Charity begins at home

Jaz Nannar | August 1st, 2012

My father emigrated to London in 1963.

He arrived with £2 in his pocket and a few clothes in a tiny suitcase. He’d left his entire family (including my mother and sister) behind in the Punjab, India.

His father had sent him off reminding him never to covet money. Over the years, the pay packets went back home, almost in their entirety. Except for the 10% that was kept to be given to charity, in line with the teachings of the Sikh faith.

And now, nearly 50 years later, whilst my parents don’t send money back ‘home’ any more they still give 10% of their income to charity. In their case, that’s now their pensions.

I’ve never managed to give away 10% of my income to charity. There’s always been a house to save for, kids to send to nursery, nice holidays to go on (pre-kids). But, didn’t my father have a house to save for, kids to clothe and feed? Not to mention a family he’d left behind, relying on him.

My grandfather wasn’t a man of many words but I suspect he would have been rather proud of his son. Perhaps he’s looking down hoping his grandchildren follow suit.