Sitting here in my middle-class surroundings with air conditioner and food in abundance, I feel for those who are less fortunate more than ever before. Now it’s in my face, the starvation, the suffering and the medical COVID situation.

Stree Team Distributing Food in Rishikesh

What can I do? I speak/chat with friends across the globe. Some are merrily getting on with their life, others feel pain and are involved in social causes and others say do ur best for those who are local to you. My focus is on single women parents and widows but migrant workers are also falling into my arena. Do I give up my middle-class wealth and support all these people with necessities. Would that be the answer? Maybe temporarily for a few. Would it satiate me? Only temporarily. Holding the world’s problems on your shoulders is not the answer.

Do what u can, where u can, then leave the rest to the powers that be.

Do I still eat imported food or do I give it up? Do I eat basmati or go for cheaper rice? Do I pledge that I will go without something and donate to the cause instead?

It’s not as if there was not much suffering going on pre COVID but given the minimal media on it and the lack of self-distraction, the pain hits hard.

Do u pray, do u counsel, do u give food, there is no end to what you can do. Alleviate your self suffering first to be functional for others. This is where the philosophy of karma comes into play, as cruel as it may sound in such life situations. But do people deserve what they get? God knows about the past life. Could they not have saved for a rainy day.. not have had all that booze, not bought luxuries beyond their means on loan. What goes around comes around. If we had lived within our need and not within our greed, would our world be struck with grief and pain.

The human condition.. man’s greed and need for power. This is at the heart of all human suffering.

Gratitude and do your best for those suffering is the mantra.

Renu Gulati

Born and raised in the UK, Renu Gulati is the founder of Stree, a women's empowerment and heal the earth initiative.

She had a keen interest in natural products and holistic healing from a young age. In the UK, Renu worked extensively in the area of women’s empowerment  She is an Ayurveda lifestyle and diet consultant, teaches cooking classes along with running a women's empowerment program – STREE.