The world is divided into two kinds- there are humans and then there are kind humans. When I come across stories of philanthropists who are wealthy and kind and I think that maybe when I am that rich, I will donate or support some charity. But very often we forget that we can do a good deed every day in our own small ways with our limited capacity. You don’t have to be rich for that. You only need to be kind and selfless. Such is the story of this family from Surat who along with their daughter chose to extend financial support to their house help’s daughter and provided equal education to both of them.
While we urged our Infano change-makers and readers to take up a cause this International Women’s Day to start the “I challenge to change”, we also launched a campaign by Infano, to participate in any of the following causes:
· Educate a girl child
· Sponsor the sanitary pads of household help/s
· Employ women and provide a safe environment for their progress
· Stand up when witnessing gender bias, be it within the family, work, or elsewhere
That is when we came across Rajesh A. Mysuria and his wife Priya. Priya works a government job. Their daughter Vanshika is 13 years old studying in class 8. Priya’s maid Meenaben has been with her for more than 5 years now. Her daughter Neha is 15 years old. Priya has been funding Neha’s education along with her daughter’s.
“Meenaben is a working woman just like me”, says Priya. “The only difference between us is the lack of privileges which she had growing up. If she had equal opportunities for education, she wouldn’t be doing a servant’s job.”
Priya believes that if Neha gets a sound education then she will not have the same fate as her mother’s. The only thing pulling them down was access to good education which could increase their horizon and secure their future. With Meenaben’s limited income, it was not possible for her to give a sound education to Neha. Priya stepped in to fill this void, “After all she is almost my daughter’s age; she deserves the same. As an employer it’s the least I can do”, says Priya.
While many selfless people like Priya and Rajesh do exist, there are also people who still believe in class and caste and don’t even treat their employees with respect, leave alone funding their needs. We as a nation cannot rise unless we uplift each other. We cannot progress unless equal opportunities exist for all at least when it comes to basic needs like food, clothing, shelter, and education.
Neha is grateful for the opportunity that the Maisuria’s have extended to her. She makes sure to study well so that she can retire her mother and provide her the comfort she deserves. Neha has seen her mother work hard to make ends meet. Albeit shy, Neha has the determination to excel and the ambition to create an identity for herself in the world.
Stories like these give us the hope that the world is after all not a bad place and humans are not so selfish.