Mangaluru, Nov 1, 2016: In an effort to recreate a glorious past wherein prosperous families in villages distributed alms to poor and had lunch with them during festivals, Kodimbadi Ashok Rai, an Uppinangady-based entrepreneur, is celebrating Deepavali with underprivileged and distributing clothes and gifts to them.
Keeping alive his family tradition, Rai distributed clothes on Oct 31, Monday, through Rai Estate and Educational and Charitable Trust established by him. More than 7,000 people from Dakshina Kannada and Kasargod districts were given clothes - shawls for children, sarees for women and dhotis-shawls for men. They were also given Rs 50 to purchase sweets.
Rai told reporters, that 500 people had taken part in the programme ten years ago and 2,500 people took part in 2014 and 4,500 people in 2015. This year, arrangements were made for distribution of clothes and gifts for 7,000 people. No one will go back empty handed from the programme, he added.
Ashok’s mother Girija SRai, wife Suma Ashok Rai, children Shridhi, Ridhi and Pradhil, brothers Subrahmanya Rai, Rajkumar Rai, sisters Vishalakshi Rai, Nalinakshi Shetty and other family members support him in this endeavour.
Parents’ dream : Rai’s father Sanjiv Rai used to celebrate the festival with his neighbours. Following his father’s noble path, Rai too, has been celebrating Deepavali with underprivileged people from the last ten years.
He said the festival of lights should not be just a celebration with grandeur. It should be meant for mingling with people from all walks of life, especially the financially less-privileged and celebrate the festival with them in true sense. “This is the stand of my parents and we have been continuing it,” he said. People who participated were truly appreciative and blessed by the sentiments of the Rai family.