Firstly, a very Happy Women’s Day to one and all reading this.
This year, let’s learn a few things about being helpful and kind to those who have lesser than us. As one of my favorite quotes about women supporting each other goes,
‘YOU CAN ALWAYS TELL WHO THE STRONG WOMEN ARE. THEY ARE THE ONES BUILDING ONE ANOTHER UP RATHER THAN TEARING EACH ANOTHER DOWN.’
So, based on the theme of kindness, few of our #WonderWomen shared stories of how they helped a woman (or women) in need. Please note, that the objective here is to get inspired rather than to bring limelight or fame to the women who did these acts.
Professor, Choreographer and stand-up comic, Parini Surti shared an experience saying, “I was visiting Udaipur a few years ago with some friends. We had stayed at a hotel which had a teenage girl as one of their staff. It hurt me to see her working like this rather than going to school. When I asked her the reason she said her parents don’t earn enough to be able to afford educating her. Though the services of this particular hotel were crappy, while checking out we decided to tip this little girl and even said to her, “Use this for going to school rather than working here.” Though I know it wasn’t much, I hoped to make her understand the value of education.”
Entrepreneur (founder of Magic Needles) Heena Patel believes in equal opportunity at work and says of kindness that, “At Magic Needles, most of my staff are women employees and I take them on irrespective of their age, caste, financial background, physical disabilities or even educational qualification. My belief has always been that, “As long as you are capable to give the expected results and provide a 100% to the work at hand, we’ll empower you and help you learn and grow.”
Jewellery Designer & Entrepreneur, Shilpa Jain believes that values like kindness and politeness are imbibed only through one’s upbringing. She shared an incident around such an act she did for someone and said, “I believe that moral values don’t come from just reading or writing about it but they come from the way one sees or inculcates them practically. And I also believe that such values don’t come to you by birth are rather inculcated in you while growing up. I do carry many of them proudly till today and will surely carry them be forever too. As they say “Charity begins at home”, it simplifies that be generous to your family before helping others. After I got married, in my second home, apart from all my family members, I got to meet a house help who was serving there from past ten to fifteen years. I used to call her ‘Didi’. The kind of dedication she had towards her work as well as for the family was commendable. She used to work with full devotion. But as age is not permanent and is constant for none, she also fell into its trap, and her health deteriorated day by day. She went to many different places for medical support but couldn’t find any benefit. She used to share everything with me as she considered me as her moral support. After a few days after seeing her condition, I recommended her to my family doctor. I called my physician and told her the scenario and requested her not to take fee and any kind of medical bill from her and told her that I will bear the whole amount. And I also requested not to tell her (my house help) about all this.. As the OLD SCHOOL BELIEF says that you should do charity the way that your one hand should not be aware of the deeds of the other one, I just wanted her to be healthy always and also I felt relieved by being a cause of someone’s happiness.”
Software Engineer, Writer, Photographer & Artist, Anusha Sridharan shares not one but two incidents where her kindness made an impact in a woman’s life.
“We all were competing to get a good rank in EAMCET. I wasn’t confident that I’ll get through as I wasn’t aware of the Entrance syllabus and I still wanted to make an attempt.
I was among one of the last few to leave the exam hall. Almost when I was about to leave, I heard security guard calling me for help. I didn’t know how to react. When I went there to help, I saw a girl was trying to jump out of the balcony. I had a hard time pulling her out of the balcony railings. I had to convince her to not worry and there’s always a way out. She tried to convince me back on how this exam was the only option for her and she lost it by leaving some of the questions unanswered to which she knew answers for. I tried to soothe her by suggesting that she could reattempt the test next year and go more prepared. To which she said that the next year onwards there would be NEET and more competition since the syllabus would be different. I still tried to give her more hope by saying that hardwork always pays off. I even offered to talk to her parents about this. She said her parents would be very furious with how bad her exam had been. I told her that I’d walk along with her until I see her parents and talk this with them. She was profusely crying all along the way. I tried to continuously give her hopes of other alternatives. I tried to keep the conversation going by asking about her marks in her Pre-University. I tried to boost her confidence by saying that she had scored so well in her exams and she’ll be able to ace the other exams yet again if she put in all her efforts again. I left her with her parents and wished her well. I am not sure what happened next. I didn’t have a way to contact her back then. I can only hope that she is now doing well and pursuing her dreams.”
“The second incident is of my daily help. She had once asked me if I had some old toys. She wanted it for her granddaughter. I said I didn’t have any currently. I either gave them off or had kept them as memories because they were gifted to me.
I told her that I could buy a new one and gift it to her granddaughter.
She said I didn’t have to go through the pain of buying a new one and told that I could give her any old toy if I had. I felt bad that I couldn’t do anything else for her.
The very next week me and my husband decided to get her granddaughter a new teddy bear. We got a cute golden color teddy bear and gave her the very next day.
When I gave her the teddy and told it was for her granddaughter, she fell silent. She didn’t know how to thank and yet I knew that she was happy on the inside.
And nothing else like these tiny moments could give me this immense joy. This women’s day, let’s hope and thrive to make the world a better place by helping and being there for each other.”
Interior Designer & Cafe Owner, Shraddha Mehta shares an incident saying, “A woman (who did not look much like a beggar) used to come to our café almost everyday at the closing time and ask for leftover food. We were more than happy to feed her but one day I noticed that she made her 3 children beg too. The reason? It was an easy source of money. So I got on her case one day making her understand that she was young enough to earn instead of begging and making her kids do the same. Somehow after a long pep talk I persuaded her to take up a cleaning job at my cafe itself. Today, she is doing a respectable job and earning enough to stop begging and send her 2 kids to school. They are pursuing their studies in a government school.”
Author and crafter, Apoorva talks about the satisfaction of giving to those in need and shares an incident, “As a craft enthusiast and a keen social worker, I organized a craft workshop for the girls of a community center nearby in my school itself wherein I taught those girls different kinds of paper cutting techniques and crafting. I realised that some of those girls had a really creative hand, all they needed was the right guidance to tap their underlying potential in this field. It was an overwhelming experience to see their eyes light up and their smiles widen as they were able to learn what they had always wanted to. This workshop was a social initiative from my end and I think no amount of money that I charge from other students could compare to the satisfaction that I received while teaching these students without charging a penny. Other than my efforts, my bestfriend too assisted me in making all the arrangements.”
6. Bhumika Monani
Engineer cum author Bhumika Monani says she regularly gives to those in need. Talking about her charitable work she shared her views saying, “From a long time, I used to donate my old clothes to poor and needy girls so that they can have proper clothes to wear instead of torn and wear off rags. I don’t know how it sounds but I count it as small efforts towards helping other girls out there. Even though this might sound usual or something irrelevant, I believe that upliftment must begin from the roots and through this small gesture I hope I’m making at least a small difference.
YouTuber, Entrepreneur and Educator Dhara Thakkar shared two heartwarming incidents around her kindness and how it changed her. She said, “In this world where money is important for everyone whether its middle class people or poor, I have came across many such females in my life whom I have helped financially, in whatever way I can. This is what I always do with all my heart and never thought to share but here I am sharing so that I can encourage others to help the needy. When I was teaching in a school we teachers used to get extra cup of teas. I used to share that extra cup with class help and she always blessed me for that. This was a very minute help I provided from my end. I remember her son was having board exams and she was crying that, her son wants to buy a pen which costs 150 and she cannot afford that costly pen. The very next day I bought her the whole packet of that pen with refills and the joy which I saw on her face was priceless. Currently I am married and the previous house help I had was very genuine. Due to some reasons she had to move back to her village and then again she was back here, but by that time we had already replaced her with a new maid. She pleaded for new work and I assured her that she would get new work at some other place. In a few months, she got the same with a higher wage than we used to pay. She was so happy that she kept on blessing me. Its been 3 years since then and still she calls us twice in a month to have a word with all of us. These are just two incident but here I would like to spread the word that please help the needy, not for their blessings but for the humanity terms. Its a good feeling too.”
Women like them and most of us, have broken a lot of stereotypes already to make a mark for ourselves in our respective fields. However, there are many women out in world who are still struggling for basic rights. So, this Women’s Day (and in fact everyday) let’s strive to keep our hearts and minds open, and help a woman in crisis whenever you come across one. It could be something as small as aiding your maid financially to something as big as providing foster care to an orphan girl. If you haven’t yet done something like this yet, now is the time.
Together, with such acts of kindness we can make the world a better place for all of us.