Diwali: Spreading light and joy

Runali’s stall at India-Link Program Michigan

Runali: Self-initiated volunteer of VSM in Michigan

Many times in life we feel sensitised about the social issues around us. They make us restless. They arouse in us a will to do something to change the situation, tackle the issue, bring about a positive change. But then we hold ourselves back due to this busy routine or that responsibility. Sometimes also due to the thought that what significant difference will my action make against the magnitude of the problem. Yet, few of us take that extra step, walk that extra mile and turn another stone. And hence set in a virtuous cycle. Ms. Runali Patil is settled in Michigan, the U.S. She had heard about VSM's various initiatives through our senior Karyakarte Vrushali and Vinod Deshpande who are her close friends. The desire to contribute to such causes of social significance drove her to take up an initiative of her own.

What Inspired Me?

I have friends around me from India and in USA, who are already involved in such activities to support needy families, which has inspired me to do something. My friends talk many times about forming NGO which is not a small task with day-to-day, routine family life. Every year we (me and my husband) try in some other way helping NGO’s here in USA, and India. This year we thought of raising fund by preparing and selling Diwali sweets during India Link Diwali 2016 community program held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The idea behind fund raising by selling sweets was to encourage and involve more people to support VSM. 

We thought this was a good opportunity for raising fund within a large group of people and we requested India Link committee for approving stall at this program. Committee members liked the idea and allowed us to sell sweets and support VSM. People supported kind heartedly, even many times without any purchases they donated money. We explained to them the concept behind fund raising, showed many pictures of activities VSM has performed in past, and the current/upcoming activities VSM is working on. 

We are proud of being part of support to VSM, India.

Ms. Runali Patil


Runali and her husband decided to setup a stall at the Diwali celebration event by India-link. India Link organization in Grand Rapids, Michigan was established to unite a community with an India link to formalize the rejoicing of the spirit of celebrating many Indian Festivals, especially Diwali, the Festival of Lights. At this celebration, she and her husband prepared and sold traditional Diwali sweets to the people attending the India-Link Diwali Program. They benevolently donated the sales proceeds for VSM’s initiatives

At the onset, Runali said she wasn’t sure how this initiative will take-off. But she did not let this thought bog her down. She went ahead with the plan and implemented it successfully. She designed and printed banners for spreading awareness about VSM’s work. She read up about various initiatives of VS M and explained them to the curious buyers and donors at her stall. She indeed became our self-initiated volunteer!

We at Vivekanand Seva Mandal are grateful to as well as proud of Runali and her family for all their efforts and contribution.