A lovely woman works with us, helping in household activities ever since we moved here. I consider her as one of my sisters. For anonymity I would address her as Kamala and her daughter as Chandra. Kamala is sincere at her work and always shows up, rain or shine. She does not take time off despite us requesting her to do so. We trust her just as we trust ourselves letting her manage our home when we are away.
I felt so happy when I learned that her daughter made it to Bio. Tech Engineering program by scoring 90% in her higher secondary school final examinations. I invited both the mother and daughter to our home to have a chat with them to see in what ways I can help. From my own experience I know how hard it is for someone with such a social upbringing to even know what to ask, who to ask guidance from and about what.
And I learned that they are a family of five, Chandra has two brothers who are twins. Kamala's husband delivers newspapers in the early mornings and goes to a plastic manufacturing company. I also learned further with the help of a benevolent family where she also performed maid services, Kamala was able to support her daughter's education in an English medium school. And also she was able to fund an open heart surgery for Chandra when she was 3 years old. I was amazed at the resilience of both Kamala and Chandra.
The mother and daughter arrived together at my home today. I did my best to have them be seated in chairs, but they would not. I pained over the effect of generations of conduct instilling an idea of ‘low-high’ based on caste and economic status in our society. I sat with them on the floor refusing a chair for myself and we started chatting. Before Chandra could say anything, my heart went out for her, tears started to roll in my eyes. They are not of sympathy, but of joy, an admiration of her triumph and a recognition of her struggle. And more than that a feeling of togetherness of the human spirit.
My wife brought them coffee. I was shocked when Chandra attempted to drink the coffee without her lips touching the cup. My heart pained so much about how the remnant of untouchability still lingers and affects the hearts of people. I pleaded with her to treat us as her family and sip the coffee as she would in her home. She eventually relaxed and did so. Very gently I spoke to her about cultivating the notion that all humans are equal by birth and the rest is earned by our character and not by any caste-based discrimination.
I understood from our conversations that Chandra could be well guided by one of my dear friends who has earned a PHD in Bio Tech. He also has founded a company that was recognized as the fastest growing and innovative company in his state. Chandra has three and half years of study left. It is essential to know the world beyond her books, converse in English with others and improve her world view. I discussed how that can be done and offered to guide her.
In addition, I have committed to pay for her next 2 semester fees, i.e., the whole of this year - 2022 and also buy her a good refurbished laptop. All of this would cost INR. 90,000 and in USD 1200. I trust I could easily make it happen with the help of 7 or 8 friends. If it is possible for you to spare some of your hard earned money and are willing to give me a hand please let me know.
Academic Year 2021 - 2022
Raise INR 90,000
2022 - 2023
Raise INR 80,000
2023 - 2024
Raise INR 80,000
2024 - 2025
Raise INR 80,000
INR 10,000 plus furniture
Kavitha and Rajesh
INR 3,700 (USD 50)
INR 7,400 (USD 100)
Feb 12, 2022
INR 10,000 Feb 22, 2022
RECEIPTS OF FEES AND PURCHASES:
Updating as I receive:
Laptop : Thinkpad T450 + 1 TB SSD plus another 4GB Memory upgrade