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-Vipra Vashishtha

Deepavali is the greatest of the festivals celebrated throughout the Indian subcontinent and its various communities. This festival brings tons of joy to the minds of every Indian belonging to the different communities of the Hindu religion be it the Sanatans, the Jains, the Buddhists, or the Sikhs every Hindu wishes to mark this day in his own manner. The most common is the practice of exchanging gifts. It has been a tradition since the ancient times that all the senior rank members of the society use to give gifts to the junior rank members associated with them. Likewise, all the elders of the families used to give blessings in the form of gifts to the youngsters of their families. Similarly, the privileged classes of the society used to give gifts to the underprivileged classes of the society in different forms. The gifts used to be things ranging from new clothes to sweets or utensils etc. During the ancient times the gifts used to be purely on the basis of the needs and requirements of the receiver.

As times passed by, the tradition of giving gifts changed its form and gradually it transformed into exchanging of gifts instead of actually giving of gifts. Now there is a very remarkable difference between the two that is earlier only the seniors or elders used to gift things to juniors or youngsters or the underprivileged people. Now the way the gifts are exchanged it has become a kind of competition of showing off status among the people of every class. This exchange of gifts does not concern with the show of love/shower of blessings or the need of the receiver, instead it is actually mostly to way to show off status or in certain cases under the pressure of the society in which they live. As a matter of fact, the tradition of giving gifts on Diwali has acquired a distorted form in due course of time. But thankfully there are some really thoughtful people who have given this very simple and petty seeming matter a serious thought and have come up with some really good ideas of bringing alive the actual ancient traditional form of gifting things on the occasion of Diwali as it is the greatest of all festivals for us the Indians. Some really thoughtful people have joined hands in the form of NGOs or social service groups and started certain commendable activities through which they collect funds from donor’s and with the help of these funds purchase things of requirement of the underprivileged people of the society and distribute little smiles on their faces through these little gifts. Some groups reach out to the donor people for things of their household which are no longer of use to them and after collecting them from the donors, deliver the same thing to the people who need them. It is the need of the day for all the people of the earth to understand that in order to prevent our earth from heavy pollution due to excessive and unnecessary purchasing of things and gifting away things just in order to maintain a status in the society it would be very much appreciable and thoughtful for every person in every nook and corner of the world to give a thought  before encouraging the tradition of unnecessary gifting and practicing the custom of reusing things as gifts for the people who actually need them.

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