Every now and again, a social media hashtag campaign would do the rounds on the internet. Some would fizzle out over a few weeks, while others would simply go viral. Over the years, we have seen campaigns such as the Ice Bucket Challenge and the Me Too movement literally breaking the the internet and bringing various issues to the limelight.
Similarly, in India too a small hashtag movement is slowly getting popular and it campaigns for the homeless.
Started by Hyderabad-based Sunitha Simon, #40actsofkindness, as the name suggests, is a campaign to help the homeless with different acts of kindness for 40 days.
The campaign which began on 14 February, now has 50 active members from several countries who have taken up the challenge and are spreading it.
"It was an impromptu decision. The Valentine’s Day fever had gripped the city. Everybody was celebrating it… people were spreading love by giving flowers and chocolates to strangers, which even I did. And it just occurred to me that why not I spread the love with something which could make people happy. So instead of gifting them chocolates, I gave a homeless person a proper meal." - Sunitha Simon on her inspiration to start the campaign
Since then, Sunitha has challenged several of her friends online to join the cause and spread the movement.
“It gave me a lot happiness when I helped a person. So I thought, why not spread the love and help more people. So I challenged my friends online with the hashtag,” she added.
She explains that 40actsofkindness works like any other campaign, where more than one person has to be challenged to partake in the cause.
"The member has to either film or take the photo of their act of kindness and share the same over social media with #40actsofkindness hashtag which possibly will help more people to join in." - Sunitha
However, what’s different here is that the campaign doesn’t mandate that you help people for 40 days.
Says Sunitha, “You can do it for 14 days or even a week. Every small deed counts. The idea of 40 days of challenge stemmed from the lent season where Christians abstain from meat, a few give up smoking etc so I thought of 40 days. But I wish that the cause extends beyond 40 days and becomes a sustainable campaign and continues throughout the year.”
(The story was originally published on The News Minute and has been republished with permission.)
(The Quint, in association with BitGiving, has launched a crowdfunding campaign for an 8-month-old who was raped in Delhi on 28 January 2018. The baby girl, who we will refer to as 'Chhutki', was allegedly raped by her 28-year-old cousin when her parents were away. She has been discharged from AIIMS hospital after undergoing three surgeries, but needs more medical treatment in order to heal completely. Her parents hail from a low-income group and have stopped going to work so that they can take care of the baby. You can help cover Chhutki's medical expenses and secure her future. Every little bit counts. Click here to donate.)
. Read more on India by The Quint.Kamal Haasan’s Political Party: Coming Soon to Theatres Near You#GoodNews: A Hyderabad Woman’s Campaign For the Homeless . Read more on India by The Quint.