If You Had a Million Rupees…

If you have only (only) one million rupees to give away for a good cause, will you give it to place of worship?

Or to a charity – like an orphanage, hospital, NGO etc?

Why?

Condition: You cannot divide it equally; you can only give it any one organization.

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85 thoughts on “If You Had a Million Rupees…

  1. “The best charity is to help people help themselves” – I think this is very important.

    I will give the money to NGO’s and voluntary organizations like women-self-help groups which actually help people learn a craft and enable them to become economically self-sustaining. They even do micro financing to get them on their feet by starting the business but money is always lent at a very low interest, never given for free. So, if they are able to pay back the money to me – then I have succeeded in doing something good to them!

    Destination Infinity

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  2. not fair If I can’t divide it equally… I would give it to charity. An orphanage or an institution perhaps, that works for the children, esp the girl child. and to a counseling center, which works for children and women. And be absolutely certain that money is being utilized for the institution’s benefit not for personal gains.

    I definitely wouldn’t want to give it to a place of worship.

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  3. Hiii IHM !

    “Only” πŸ˜€

    Good Cause :Isn’t stated precisely.
    Place of Worship: Never. Coz normally, places are worship are not as their name.
    Orphanage: Most appropriate option available.
    Hospital: My Second preference.
    NGO: Use this option if I’d want to divide it, NGO’s have a wider scope. But the credibility must have been established.

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  4. I would prefer to invest my money in micro finance schemes where money is lend to people who are able overcome their financial obstacles and lead a better life.

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  5. If i had to give away a million rupees, I will definitely use it to empower people and will not do charity………

    I consider empowerment and charity to be two different things…. (like teaching a man to fish and giving him a fish)………..

    I will give it to NGO’s and orphanages which help kids and old people become self reliant…. , like providing them with education and tools thru which they can survive in this world on their own…..

    place of worship, A definite NO!!!!!

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  6. I would like to sponsor the education of needy children and as a second preference give it to an orphanage..
    Never ever, to a place of worship – it just doesnot make sense to me..

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  7. I will give it to charity.

    Having said that we also donate money to our family temple along with charity.

    But only one option then it is definitely charity. God can take care of himself but god’s less fortunate children need our help.

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  8. If I had 1 million rupee to give away, I would give to a charity for special needs children. Mainly because I have first hand experince on how difficut it is for a family who has a disabilty/special needs. So I would give it to a charity for special needs children or a special needs school.

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  9. IHM, Just recently my cousin donated 1 lakh to the temple. You know why? Because now his name will feature among the top list of contributors. So giving money to temple has become a ego thing.

    This is my favorite cousin and a Doctor. 1 lakh could have been utilized for a good scheme to help the needy. 😦

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  10. To an orphanage

    Why?

    Because Human beings or any living being is my first priority and not pictures/stones/idols/or an ‘invisible’ presence that wont and cant help those who are suffering..

    place of worship?

    πŸ˜†

    laughing my guts out πŸ˜€

    NEVER!!

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  11. I’ll build an institute where every individual would be “taught” to think for themselves and look up to society/majority as guides for “what to do and how to do”. I’ll convince that thinking is a moral imperative as a human and not just an occasional hobby to be indulged in when in trouble. I’ll also demonstrate that no domain of knowledge and understanding is out of bounds for anyone. Then only would exploitation and manipulation in society in all its forms will end.

    I know this hardly sounds like “charity”, but if we could remember all the times that we’re supposed to THINK and not live like zombies (excuse the paradox, or alternatively appreciate it!), a lot of our problems would be solved automatically.

    TC.

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  12. Errr.. there is a saying you know – “charity begins at home”, so I will keep the money!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Seriously, though – will invest it in a good cause – like maybe school books and fees to a poor family.
    I know one such – the father is a priest in a temple in Mysore and he has lovely daughters, very bright and I would love to help them out. We are actually thinking how best we can help because he doesn’t want “charity” and we don’t want to offend them by giving money. And the father has very high dreams for his kids…

    Does that count as giving to a religious institution?

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    • no… I won’t be giving money to the temple as such, but will try to help the family – and the temple isn’t theirs… he is just the priest there.

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  13. My temple or ‘Amrutalayam’ is Vedic in its concept and character. It is made of local materials and by local resources and is a socio economic center too.A place where all are equal in the eyes of God. It is simple and peaceful enabling a conversation with God and fellow human beings. Its a place where one could study the Geeta/Bible/Koran. Its a temple where the ‘Brahman’ teaches and simplifies the scriptures for me and not just chants Sanskrit shlokhas which make no sense to me.
    It is a place where people donate because they believe the wealth they give is Gods share and that wealth, then is given to those who need it as Prasad, most likely in the dark of the night,anonymously.The concept of this impersonal wealth leaves no room for any feelings of superiority/inferiority between the giver and receiver.

    What would giving money here come under. I work in the non-profit sector but would choose to give it here rather than a NGO. This was an excerpt from one of my posts. Do check it out at :
    http://manukhajuria.blogspot.com/2009/04/no-apologies-for-being-religious.html

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  14. Charity without doubt!!!!

    Reason???

    Am sure that some amount would be misused here as well but then whatever would be used would be for genuine causes and to help somebody.

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  15. I’d give it to the one place that wud guarantee that the beneficiaries actually benefit from every bit of the million rupees. Whichever among the 3 organizations is the MOST honest, would get my money…all of it with a smile.
    Since starting a job in a hospital my opinion of doctors has deteriorated further down. Most have no integrity. And they don’t like other docs who DO have that…they think they’re stealing from them too.
    I’ve heard horror stories about mean orphanage owners. mean and selfish…
    About NGOs i dont know much.

    Which ever one my mother will trust…[not dad, hes as gullible as me.] gets the money.

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    • Good comment. This gets to the heart of the issue – how the money is going to be used. When we donate, we generally don’t bother to get into the details of how it is actually/efficiently used and are content in just donating the money and think our duty is over. I think we need more people like Sudha Murthy of Infosys Foundation who do a full time job of identifying where the money would be effectively utilized. It is not an easy job, especially with selfish people in all the places including hospitals, orphanages, NGO’s and of course – places of worship!

      Destination Infinity

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  16. I think you want to bring out an response where everybody will convey that they dont want to contribute to place of worship…That way i didnt particularly like this qurey…

    Without taking any offence to those who say that they will contribute to an NGO? how many of them have actually done so? it is an hypothetical query…

    I better answer this way…its not wrong to contribute to a place of worship…ultimately it is my money and i will spend the way i want..

    i wish you had added this//certain communities ie place of worship conveys that they ( i dont use the term force) have to contribute a percentage to them…

    Sunder I just wanted to know where we like to contribute… You are right some communities to contribute regularly from the money they earn, that is different, my question is for when you have to choose between Social welfare Organisations or a places of worship … as in give directly to god’s creations, or to religious organisations.

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    • Sundar,

      I have done so. A few friends recently checked with me and my husband would like to join in for food prepration and distribution at the local temple. We agreed for the fun of it. And because we have eaten there many times. But the concept of feeding 100 well off ppl still made me uncomfortable. But I did go along. I wanted to spend the money else where but it was more of a social thing. But the day ended with everyone deciding to donate the amount they were comfortable with to the temple. We donated $0. And then came home and donated online to Sankara, the charity that brings back eyesight.

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  17. previous comment…contd…

    Percentage of salary…

    I wont answer your hypo query….actually my practice is to donate to both…and when i donate to GOD, i ask him the favour to give me more wealth so that i can donate more to NGOs….( If GOD exist , he will say why should igive it to you to pass it on to others..i can give that directly na)..hmmm

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  18. i prefere to give resources equivalent to the currency value, but not currency itself, because i will never be sure how it being used.

    if an organization needs books or a building –i will buy the building for them but will not pay them currency itself

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  19. I would do some research over what the place of worship or the NGO actually uses the money for . For instance , there is a Mahveer Mandir in my hometown Patna , the trust of which has started a Mahaveer Cancer Research Hospital . If my money is going there , I am giving it . So a place of worship may not necessarily use the money to expand themselves . Personally , I would like start an education fund , where really poor but bright kids get sponsorship for education .

    Kislay that’s cheating!! Choose one !! πŸ˜†

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  20. i’d give to to an animal shelter…those who’d use it genuinely to look after strays and ill animals and birds πŸ™‚

    i didn’t even have to think to write this down!! πŸ˜€

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  21. If I had to choose only one , I would donate to a orphanage.

    But why should anyone impose such an artificial condition? And why should the entities be necessarily distinct? Many religious institutions do run orphanages and hospitals as well.

    When you have to chose just one, you will be forced to choose that one cause that is dearest to your heart. Wanted to know what that cause would be and why ….that’s why RGB πŸ˜†

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    • But will such a situation ever arise that you have to give the whole amount to only one institution?

      RGB many times we only have just enough to give to any one cause… we give the one that is closest toour heart… it’s like what is that breaks your heart, what can you just not bear to see? Or what will you like o see a lot more of….

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      • Dilemma about whether to donate to a purely religious institution or to a charity? Thats hardly a dilemma as most of the comments testify.

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  22. IHM….Even though charity for me begins at home, it does not surely end there….
    I would give it to an orphanage, Blind school….All because the recipients of charity Today,shall be independent of it Tommorrow.
    No, never to a Place of Worship, or to an NGO.They may have the right causes[MAY?] but never the need , what with having witnessed the functioning of many at close quarters.
    Personally, though my husband and self..always take up kids who need education and contribute towards their fees and all, which ever place we move to..but since you have given only three choices…Orphanage, Old Age Home, Blind School…Always, with malice towards none.

    Poonam J I did not mean that you had to choose only from those three -you could choose ANY ONE SINGLE option.

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  23. My donations would be to:
    Never to a Temple. Though we have a habit of giving money in the temple it’s not more than a hundred or a thousand. I am sure there are a number of people who take care of god and their temples. Infact i have seen people who make it a point that they give a certain amount of money to temples on a monthly basis. though there is nothing wrong in that, i feel we better use the money for helping the needy rather than donating to a temple which is obviously rich.

    I would split the money to three parts and give the first part to an organization which works for the educating children who can not afford education, next to an NGO which works for/helps empowering women and the last part would be to an old age home.

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  24. Either I will invest myself for child education (which is not difficult, if you put your head to and efforts to it) or I will give it to a NGO I have been working closely with. That ensures money is reahcing whom it is intended for. I would sponser education for children, I am sure about that. I will neve r give it to a temple.

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  25. Errr…I need another option !!!

    I would like to start an old age home myself and would love to help all those old men and women who wander in the streets looking for shelter.

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  26. 1 million is big amount….i cant trust any organisation to utilize it for needy….have seen lot of cases where official spent only 5% for actual cause and rest all in their pockets…

    I would prefer buying a place and keeping kids and old ppl together…..both can enjoy each other company ..children can learn good values for elders…and elders who are missing their children can help these orphans to become better citizen…

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  27. Money creates money. so money should be used constructively. I would give money either to an NGO that supports education (and I believe education is first step not only for economic prosperity but also the overall well-being of the society) or to a wealth creator (a person with an idea, an idea that would create wealth and any idea that creates wealth ensures in some manner wealth is shared & distributed automatically.For example when Capt.Gopinath created Air Deccan, it created wealth and direct opportunity for thousands through employment but also had a strong catalytic impact on overall economy).

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  28. After posting my comment, I went through other comments. And all these comments posed a question for me, why practically no one answered a religious place? It seems to me, the primary reason for that is people see religious places as run by morally degenerate priests and corrupt places. Which in a way is not answering a hypothetical question, where a religious place must be seen in its purest form and the value they bring to masses, spiritually. And spiritual upliftment raises society intellectually and has benefits which impact social surroundings positively.

    This still does not change my answer but would like to hear your views on it as a discussion point.

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  29. Donation towards medical research….does this count? If not …. it will go to the elderly cos I think these are the most neglected lot. I think they should have a place to live in dignity after a lifetime of struggles.

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  30. If I had a million rupees, I would use it to start up a place of worship. Let me explain.

    A lot of masjids in India and all over the world double up as a place of worship and a place for education. This education is not just religious but include standard courses (like english, maths, science, computers etc) thought in schools. The age of kids here are from 3 to 12 yrs. Most students are from backward, poor homes who cannot afford schooling. They have no place to go.

    I would like to set up an institution like that where such kids are taken in and thought about spirituality & religion along with what’s thought in any other modern school. Every child deserves an education. Why I insist of religious education? Because I want them to learn about the real Islam and not get brainwashed about extremism, minorism (i dont think thats a word though) or jihadism (this too). They should learn tolerance.

    I’d rather have kids in my hands and have them learn to live peaceful, spiritual, educated lives than let them be at some place else where the exact opposite is thought (aka ‘madrasas’ where anti-communal feelings are ignited). I’m not saying all madrasas are like that but some are.

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  31. If I could give it to only one place, then yes – Charity.

    But let’s play devil’s advocate here…

    From my childhood, one of the best memories I have, that has forever been ingrained in my brains, is my stay at the Alakhdham Darbar in Ujjain. That is the place of our Gurus.

    The day started at 6.30 with an aarti in the Gurudwara, waking up the Granth Saheb. I and my brother were always the first ones in that Gurudwara and since we were staying, we were helping with arranging the mats, playing music (Nagada, Shells and Manjiras), making sure everyone got their prasad after the aarti etc. That Aarti was so awesome, I would get transported to another place altogether…

    After that, we would either go and buy vegetables for the Gurudwara or I prefered going and sitting in the Public Pyau – Place where I used to give water to thirsty passer bys. We had other duties throughout the day with an hour dedicated to learning “Gurmukhi” – the language in which the Granth Saheb is written.

    Breakfast would be with everyone together (all saints of the gurudware and helpers like us) and so would be lunch and dinner.

    During the day, we’d practice playing the Nagada and blowing the Shells so we could play it properly during the morning and evening Aarti.

    Every Thursday, the Gurudwara used to have a lunch for all the poor people and we used to serve the hordes of poor people who came there by making them sit down and serve all of them food with utmost respect. We would also help in washing and cutting veggies, cleaning corriander, spinach etc.

    I still remember quite clearly, the time I had there, an amazing serene and sense of peace everytime I put my feet on the cold marble of the gurudwara and then on the mats made warm by people sitting on them, I would sit for hours together in mornings in the Gurudwara either holding a Manjira or just sitting and listening, understanding whatever is spoken in Sindhi and just absorbing the rest. Never mind, I wasn’t a huge believer but definitely the place seemed to give me strength and goodness. It was like, I didn’t have one bad thought in those 7 days I stayed in Ujjain. I didn’t have to be told once by my dad to wake up and get to the Gurudwara or help in this thing or do that. I did that all by myself once I was shown what I could do in my free time.

    I’ve swelled up writing this and am surprised how clearly my brain has registered each and every detail right to the curve in the stick with which I used to play the Nagada.

    I would definitely like to have a lot more places like this in the world as well and to think if my Grandfathers or Fathers thought of not contributing in the building of this place – this place that I saw giving strength and peace to hordes of people which even I experienced, I would be fooling myself, if I thought I’d give all to charity.

    Actually, after I’ve written this, I don’t think I was playing Devil’s advocate…

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  32. Surely to charity.. to be exact, to ‘The banyan’.
    I think they r the ppl that really require smething like that..
    If i ever learned charity, thats through the pp there.

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  33. even before i reached the “why” in ur post, i decided on donating to an ngo.. in all probability for one that works with children and families.. or the elderly..

    why? because loads of people are willing to donate to temples but not too many donate to social causes…

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  34. Surely I will spend the money for the scoiety rather than a temple or a church or something like that. But I will not just give it away to some organization and will try to get involved in the cause as well.

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  35. Pingback: What will be the last thing to do ? « Expedition Says

  36. No two ways abt it.. TO CHARITY only…

    from there, it can go to an orphanage, or NGO or any other support group.. they are the ones who need any kind of aid!!!! πŸ™‚

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  37. Charity begins at home, would donate to self. Yeah I know, not allowed

    Would actually start some kind of school/empowerment scheme for the girl child. The money would go into upkeep, medical, and education of orphan girls

    I never would donate to a temple

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  38. To a charity. But given that I am very suspicious of all these ‘established’ charities (no reason to be, I just am), I’ll probably do a lot of digging and try to find one that actually does what it’s meant to do.

    That’s quite a no-brainer, IHM. Were you expecting most people to say ‘place of worship’?

    Quirky Indian

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  39. Sunder,

    First, does God need money from mere mortals like us?

    Second, when you say you’d give money to God, would you be giving it directly to God, or to one of the agents? I’d been for a year at a VERY prominent place of worship in India, whose weekly collections (of donations!) exceeded more than a crore of rupees. And I could assure you most of it only used to go in beautifying the sanctum (which would attract more donors er… worshippers and hence more donations) with gold ornaments and plating and loading the pockets of the trustees.

    Third, if one says I’d do whatever I want with my money, what’s the point in giving any options?

    Fourth, God is very generous. Do we need to bribe him/her by giving money so that we get more money back in return?

    TC.

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  40. I would like to spend money only on the kids who got AIDS from their parents and who are orphans,i mean giving charity only to that organisation which deals with kids like these.

    I would never donate money to the temple,having said this once in every month my mom gives money to the temple, who feed beggers in that area πŸ™‚

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  41. oh this i have no doubt in my mind, not at all to a temple…

    surely to a charity actuallary may be i would start a ngo or an organization that works with the HIV+ children and make their future secure… and work with rape victims

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  42. all the money I have, will only be used for the cause of making girl’s lives better.

    Anyone who works on the issue of foeticide, girls education and livelihood gets mo vote.

    I won’t give money to a place or worship ever because faith needs to reside inside people, not in some stupid place made of stone and cement!

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  43. I’d give it to an Educational Institute to provide free education for children who cant afford it …. πŸ™‚

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  44. I would give it to a place of worship ONLY if that place of worship has a charitable organization which it supports under it’s umbrella ‘AND’ it has women and children empowering programs.
    Otherwise, I will ONLY give to NGO’s or Organization for the empowering of women and children.

    and MY Condition would be that I get an bi-annual update of how the money is spend and where, all with balance sheets, numbers etc etc πŸ™‚

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  45. I have been a long time member of Asha for Education and education is something very close to my heart. So my money will go to Asha or AID since I know they are pretty reliable. I also like Kiva and the concept of microfinancing so it will be my second choice. My third choice would be any reliable charity which works on educating people about family planning. I think the exponential growth of population in the developing world is one of the causes for so many of our problems.

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  46. to an institution that supports the education of underprivileged children – whether that’s a religious organisation or charity is irrelevant; both do it, and do it well too.

    must say you have an outstanding blog here. i just discovered it and am already addicted

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  47. Since I am an atheist and firmly against organized religion, I would not have to think twice before I give it to a charity: but only to one I trust and where I can be sure that the funds will not be misappropriated. I would give either to a children’s organization or to Greenpeace.

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  48. People who wait till they accumulate millions will never contribute.

    Every year at the time of filing taxes I write a check to this hospital serving the poor in India . Contributed to a Sanskrit institution and to Wikipedia recently. Also tip the gas station attendant everytime. Reaching out is a reward in itself. My opinion anyway.

    Not an Atheist you need to read and respond to this blog post,
    http://mesoliloquy.wordpress.com/2009/05/07/blogger-identity-theft/
    -IHM

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  49. With a million in hand I will not give it to anybody.
    Will invest it wisely and using the Interest I will select 50 of my patients who are most poor and take care of all their medical needs till their death.

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  50. maybe to a charitable organization whom I can trust or

    to someone who can create some good jobs in the society..

    there are many individuals who are doing commendable jobs like http://projectwhy.blogspot.com

    and IHM, if you agree I can give it to you since I am sure you would use it in the right way.
    In fact the other day I was thinking about this; you and many other bloggers have managed to find a place in the hearts of many individuals and if you one day decide to venture along similar lines, contributions will be on it’s way..

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  51. ah well! as a principle i dont even go to these huge places of worship! i just dont like how money is more important than worship out there!

    so charity it would be!

    but i do love gurudwaras! i always feel peace only there in terms of places of worship! and i like the concept of seva! πŸ™‚

    cheers!

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  52. hmm I have to give it away? Sigh!!!
    Well if I had to had to, then definitely to a charity..I`d opt for one which eduacates children..i would like if they pay sp attention to girl child but definitely education for children.
    I beleive that educated children would lead us to a brighter tommorow and also empower them..
    religious institute..NEVER

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