David Anderson, Staff Writer |
This past week, SUNY Oneonta’s Philosophy Club sold art and organized campus events in support of the Ninash Foundation. They’ve dubbed it Global Giving Week and through the combined profits of selling artwork, books, baked goods, and hand-made clothing from India in addition to a student-run concert this past Saturday, the club raised over $1,000 that will go towards building schools in India and buying necessary resources for families in need.
Khila Pecoraro, the President of the Philosophy Club informed The State Times that The Philosophy Club seeks to “promote intellectual discourse across the SUNY Oneonta campus” and the idea for the event was developed in response to the club’s “extreme lack of philanthropy,” an ill which has since been remedied by the club’s involvement with the Ninash Foundation.
The Ninash Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable organization founded in 1996 by former SUNY Oneonta Professor, Dr. Ashok Kumar Malhotra in honor of his deceased wife Nina Judith Malhotra, a Pre-Kindergarten teacher, social worker, counselor, and Hindi Professor at SUNY Oneonta who sought to promote worldwide literacy and artistic development.
President Pecoraro, spoke highly of Dr. Malhotra, calling him a “really incredible person” and relaying that he “founded the school’s Philosophy Department and was nominated three times for a Nobel Peace Prize.”
The Ninash Foundation’s mission statement is “to mitigate suffering for the socially and economically disadvantaged within the US and abroad; to provide educational funding to promote literacy among children and adults throughout the world; and to assist the cultural community within the U.S. and abroad by providing funding relating to artistic education.”
Some of their most recent projects include the creation of a Bertil Gejrot Memorial Poetry Library in the Indo-International Schools, the creation of a friendship garden and playground in the village of Dundlod, India, and the creation of a water filtration plant in the village of Kuran, India. They strive for sustainable solutions to the rampant poverty affecting many in India that most are blind to in the U.S.
One of these sustainable options comes in the form of goats. The Ninash Foundation has also been involved in the purchasing of these animals for needy families in the village of Dundlod. A seemingly peculiar investment, a goat is an invaluable resource for families in dire straits. Their milk offers a vast swath of vitamins and nutrients, and it can be made into cheese and yogurt, which can be sold at local markets. Goats are also very resilient. They can survive in harsh environments and are known for eating just about anything. As an added bonus, they reproduce fairly often, providing families with a continuous cycle of goats and a consistent source of meat.
The Global Giving Week event culminated in a concert organized by the Philosophy Club and the Music Industry Club. The event offered a five-hour, diverse look into the Oneonta music scene showcasing the softer, acoustic stylings of Dan O’Connor, Cutting Ice, and Nick Abushady, the Hip Hop talents of PFish, the wild psychedelia of The Mariguanas, the soulful crooning of Pitch Slapped, the distressed yodeling of BANDERSON, and the smorgasbord of stylings offered by The Light Full, Oneonta’s newest Jam Band.
Anthony Vecere, one of the supporting tap-dancers of BANDERSON, expressed his pride in being part of the event stating that “I was really excited to be included in something going towards a good cause.”
For those interested, the Philosophy Club meets every Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. in the Glimmerglass room. To learn more about the Ninash foundation and how to contribute, go to: www.ninash.org.