Can You Lend A Helping Hand? | Verve Magazine
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October 13, 2015

Can You Lend A Helping Hand?

Text by Wyanet Vaz

Imran Khan and Avantika Malik Khan tell you how saving the children doesn’t involve rocket science, it’s just lending a helping hand…

While your social media is buzzing with ‘Global Goals’, and you’re at your desk contemplating buried dreams of helping the African kids, here’s your chance at making a difference right here and right now. As Oscar Wilde rightly pointed out, ‘The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention’, you don’t need to quit your job, or travel across continents to change lives.

In Mumbai, outstation cancer kids who come to Tata Memorial Hospital usually abandon the treatment due to lack of accommodation. The Helping Hands Foundation in association with ImPaCCT has undertaken the Accommodation Project in order to enable temporary housing facilities for them. HHF is raising funds to bear their cost of accommodation, so that parents can simultaneously focus on other important factors like nutrition and support, for their child’s speedy recovery.

So, how can you help? 

Head over to the Helping Hands Foundation fundraiser on 20th October 2015 at the St. Regis hotel, Mumbai.

1. Participate in the ‘Buy a leaf and donate a night’s accommodation’ project. Leaves are attached to lollipops, and for every lollipop purchased, the money is transferred to the accommodation fund.

2. Pick up some interesting pieces of art from Reena and Farhat Datta’s collection of watercolour and charcoal prints. Some of them have also been translated into coaster, trivets and place mats.The funds from these will go to HHF’s projects.

3. You could also pick up healthy oil-free oven-roasted trail mixes, indulge in a nail spa at the venue or participate in etiquette and grooming workshops by Priya Bhimani.

And, if this isn’t reason enough, Bollywood stars and other A-listers have promised their support as well. Leading the cause, Imran Khan and his wife Avantika, tell Verve why they have picked this project and how it has impacted their lives.

You tend to support specific and varied causes — what is that reaction or connection you have with a cause that makes you lend your support?
Imran Khan: There is only one connection, which is that of humanity. If I am in a position to be able to help these children, then I feel blessed to have been given such an opportunity.

Why Helping Hands Foundation?
IK: Being a parent ourselves, we can feel their pain and the helplessness of their parents.
Avantika: I feel sad that many of the kids who come for treatment from out of town are forced to stay on the pavement outside the hospital as they do not have money to pay for accommodation. We were disturbed when we learnt that many of these children contract other disease due to low immunity and hence, lose a chance to be cured. This is why we decided to support the accommodation project.

You have family members also partaking and lending support in various ways…
IK: Avantika’s mom, Vandana Malik, is very closely associated with HHF. She sent us a packet of the organic roasted mixed nuts which were simply delicious. So I asked her where were they from and she told us about Helping Hands and the fact that the money collected by the sale of these nuts was used for providing accommodation for these kids. This is what touched my heart, so when she requested Avantika and me to help them raise both awareness and funds for this cause, we were only too happy to lend a helping hand. We had just had Imara (their one-year-old daughter), and realised how much joy and happiness a child brings in everyone’s life. So anything for kids.

What do you hope the organisation will specifically achieve with the funds raised?
IK:  They are already doing a lot and I am informed that as of now they have funds to provide a roof over the heads of 20 odd families for the duration of the treatment which is a month or two in most cases.
Avantika: I am hoping that these numbers will only grow and soon not a single child will have to stay on that pavement ever.

What is the one thing about this particular cause that everyone (and anyone who is thinking of contributing) should know about?
IK: Children are innocent, they give us so much love. They have to be cherished and each one deserves a go at living a normal healthy life. So please join our cause and give them a chance to live.

Bollywood personalties tell you why you should join this cause: 

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