We often resort to charity to rid our conscience of the guilt that we are not doing enough for our fellow men but it is important to understand that they not only need our money but also need our time and efforts.

There is no easy way around this situation and the money we donate to various charitable institutions may do more harm than benefit the underprivileged. Such funds are often used to exploit the needy in the pretext of providing help.

Irrespective of our financial contribution, the time and wisdom we invest in solving their problems is pivotal in making a difference. Its also important to assess whether we are just providing for their instantaneous needs or making a sustainable change in their life. Feeding the hungry may be a virtue but helping them earn their bread is brotherhood IMHO.

Finally, its important not to support any religious evangelism as part of charity. Conflict of cultures has claimed enough blood and we should not perpetuate it in the name of charity.