A Christmas Charity Challenge
Since the last newsletter, Linda and I have been lucky enough to spend nearly three weeks in India. So my head is not quite as full as usual with matters vinous! What it is full of is the extraordinary sensation of how lucky I am to have, by chance, been born in a country like the UK, and just what a disparity between there is between what I take for granted and what billions of people regard as their usual lot in life. So the thought has struck, especially as this is the Christmas edition, to issue a bit of a challenge to see if our readers will help a little. The challenge is to commit as much as I can by pledging that (personally, not from Chollet’s margins) I will pay 25p for every bottle sold from this newsletter to the charity which supports people in the Dharavi Slum in Mumbai – ‘Reality Gives’ www.realitygives.org.
With one of their guides – and with considerable reservations, but every Indian friend of mine said ‘you must do it – people need to know’ – we visited Dharavi – the setting for ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ -where 1.2 million people are packed into 1 square mile. Chastening – totally. Harrowing, even. But uplifting to see the attitude and endeavour of the people living there. Our guide, who lives there, said, ‘They call it a slum. We call it a community’. It has been called ‘a veritable entrepreneurial hotspot’ – and it’s true. I have rarely seen such industry in the UK. Or such a commitment to education as the way out – which is where ‘Reality Gives’ concentrates its efforts.
I am not suggesting that Bob Geldof need worry about the competition, or that what might be given will be even a drop in the ocean. But 100 cases sold would yield £300 – which, astonishingly, would pay the rent for a family there (which averages 500 rupees – not much more than £5 – a month) for five years.
So if you needed an incentive to decide to take that extra case, or to buy prize winning organic wine from us, rather than boost the supermarkets’ profits………….