I must have been almost two years old when my Mother and I were hurriedly shuffled to the railway station at Delhi and put on the train heading to Mumbai. It was a two night journey. All we had was the ticket that had been bought for us by my grandfather, and a small pack of biscuits to tide us over the two night-three day journey. And so we set off, to my maternal Grandmother’s house.
It wasn’t an exciting journey. I clung to my Mom who looked sad. The biscuit packet was consumed within the first hour. A while later, a kindly co-passenger gave us a pot of water, which we refilled when the train stopped for a while at some stations. Somehow we managed to reach Mumbai. Just as soon as we got off the train, my Mom collapsed on the platform. People rushed over.
It feels weird- but I actually remember that scene so vividly. I did not cry. Just stood there, hoping we would somehow reach home.
And then a miracle happened right before my eyes. My uncle appeared. This was the station where he switched trains en route to work and noticing the commotion, had come over, too.
Can you imagine his shock when he saw who it was? His sister.
Yes, galvanized into action, he called a cab, bundled us in and we went home.
We were so lucky.
But not everyone is. Even today, I am bemused at how I remember this day so clearly, when I sometimes blank out on more recent events. Well, it was a life-changing moment.
I grew up watching the extreme generosity of each family member in our house – they constantly tried to give and better the lives of people who needed it the most. Children, in particular. My folks always took it upon themselves to support, educate and feed as many children as they could, starting with street children. Besides donating in cash and kind, they also gave their time as volunteers.
I’ve known hunger, the pain of scraping for school fees and how hard my Mom worked to make ends meet. I try my best to keep up the tradition by doing my bit to make lives better. It is the least I can do to express my gratitude for a comfortable life today.
Today, I am asking your support for Aham Bhumika, a registered NGO who reached out on Twitter, asking for help to fund their rural pre-school in Borda village, Kolar Road, Bhopal. There are currently 40 underprivileged children here. The school needs Rs.14,000 per month (roughly $240). The parents of these children, who are illiterate, are employed in brick kilns and construction sites nearby to make a living as laborers. Aham Bhumika runs the school for their children, using the play method to teach them. Explore their website here: http://www.ahambhumika.org
How can YOU help?
Contribute online or through a check payment to:
A/c name: Aham Bhumika Swayam Sevi Sanstha,
SAVINGS ACCOUNT NO. 2073101015874
IFSC Code- CNRB0002073,
Bank – CANARA BANK
Branch – MAHARANA PRATAP NAGAR, BHOPAL
Do email firstname.lastname@example.org with your payment info, including your Name, address , donation value ,PAN number and phone number. Your donations are eligible for tax exemptions under Section 80-G of Income Tax of India. For more info visit http://ahambhumika.org/donate.html
Buy their products
The children at Aham Bhumika make handpainted shoes. One pair of shoes equals one child’s education for one month. The shoes cost between Rs.999 and 1499. The shoes are really pretty!
They also make hand embroidered cushion covers, sling bags, quilts and paintings. Take a look: (Click photo to see larger version)
For more information about how to order please email email@example.com. All proceeds from the sale fund the childrens’ education, in addition to making the women self-reliant.
Connect with Aham Bhumika on Facebook and Tweet to @AhamBhumika
Please share in your networks
[Tweet “Pls RT #FundAhamBhumika ‘s rural pre-school today. @AhamBhumika”]
All photos courtesy Aham Bhumika’s Facebook/Twitter timeline and blog