As the coronavirus pandemic tightens its grip around the world, there is an acute need for aid to help nations fight this battle. In India, where the number of cases has fast crossed 400, despite stringent measures of lockdown taken by the government, mass panic has created a shortage of sanitisers and masks, especially for those on the frontline, fighting COVID-19 head-on. Supermarkets and grocery stores have been left empty as people are hoarding goods, thus leaving those economically challenged by a shortage of food and utility goods. But amidst fear and panic, many are helping this fight against coronavirus with kindness and generosity. One such person is entrepreneur Devita Saraf, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vu Televisions, who has donated her one month's salary to the cause of providing food and basic amenities to the underprivileged amidst COVID-19 lockdown.
I live in an affluent neighbourhood and I want people in my circle to wake up and realise that if we have the means to go on a European holiday then we definitely have the means to make a big donation.
Devita has donated to a friend who is raising money to make food and medicine packets available for daily wage workers and homeless people in Mumbai. While a lot of people want to donate to the cause, Devita feels that successful young professionals like her can afford to make larger donations. She is hoping that this will set an example for others.
Devita, who wants to change the perception regarding women in this country, feels that they deserve to be respected as business leaders. Coming from a well-to-do family, she realises that she is in a much better position than a lot of people and thus she can part with a month's income. "Since I come from a family that is well taken care of, my mindset has always been to not build my own personal wealth, but towards the influence that I can create to help and change things in the country.”
When this opportunity came up, Devita realised that unless she steps up and does something that really makes a difference, there is no point in just talking about it on social media. “I had to set an example, to make a dent as big as I can, by helping our country, our city with what’s going on. I live in an affluent neighborhood and I want people in my circle to wake up and realise that if we have the means to go on a European holiday then we definitely have the means to make a big donation.”
I hear a lot of people say that only billionaires should donate, but I am sorry, all of us have the capacity to do something. You don’t have to do everything, but you can do something.
The awareness among the citizens and the measures being taken to contain coronavirus outbreak in India indicates that people are taking this seriously, says Devita. “I appreciate the fact that people are staying at home. Indians are family people, so we don’t mind being at home with our families. But at this point, with the markets crashing, most people are concerned about their businesses, etc. However, I do feel all of us have the ability to survive a lot better than those who are living hand to mouth,” says she, adding that it is our moral responsibility to think of them and help those in need. “Even if you cannot see them outside your house right now, they are still there, and this is when they need us.”
Devita wants those who are well-off to wake up. “We all have EMIs and loans in our businesses and even personally, but despite that, most of us are well off. Each person has to be grateful for what they have, dig down deep inside and realise that they can afford to make certain sacrifices. I hear a lot of people say that only billionaires should donate, but I am sorry, all of us have the capacity to do something. You don’t have to do everything, but you can do something.