Be the Cause

Times of India Article

AHMEDABAD: This Christmas, they are on a mission to ignite hearts. Nirali Shah, a 27-year-old documentary filmmaker from Los Angeles seemed to be having the time of her life as she clipped nails and bathed a group of underprivileged children in Ramapir no Tekro, a slum in Ahmedbad.

A little further down in Naranpura, a group of five US-bred youth including 15-year-old Brittany Tesimale slogged it out, giving the dreary walls of Gandhinagar Municipal School Number 2 and 4 a makeover.

A group of 16 young foreigners, including NRIs, have come to Ahmedabad for a ‘service vacation’ from December 19 to 31 where they aim to earn happiness this festive season by leaving a smile on the faces of others.

Their visit has been co-ordinated by a US-based non-profit organisation ‘Be The Cause’ and NGOs like Manav Sadhna, Samvedna and Utthan.

On Sunday, far away from their homes, these young people have planned a sumptuous feast for over 700 children, including those from city schools and slums. “My mom was not happy with me leaving home for Christmas but I was upbeat.

It is time we expanded our families and included all humans and lived as one big family,” says Caroline, 32, an administrative assistant in LA.

Half the team comprises foreigners from the US. Interestingly, this team has come with a purpose to cleanse their body and minds also has another objective — to inspire. “I am happy that we are also inspiring the youth here to wake up and take charge.

For instance, when we started picking up trash in Tulsinagar slums, the youth of the area promptly pitched in and promised to keep the area clean,” said Kristeen Singh, a 27-year-old human resources student.

“It is time the youth are weaned away from the culture of taking to the culture of giving. Only then they can shape the world of their dreams,” said Sukh Chugh, a finance whiz who chucked his job to found ‘Be The Cause’


Every single day and every moment of my trip has been amazing. I have cried so much on this trip because of the over abundance of love and compassion I received…especially rewarding is being loved and cared for by those who materialistically have the least.

The other day Stacey, Lanie, Laura, Britany and I discovered another organization called Pingalwara. Turns out that two of my dad’s cousins have dedicated their life to this organization. Pingalwara is an organization that was started by Bhagat Puran Singh. It is located by Amritsar very close to one of the most beautiful religious places in the world the Golden Temple.

Bhagat was a man who dedicated his life to working with those that need it most. 95 years ago, a messiah named Ramji Das who later became Bhagat Puran Singh, came into this world. He realized that he received godliness through his love for the human beings.
Some of the people that Pingalwara takes care of include those that are basically abandoned from society, including windows, handicapped children, AIDS patients, sick, old and injured human beings. Today Pinglwara has over 983 patients. Pingalwara has its own treatment clinic, education center, rehabilitation center and much more.
We were able to meet Dr. Inderjit Kaur who is now the current President. We were shown one of the schools that provide free education to those that need it most. We also got to walk around the hostel for the school children as well as the female wards. The school children were more than happy to play with us and show us their rooms. We also spent some time in the female ward. During the time their one of the older mentally challenged ladies hugged me and she began to cry. I’m not sure why, but some how there was a moment of oneness and love. Another lady kissed my hand. It seems that every time I wish to give….I am the one given to.

“Humility is my mace. He dust on the feet of humans I touch is my shield. I am protected by these two weapons; no one can over-power me.” Guru Arjan Dev

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