<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For the poor, Santa Claus often turns up on their doors during Diwali. Yes, you heard it right. Thanks to the efforts of some youths in the city whose common mission is to give the needy not only food and love but jazz up their lives like a straight throw form a masala blockbuster.Take the case of Raj Trivedi, whose network of friends and volunteers has been collecting clothes, sweets, firecrackers among other things for underprivileged children. “We have been doing it for several years now. There hasn’t been one Diwali when people have not come forward to donate stuff. In fact, sometimes the volume of things donated is so high that we end up sorting things out till 4.30 am,” said Trivedi.This year, Trivedi who has set up a group Karke Dekho Acha Lagta Hai donated saris to old age homes, and clothes and sweets to a blind school in Memnagar and poor children in the CTM area. We also give things to those who live on the streets. “We donated sweets and firecrackers to children of a slum school on the SG Highway. What is interesting is that the school itself is run by a poor person,” said Trivedi. He uses social media to get volunteers.“My group on Facebook has 18,000 members and people come forward either to volunteer for work or to donate. It has never happened that we did not have enough for the poor.”His group through donations from 100 people managed to collect 2000 clothes. Trivedi and friends also chipped in to buy 25 kg of sweets that they distributed among the poor. If Trivedi concentrated on the poor in the city, some youth chose to help those who live on the outskirts. “A lot of people now help the poor in the city during Diwali but those who live on the outskirts like in Sanand, Changodar and Bagodara rarely see anyone visiting them,” said Utsav Solanki, a member of Gimme5 group. “We distributed clothes, footwear, school bags, chocolates, sweets and toys to those who live on the road in these areas,” said Solanki. What is unique about this distribution is that the receivers get to choose what they want. “We found that most people particularly women demand sarees. So we requested those who donate to us to give us sarees. We then let the people choose whatever it is they want,” said Solanki.He said they don’t give things that are in poor condition. “The toys, bags and everything else has to be in usable condition,” he said. His group managed to collect 1500 clothes, 25to 30 school bags, 50 footwear and 500 toys to be given to the poor.DIWALI PUJA TIMINGSNew Year Day: Friday, October 206:30 am-11:00 am Labh Pancham: October 256:40 am – 9:40 am
11:10 am-12:40 pm
3:40 pm – 6:40 pm Source: Ganeshaspeaks.com

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Selfless city youths bring Diwali sparkle amidst the poor