She had found ShikshaDaan on the internet and given Krishnan a call. In the email, she wrote that she had managed to do her first and second year B.Tech degree and was looking for funds to continue her education. Her parents are working as cooks and could not fund her education further…. We didn’t know her, we didn’t know anyone known to her and this was a first for ShikshaDaan. Krishnan asked her to come home so we could ask a few questions and ascertain if this was a genuine case, that we could fund.
She was supposed to come home last evening at 6.30 but didn’t manage to get to a metro station till 7 pm. So we asked her to come today as it was scary to ask a girl to come all the way to Gurgaon alone after 7 pm. She came over today with her parents.
Her father had prayed to God that we turn out to be “good” people and his daughter gets some help to complete her education. She hadn’t slept till 3 in the morning worrying if we would fund her. There was an earnestness in her to study and work hard. Her parents were clearly uncomfortable … They were asking for help for the first time. Slowly the story unfolded, her father’s business of making school uniforms went belly-up because one order was revoked… One Principal changed the school uniform and the new Principal revoked it and destroyed a family in the process. Three children who have all been brought up well by hardworking parents, suddenly found themselves struggling to continue their education. Time ? Luck ? Karma ? Something obviously wasn’t working for them. But they didn’t lose hope. The father didn’t go out and become a drunkard, but went out and started helping the mother by cooking at a hostel. The elder brother has started working and this girl is a couple of years away from completing her degree. She is looking for online part time jobs that she can do from her hostel. The younger brother is in class 12.
We have decided to fund her B.Tech program and she has promised to expand the circle of help as soon as she starts to earn. A glimmer of hope came into her father’s eyes as we handed over the cheque and tears came too because for some time now, he has been hearing a “no” from people. She is ShikshaDaan’s 28th beneficiary and with her a new type of funding has started – funding people who are not referred by any of our partner organizations or not referred by people known to us.
May this new circle of help expand !! Like Krishnan and I said to her father, all of us are linked, someday in some life, he had probably paid forward for his daughter’s education and we are just passing it along in this life. No thanks were due to us, but just the responsibility to pay it forward for someone else.
A good day today !