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Purposeful philanthropy preferable to charity

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Frank Islam

In February 2017, I went to India from the United State of America to dedicate the Frank and Debbie Islam Management Complex at my Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) alma mater. At the dedication of that complex, I said: “While the bricks and mortar are important, far more important is what will go on in this setting. It will be a place for sharing of information and imparting and development of knowledge. It will be a place where faculty and students can collaborate on innovative projects. It will be an educational empowerment zone.”

In those dedication remarks, I was sharing my perspective on what I call “purposeful philanthropy”. I look at my contributions to AMU and the numerous other organisations, groups and individuals that I contribute to in India and in the US not as charity but as investments.

Those philanthropic investments are directed at helping to make a difference in pivot point areas that matter to the future of society. The returns on those investments are positive changes to problematic conditions and/or the creation of individuals who will become the agents of change.

As an example, in my comments at AMU I predicted: “From this management complex will come the future leaders who will make the world a better place.” I felt completely comfortable in making that prediction because in addition to giving the financial support to construct the management building at AMU my wife Debbie and I also provided funding for an endowed chair on Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the management school. That ensured the human element would be brought into play as part of the educational equation.

The distinction between purposeful philanthropy and charity is a critical one. The focus in charity is to provide a handout; the focus in purposeful philanthropy is to provide a heads-up.

There certainly must be charitable support and assistance to address problem areas and the needs of the socially and economically disadvantaged. The handout approach, however, has serious limitations. It does not get at the root cause nor change the underlying reason for the need for the charity.

By contrast, purposeful philanthropy concentrates on improving circumstances and conditions. This hand-up approach can take a wide range of forms, ranging from eliminating contaminated water that poisons those who drink or bathe in it to enhancing the safety of working conditions to developing the requisite knowledge, skills, abilities, attitudes and behaviours for a person to be successful in life.

The pivot point areas — areas that can be leveraged and effectively addressed to effectuate change and achieve positive outcomes — for purposeful philanthropy are virtually endless. My priority areas are education, arts, world peace and civic engagement.

I have chosen those areas because they are important to me and because I know that improvement in them can make a substantial difference. The short reasons for my picking and investing in them are:

Education is the great equaliser and opportunity creator. It moves people up the ladder and to help others climb the ladder with them. It is the gift that keeps on giving.
As President John F. Kennedy said: “Art nourishes the roots of a culture.” It connects and inspires citizens and communities. It has a unifying and healing power.
We are living in an increasingly dangerous world and times. World peace is essential for the future of this planet. There is a deadly conflict now and threats of it around the globe which must be controlled.

India and the United States of America are the world’s two largest democracies. Civic engagement is essential to keep those democracies vibrant and vital.

I name these pivot point areas for illustration purposes only. Each citizen must choose an area or areas that matters to them for their purposeful philanthropy.

The essential thing is to make that choice and to invest. The size of that investment isn’t what counts. The act of investment not only of money, but also of time and talent is what does.

In closing, I would be remiss if I did not identify one final approach to charity. That is “hands-off”. The hands-off approach is really self-aggrandizement masquerading as a charitable contribution.

This approach is driven by what I call an “edifice complex” — the desire to get one’s name on a building such as a temple or mosque with little concern for what is being done there to improve the lot of the community or citizens in which it resides. India needs and deserves better than that.

Purposeful philanthropy accomplishes this. It provides the platform for maximizing a citizen’s participation and contribution to enabling India to achieve its full potential. It is a pivotal idea whose time has come.

(Frank Islam is an Indian American entrepreneur, civic and thought leader. The views expressed are personal. His web site is www.Frankislam.com)

Fashion

Make your eyes standout this festive season

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Eye Makeup

New Delhi, Dec 13: Work around your eyes to make a style statement in the festive season. Opt for bright coloured kohl pencils for the day time and invest in good eyelash extensions as they instantly brighten and define eyes, making the face appear younger, suggest experts.

Elton Fernandez, make-up artist at Maybelline New York and Sapna Bedi-Khaitan, owner at Novalash India, have listed some ideas:

* A liner in black is great for the eyelid, while a gel pencil in sapphire shade adds a vibrant electric touch as you apply some kajal on the lower waterline. The black liner could also be added towards the outer corners of the eye for more definition. Add drama to your lashes with a hyper curl mascara.

* Blend concealer with fingers onto the under eyes and inner corners of your eyes. Use bright coloured kohl pencils in shades like turquoise, emerald or sapphire instead of typical black kajal for the day.

At night, go in for deeper colours that will make your eyes stand out. Glitter eyes is also a trend to watch out for in the coming year.

* For the eyeshadow, lightly dust the deep pink shadow all over the eyelid. Use the lighter frosty beige as a highlighter on the brow bone.

* Fill in the brows. Run any brown mascara gently through the brows. This not only fills gaps in hair growth, but also keeps hair upwards and in place. No eye look is complete with ungroomed brows. The trick is to close sparse gaps while keeping brow hair in place. End your look with a contouring stick that will provide a highlighted look on the cheekbones to accentuate and dramatize the bone structure.

* Invest in good eyelash extensions as they instantly brighten and define eyes, making the face appear younger, more alert and refreshed all day.

You will not need to apply mascara with lash extensions. These create a thick, dark lash line. Many women skip applying eye make-up altogether, saving valuable time in the mornings. Not only do the eyelash extensions come in different lengths and curvatures, they also come in different colours.

* If you want to make your eyes look bigger, use an off-white or cream coloured kohl inside the eyes’ waterline, coat lower lashes with a mascara. Shade the undereye part with a soft brown eyeshadow and apply a nice defined eyeliner on the eyelid. Curling lashes is crucial to make eyes look awake and engaging.

IANS

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Lifestyle

4 expert tips to maintain your skin during winter

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New Delhi, Dec 12: Ready with your new winter look but not ready to deal with the harsh winter weather?

While winter is all about snuggling into cozy quilts, sitting by the heater and sipping hot drinks, it is also about dealing with dry skin, chapped lips, and cracked heels. Dr. Chandrika Mahendra, Principal Scientist, Personal Care, The Himalaya Drug Company, shares her expertise on keeping your skin healthy during winter.

*Nourish the skin from within

Moisturising your dry skin every now and then during winter can be a little annoying. All you need to keep your skin soft and supple is an intensive skin care product that is enriched with the goodness of cocoa butter. Cocoa contains antioxidants that help repair skin cells.

* Keep yourself hydrated

While your skin needs essential minerals and vitamins, drinking water is a must to keep your body adequately hydrated. We are less likely to feel thirsty during winter. However, consuming warm water will help in flushing out toxins and enhancing blood circulation. So, ensure you drink two to three liters of water a day.

* Say goodbye to chapped lips

Dry weather and chapped lips go together. Therefore, it is important to keep your lips moisturized and healthy during the winter months. For soft and smooth lips, look for herbal products with 100 per cent natural color, antioxidants, and Vitamin E.

* Follow your workout routine

Winter can often make you lazy and drowsy. It is crucial to stay active and fit to speed up your metabolism for a healthy body and skin. Regular workouts increase your body’s strength, boost your energy levels, and improve skin health. So, make time for a quick run, join a gym, or take a stroll in the garden, but don’t let winter hinder your schedule.

IANS

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Lifestyle

Exfoliate, apply sunscreen to get rid of dry skin

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sunscreen Skin care

New Delhi, Dec 10: Most people associate winter with dry skin. To counter the flaking skin, exfoliate your lips, face and body once a week, and don’t forget your sunscreen, suggest experts.

Pallavi Mehra, Marketing Manager at VanityCask, and Arzoo Shah, make-up artist at MyGlamm, have shared how:

* Exfoliate lips: Treat your uneven dry and chapped lips with luxurious lip scrub pertaining feed for one’s lips with essential plant extracts. Fuse ground coffee with brown sugar and macadamia oil to get a pout as soft as velvet.

* Choose a radiant base: To get that perfect sheen, opt for a radiant and dewy finish foundation. A peach and pumpkin palette is the perfect substitute to bronzer during winter season to achieve a natural look.

* Cream-based blushes: To bring back that healthy flush and imperceptible glow this winter, cream blush is the need of the hour. A hint of both colour and moisture formula giving cheeks a three dimensional look bring the contours of the cheeks forward.

* Hydrating primer: A lightweight, serum-like textured primer provides a great canvas for make-up. An illuminating primer mattifies skin for that extra dose of radiance.

* SPF: Applying sunscreen to your face and hands every morning is essential. If you are anxious about the chemicals in sunscreens with high SPF, you can opt for children’s sunscreen as it’s just as effective and extra gentle on your skin.

* Don’t shy away from supplements: Take supplements to give your skin some additional lift, particularly during the winter months. For winter, pay special attention to vitamins E, C and B2, which will support the creation of skin cells.

* Exfoliate: Between the cold, damp air outside and the dry indoor heating, your skin cells are majorly dehydrated, which can lead to a build-up of dead skin that can eventually clog your pores. Exfoliate your body once a week and your face once or twice a week, but make sure you don’t over exfoliate.

* Use lip balm: There’s nothing more irritating than cracked dry lips. A good lip balm is the key to getting soft lips.

You don’t need to limit your Vaseline or lip balm to your lips. You can apply it under the eyes at night to keep away crow’s feet, and also use it to tackle dry skin on your face. You can even use your lip balm on the ends of your hair or to tame fly always if you need a little extra moisture.

IANS

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