Paudka - The Shoehas always been considered as a token of remembrance since Ancient times. Be it Lord Rama who gave his Paudka to his brother Bharat while proceeding to 14 Years of exile (Vanvas)or Guru Nanak Dev Ji in Sikh history, who gifted hisKhadawan(Ancient footwear made of wood) to people of Mecca and Madina which are still kept at that location in his remembrance. Thus, the importance of donating shoes is prevalent since ancient times.
The word ‘Donation’ means Generosity in giving something to the needy people out of our kindness towards them. We, the new generation can replace it with “Sharing”. There is a proverb that “Charity Begins At Home” which means a person’s first responsibility is for the needs of their own family. People are often reluctant or hesitant to help others. There are others who share a huge amount of money in the name of charity but pay no attention to the poor and needy ones in actual. To possess an unselfish heart, one should learn to wear and feel other’s shoe too and feel what they feel and should help and be an example in society. The concept of hidden donations has to be eliminated as soon as possible to move money from one person to the needy.
Why should we share?
It is very important to understand the significance of sharing. There are millions of people in the world who are living in poor and pitiful conditions. We should be responsible for care and help the people who are less fortunate than others. Sharing can be considered perfect opportunity to bring a change in someone’s life. Sharing things with needy can make you feel good. This feeling of satisfaction is hard to replicate with any other activity, endeavor or luxury. Sharing boosts our self-esteem, self-confidence and self-worthiness. We can bring precious moments of happiness and comfort to thousands just by donating the essentials of life.
Significance of shoe donation
A pair of shoe is one of the important necessities of human in order to cover his feet with the purpose of protection against adversities of the environment. Therefore, shoes primarily serve the purpose to ease the movement and prevent injuries. All around the world a pair of shoe is required, as a part of school uniform but due to poverty millions of children miss the opportunity. Apart from this, due to lack of shoe they face many severe health problems and suffer in pain. As we know, that the underprivileged people are deprived economically. They hardly get opportunities. They have inadequate nutrition, lack of access towards health and hygiene, basic essentials and higher risk of diseases. Pair of shoe is something which they cannot think off. So for them it is not less than the blessing which can prevent them from various problems and their feet from damage.
Due to poverty, Including India many other countries are still far behind in many areas as compared to developed. Poverty is just like a disease to which other problems are associated. There are number of people who live below poverty line and therefore they are forced to live on the streets, footpaths and slum areas. These people live in such areas where the living conditions are unfavorable. As we know, a pair of shoe is a necessity for every individual but for the poorer earning pair of shoe is least priority task due to which they suffer from many health issues.
According to the medical opinion, shoes prevent severe parasites transmitted through soil, along with the diseases like podoconiosis, schistossomias and hookworm. Approximately, two million people worldwide are infected with soil-transmitted diseases. These diseases are caused by different species of roundworms. It is infected by those worms which are transmitted through contaminated soil. So we can very well imagine that how the poor people try to earn their livelihood by putting their life into so much of risk.
According to WHO, its global goal is to eliminate these diseases by focusing on providing proper pair of shoe to deprived ones. As we commonly observe that poor people including their children walk around barefoot. Walking through garbage, parasitic water and mud can have extreme long-term health effects. On other hand if we analysis other side of coin , many of us confine our old pair of shoes to some corner in our house which gathers dust with the passage of time. Some develop the habit of collecting them and find it pretty difficult to let them go and there are others who have the practice of getting a new pair of shoes very frequently. We should all realize that our unused shoe can be useful to someone.
Today many NGOs are organizing a shoe donation drives in which new and old wearable shoes are distributed to the needy. Smiles.Care is our NGO based out at village Tangra which continuously conduct shoe donation drives in association with Simbacart.com which is an online footwear selling portal. We regularly run shoe donation campaigns with theme "Footprints Of Kindness". We donate shoes to the kids in elementary schools and people who live in slum areas in rural and bring smiles on their face. As an individual we should pledge to undertake an effort for putting shoes on shoeless feet. Many people all around the world walk barefoot not by their choice but, due to lack of resources they cannot buy shoes for their feet. Donating shoe to the deprived ones is a community service and thus, we should be part of the life-changing solution to the poor people by donating a pair of shoes to them.
My honest writings
Mandeep Kaur Sidhu
Co-writer : Jaspreet Kaur