A Short Story based on a true incident
‘What would you like to do now?’ Vijaya, Ramakrishna’s wife asked him, after they returned to India from the US in the year 1997. He had worked there for 35 years, ‘Would you like to relax like other people of your age or do something?’
‘I would like to do something….something to this country that is riddled with poverty and unemployment.’ He replied.
‘Do something for this country?’ She asked quite surprised, ‘What could you alone do?’
‘Vijaya, that is the mistake we all do in our individual lives. We all think what we alone can do? And we end up doing nothing significant for our country.’ He replied.
‘Fine. Tell me? What do you have in your mind?’ She asked.
‘You know, only education can eradicate poverty in our country,’ Ramakrishna said, ‘If one person can support one child…just one child…then it’s enough to make a difference. Imagine…if one thousand people come forward, it’s like a thousand lamps lit!’
‘That’s a noble thought!’ She said, smiling at him, ‘I’m very proud of you and I’m with you in this venture.’
‘Thank You.’ He said, smiling back at her.
She had understood him well so far in his life. He knew that he would have her support in this venture too.
I hope this mail greets you all in good health and cheer. We both are fine over here.
At 83 years, when most of the people sit back and relax, I feel that I have much more to do in my life, before I could take rest.
I would like to get girl children from rural villages, who have lost both or either of their parents, and who are from poor economic background. I would like to give them education to help them stand on their feet. Nothing’s more satisfying than seeing their eyes shine with confidence and hope. This could be the finest thing that would happen to these children.
I alone can’t do it. I need your support in this noble venture.
I am expecting an early reply.
Ramakrishna wrote a mail to his children and grand children who were well settled in the US. They replied back saying that they would support him in this noble cause. They even informed their friends in the States about the same.
‘We are looking for children who have lost either both or one of their parents and are from poor economic background,’ Ramakrishna said to the teachers of a government school in the outskirts of the city.
‘Sure, sir,’ said one of the teachers, ‘The principal told us about you.’
‘This is really a noble thing which you are going to do. May God bless you with success.’ Said another teacher.
‘Thank you.’ Ramakrishna said.
Ramakrishna and his wife, Vijaya, randomly visited some government schools on the outskirts of the city and got to know about the children through the teachers over there. They picked a few of them who didn’t have both their or had lost one of their parents. Chaitra was one of those girls, whom the teachers had recommended to them. Chaitra’s father had passed away recently. Her mother was a farm laborer, and she couldn’t take care of her daughter and son.They visited her mother. Then :-
‘I would like to take your children and educate them,’ Ramakrishna said to Chaitra’s mother.
‘I don’t know how I could repay for what you are doing for my children, sir,’ She said, with folded hands and tears in her eyes.
‘You need not! I am just doing what needs to be done!’ Ramakrishna replied.
‘You could come anytime to see your children.’ He added.
‘What would you like to be when you grow up?’ Ramakrishna asked the children.
‘I would like to be a news reporter when I grow up!’ Jayashree replied.
‘I would like to be a teacher!’ said Swetha.
‘And you Chaitra? What would you like to be?’ Vijaya asked her.
‘Mataji, I would like to be like you and Pitaji…do what you are doing for us right now.’ Chaitra replied.
‘Thank You, Chaitra.’ Ramakrishna said, removing his specs, and wiping a drop of tear from his eye with his finger.
The children in the ‘Sahasra Deepika’ call Ramakrishna and his wife as ‘Pitaji’ and ‘Mataji’.
Sahasra Deepika, which was started in the year 1998 with just 8 children. Now, it houses 56 children from rural Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar. With an aim to provide quality education for the children, they have tied up with Deeksha learning centre to manage their school.
Ramakrishna also started giving the children training in dance, arts, yoga and music.
The confidence children have gained shows in the results too. Four out of the six students who attended the secondary board exams have passed with distinction this year.
Volunteers from various places, including corporate from the city and their friends from the US help them to discover the hidden talents in their children. The greatest support comes from their children and grand children settled in the US.
P.S :- You could find more details about ‘Sahasra Deepika’ by visiting their website…
Sahasra Deepika a Winner in Chase Giving
After all the votes were counted, Sahasra Deepika was named one of the top 196 charities in the Chase Community Giving 2012 contest and will receive a grant of $10,000! They are grateful to their friends from around the world who took the time to vote on Facebook and show their support for their mission.