S. Somasegar is the corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft. Learn more about Somasegar.
Wish you all a very Happy New Year!
The last week has been quite an emotional roller-coaster. On the one hand, you have one of the greatest natural disasters (combination of an earthquake and tsunami waves) taking away the lives of over a hundred thousand people across several countries in South Asia and the impact that this has had on families, friends and people around the world is just huge. On the other hand, you see millions and millions of people from around the world stepping up to help those in grief and in need – be it through prayers, through time or through money.
Soon after the disaster struck, I read a piece of news that said Mr. Anil Ambani, a leading industrialist in India, has donated Rs. 10 million (approximately $220,000) out of his personal funds to help with the Tsunami relief efforts. He was one of the first people to do so and my hats-off to him for doing this. I admire his generosity and willingness to step up and share some of his fortune with the impacted and the needy in their darkest hour.
In the meanwhile, www.sulekha.com, working in partnership with a number of individuals, kicked off a fund-raising effort. In an effort to create some level of inspiration, they created a matching fund out of a portion of the contributions. When this got set up, they had a lofty goal of raising $200,000 from the community. Lo and behold, in the first 2 days since the fund raising kicked in gear they crossed the $200,000 mark and as of today, they have crossed the ½ a million dollar mark. Given the devastation, the loss of lives and property, the emotional turmoil that people are going through, the dollar amount is not relevant. What is relevant is the spirit of giving and generosity that the community has shown in this short amount of time. It doesn’t matter what or how much one gives – what matters is the spirit, the willingness and the kind-heartedness that shows through in these activities. You need both the Anil Ambanis of the world and the Sulekha communities of the world to scale up and do what is required.
Here is a great example of how the community has come together to cause a huge, positive impact to the victims of the Earthquake/Tsunami disaster. I sincerely thank the sulekha community and my admiration for the power of the community has grown multi-fold.
There are a number of organizations around the world that are making phenomenal efforts to collect resources. What I have outlined here is just one small example. If you want more details on the Tsunami relief effort fund organized by Sulekha, go to http://www.sulekha.com/aid.