girls studying at Ek Pahel Pathshala, the products are priced between Rs 30 and Rs 200. Around 60% of profit goes to the organisation and the rest to the girls. Contact 7500176976, 8126906681 or visit EKPAHELNGO/

Sustainable handicrafts

Handbags, table runners, stoles, mats, bedcovers— made by destitute women, including widows and sex workers, and physically challenged and autistic men—are sold by Varanasi-based Fix My Life Foundation. The products are priced between Rs 300 (handbags and stoles) and `1,800 (set of bedcover and pillow covers). Contact 9415204182 or mail [email protected]

Basket of hope

Diwali hampers can be bought from Bordough Bakery in Hauz Khas, Delhi. The diyas in the hamper—which contains cookies box, pie box, special Bordough Bakery blend of coffee and other customisable options—are made by members of The Blind Relief Association in Delhi. The bakery gives a part of the proceeds from sales to the association. Starting from Rs 999, each hamper includes five-six diyas. Contact 9910892668 or visit

Mask magic

What about gifting the need of the hour? A face mask! You can buy these from Haath ka Bana, which works with artisans at the grassroots level. Weavers from Pochampally (Telangana), Surat and Kutch (Gujarat), Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Nagaland and Assam and others have made masks for them as per WHO and ICMR guidelines. A two-ply washable handmade cloth mask is priced at Rs 50. Contact: 9899705787, email [email protected]

Handmade appeal

Diaries, sling bags, bottle covers, table tops, hand-embroidered pen stands. Utility handicrafts make for perfect little gifts. These visually appealing, durable and attractive products are developed under Project Karigari of Indha, an organisation born out of Literacy India, a not-for-profit organisation, which aims at imparting vocational training in sewing, embroidery, driving, computers, beauty culture, etc, to rural women artisans in Daulatabad, Sarai and Bajghera villages in Haryana. Prices start from Rs 20 (for a key ring) and go upto Rs 3,500 (for a quilt). Contact 0124-4109763, 8588853369 or email [email protected]

Recycled stationery

Perfect to gift to students, you can shop recycled pens and pencils from Odisha-based Solutions2Change, which provides sustainable livelihoods to more than 40 tribal women and youth in Kalahandi and Nuapad districts. They only use recycled newspaper and waste paper to make the products, which are priced at Rs 15. Contact 7399499599, 022-24983055, email [email protected] or visit

Sweet delight

Chocolate can never be a bad gifting option. National Society For Equal Opportunities for the Handicapped (NASEOH), India, which works on comprehensive rehabilitation opportunities for persons with disabilities, offers milk chocolate in bags (Rs 500 per kg), 100-gm potpourri bags (nine pieces per bag, Rs 60), chocolates in cane basket, mixed variety (nine pieces, Rs 100) and more. Contact 022-25220224 or email [email protected]


Aid the elderly

To ensure that the elderly get support in this time of crisis, three Vadodara-based students—Rishabh Somani, Soham Katewale and Ashvika Menon—started a campaign with crowdfunding platform Impact Guru to provide food to 20 senior citizens that Vadodara-based Lagni Foundation has adopted. They aim to raise Rs 2 lakh and have so far raised Rs 76,000. Visit or

Green initiative

Goonj’s special initiative Green by Goonj reuses and upcycles even the last shred of clothing and other material it receives. Women from slums use the torn jeans, obsolete audio tapes, one side used paper, etc, to make a variety of products like purses, fancy bags, file folders, mats, etc. You can donate clothes at several drop-off locations or contact 011-41401216, 011-26972351 or visit

Bring a smile

Festivals are all about bringing smiles to faces and you can do this by donating books and toys to needy children. Bengaluru-based Youth for Seva (YfS), a nationwide volunteering movement, accepts all kinds of books and toys for children of slum dwellers and migrant workers living in cities like Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
Contact 7995026312 or visit

Inclusive welfare

You can help make education, healthcare and women empowerment accessible for many. Operational in over 2,000 villages and slums across 25 states of India, Smile Foundation focuses on areas of improvement in the educational and healthcare sectors and overall living conditions of underprivileged children through more than 400 live welfare projects. Contact 011-43123700 or visit

Food for good

If you want to donate food or surplus sweets, a group of organisations can make this possible. The Robin Hood Army empowers over 7,000 street children and has served over 28 million people across the world (visit https:// The India Food Banking Network is evolving an ecosystem for food security interventions to support thousands of feeding programmes in India (visit https:// With a network of over 26,000 volunteers across more than 100 cities in India, Zomato Feeding India continues to work towards its joint mission of ‘better food for more people’ and ‘food for everyone’. Contact 9871178810 or visit https://

Happiness in a box

With schools shut, midday meal beneficiaries have been badly hit. Akshaya Patra Foundation’s The Happiness Box contains dry ration to serve upto 42 meals and stationery items to children. You can donate items for the box. Contact 18004258622 or visit

Gift of learning

With classes going online, the worst affected are students of government schools who have no means of attending classes online. You can donate laptops or any other gadget or device to Bengaluru-based Project Sitara Foundation, which provides educational support and holistic training to underprivileged children. Contact 8310788617 or email info.projectsitara

Spread cheer

Guru Arjun Samajik Pratisthan was started by some citizens from Ahmednagar and Gadchiroli in Maharashtra to help people during lockdown. As part of their initiative Ghar Ghar Langar Sewa, they have distributed over four lakh food packets, over 2,000 ration kits and study material to underprivileged kids. One can donate stationery, books, mobiles, etc. Contact 9423162727, 9881463234, 8788495499 or email [email protected]

Hygiene & dignity

Make this festive season more meaningful by giving back to the community. Uday Foundation works for the welfare of children with medical needs, provides support to the homeless and does disaster relief work. You can help provide food to the hungry, donate hygiene and dignity kits for women, educational kits for children, blankets, old clothes and other essential products. Contact 011-26561333 or visit

Beyond textbooks

Project Zindagi by Dream Girl Foundation—which works to improve the life of girls, including issues like education, sanitation, health, income generation, AIDS awareness, etc—aims to organise crowdfunding campaigns to help raise funds and provide digital education beyond the black and white text of books as part of its ‘E-Learning’ campaign. One can donate laptops or computers. Contact 9873133134 or visit

Donate from home

Keep all unwanted items out of the landfill by giving them to those in need. Share At Door Step (SADS), a doorstep pickup and donation organisation, helps deliver essentials to the underprivileged. #knotsofcare, its latest initiative with Nautica, accepts clothes as donation to help Covid-19 patients. Contact 8884784742 or visit


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