The Art Of Giving: Mamata Charitable Foundation

Posted on November 15, 2011 in Society, Volunteerism

By Mahalakshmi Ganapathy:

Swami Parthasarathy  while addressing the audience in Pune remarked ‘95% people in the world only take and take while  only 5% in the world have learnt to give. Even out of this small minority of givers, it is only a miniscule amount who actually give without the expectation of getting something’.

Shocking as this revelation may seem, is infact the sad reality which exists around us. Having felt uncomfortable with this above fact, I decided to literally hunt down people who engage in the pure act of giving and was mighty disappointed in not being able to find even one. Just while the thought of giving up entered my mind , my mind still persisted  and finally with a lot of soul searching within and outside ,met with Mrs Jyoti Sachde ,who fits the bill just right. It is only after meeting and interacting with her did I feel that some good still exists in the world accentuated by the bleak image created in the opening lines.

While on the topic of giving, Swamiji asks a simple yet complex question ‘What is the meaning of giving?’ This simple question has been compounded by many difficulties and complexities in today’s world wherein the consumerism is very high, people are spoilt for choice which has also given rise to the culture of hoarding and storing away things. Swamiji  though gives a very simple answer to this. He says, “To give means  to actually give away things that you do not need’. His explanation to this line then follows-‘I am not asking you all to give away everything, but to give away things which are extra, in excess, that which is over and above your basic needs’. I cannot but help draw the same parallel between the philosophy of Swamiji and Mrs Jyoti who share the same principle and who follow it in different ways.

One look at her three bedroom house in Pune and majority would have gone back with feeling of disgust, thinking how can one keep the house in such bad condition and in a filthy manner. Clothes, utensils, electronic items overflowing and not even an inch space to walk, let alone sit and one has to really be lucky to find place, but this discomfort vanishes in thin air when you start interacting with her and hear out her story.

Her philosophy is very simple. She accepts anything under the roof and believe me, when I say anything; it really means anything and everything. So one can find an overflowing stack of books, utensils, sarees, blankets, electronic items and she accepts everything thing that her donors get to her with a smile on her face and gratitude which comes from the heart. Her small philanthropic venture has become so serious that she now finds it hard to accept things from people and has to sometimes politely reject them for lack of space. Her donors ,visitors have become part of her life and sometimes even help her arrange things at 3 or 4 am sometimes .

Her health concerns would baffle many, but this iron willed lady does not seem to give up  and single mindedly moves on with her mission of giving the most needy ,acting like this bridge between the have’s and have nots. She plays multiple roles of being mother, mother-in-law, granny to little tots, social worker ,President of organisations, award winner and is still comfortable giving time and dedication to all these roles.

It is great what one thought or an idea can do. Mrs Jyoti started her small gesture of helping  old age homes, orphanages and other organisations which fall short of basic resources and very humbly still wonders how this small venture has become a full fledged activity run under the registered Mamata Charitable Foundation in the year 2007 even though her work started informally since 1990. She beamingly announces that  she just recently sent her 120th truck full of clothes to an organisation in Gujarat. Her work has travelled to nearly all places in India and she has been able to help organisations that do not get government funding .

Through this article, we want to raise awareness about her work and also collect funds for expanding her good work, with a bigger place. Take time out to visit the website at and help this iron-willed lady in her noble mission of giving and reaching out to people.