I was home for a few weeks to get pampered by my mother during my pregnancy and it goes without saying that I was loving every bit of it. On one such relaxed, lazy morning during my stay, I was switching TV channels aimlessly in the living room when someone rang the door bell. Few ladies who seemed like laborers were at the door and I heard them asking Mom for tea.
Knowing her, I expected that she will oblige so it was not a surprise for me when she went inside to prepare tea. However, what caught my attention was the quantity of tea she finally brought – it seemed for around 10 people! When I asked her about it later, I got to know that the laborers who worked in the vicinity of our house would regularly come to her for tea and water when they would get tired. She prepared tea for all of them every time even on busy and frantic days. I was amazed and asked Mom why do not they ask for help elsewhere in the neighborhood at times to which the answer was the obvious – No one else helped ! But then it quickly dawned on me that this is how Mom has always been. Whatever I have learnt about humanity and kindness in my life has been by watching my parents. To think of it, it may not seem like a big deal to make tea for few people every few days. But, how many of us would actually do this, especially knowing that those people are not even our staff so we aren’t going to get any benefit out of it? I am sure we know the answer! In fact, it would be inevitable to find people saying “What is the need to do so much always?” or “It is madness. It spoils them and then they keep troubling you for everything.” Well, madness or not – it is a perspective, but this act of kindness is just an example of the zillion little things that I have seen my parents do.
For everyone, their parents are their heroes. No one else can love you the way they do and no one can match the efforts they put in to ensure you are happy and healthy. But, my parents are my heroes not just because of what they have done for me or still do, but also because of what they give to this world in their own little ways. They have 3 grandchildren and to celebrate their birthdays, every year they visit a school for the physically challenged. They spend time there and provide food and sweets for all the children and staff members. Today, I got an opportunity to visit the school along with them and my experience there is what actually prompted me to write this blog. It’s not that I have never visited a NGO or such a school before but from the moment I entered till the time I left, I could not stop feeling blessed. There were many poignant instances which left a lump in my throat yet I found myself smiling through it all because of the happy and positive atmosphere there. All of them have a life full of struggles and challenges, but all I could see was smiling and enthusiastic faces. It was heart-warming to see the kids sing the “Happy Birthday” song for my nephew with ardour and then relish the food and chocolates with equal zest. What also pleasantly surprised me was their discipline and their conduct all through. They were so excited to show us their vocation centre where they have a huge machine to make disposable cups. They get a lot of orders for it and complete their job passionately.
I was having a conversation with one of the staff members who told me that the school was started by the principal Mr.P.S.T Patnaik around 18 years back because he did not want the physically challenged to go through similar struggles like him. He was born as differently-abled in a middle class family who faced many problems in trying to complete his primary education due to lack of facilities and lack of voice for taking up their cause. This sparked off the fire in him to do something for the welfare of the physically challenged. He believed that illiteracy was and is the prime cause for them being trodden in the society. Hence, he established this school in the year 1998 and still does immense work to keep improvising the infrastructure and quality of education. He is a recipient of several honourable awards and has been acknowledged for his efforts by respected Kalam sir as well. What a great example of determination and grit! Life gave him a wheelchair but he just flew and sky is his limit. A huge reminder that life may not always be fair but it is upto us to make the most of what we have and the opportunities that knock at our door ! I know that a lot of friends of mine keep looking for genuine institutions where they can provide monetary help. Mandala Vikalangula Samkshema Sangham needs our help! They are doing great work with a highlight achievement of identifying 698 child labors till date and getting them admitted to regular schools. If you feel they deserve it, then you can lend a helping hand. Their bank and other details are at the end of the article.
We all know that we are privileged and that there are people with much worse situations in life, and that we should thus value what we have got without complaining. But we do not really follow this in our lives always, which is human. These experiences work as reminders that we are in a more desirable space and are fortunate that God has empowered us to make this world a better place. There are myriad ways of contributing to this world and am sure we all do what we can in our fast-paced lives. But sometimes, it is necessary to move out of our comfort zone and go the extra mile to make a significant difference. We should forget about the returns of random acts of kindness – it is foolish to think that we will get back what we give. It will not happen always but it does not matter. We ought to stop thinking that we are doing something for “others”, because in reality it is for us. We are the world after all 🙂
Do good not because it will come back, sometimes it may not; Do good not because of the fear of god, that would mean atheists would not have any reason to do good; Do good not because you want to have a good image, image is an illusion which can break anytime. Do good because you have a conscience, and you should be able to face yourself everyday – this world gives us a lot in many ways and it’s a mutual way of organically increasing the good around. Let us make our acts of kindness a habit, a way of life!
Thank you mummy and papa for being wonderful role models for me and I promise to strive to be one for my daughter too.
Bank Details for donation:
Mandala Vikalangula Samkshema Sangham
State Bank of India A/C Number: 10849855083
If you want more details or want to perform a check at your end, the contact details are as follows:
Executive Secretary, Mandala Vikalangula Samkshema Sangham, Atchutapuram (Post&Mandal), Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh – 531011
Phone Number: 08924-253623
Mobile Number: 7396618227,9989719158,7396876870
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com