The Optimist Citizen

How one initiative bridged the lives of two youngsters and a starving family in a remote village of Rajasthan

In this world of deep rooted cynicism, hatred and negativity, it is rare to find a ray of hope, passion and love. But there are still some stories which still makes us believe in the power of humanity and empathy and rekindles our hope in the society. It is even more heartwarming when youngsters come together to create a ripple of kindness with their actions. 

In one such incidence, two youngsters from Rajasthan have set a great example on how a small act of kindness can help create a ripple effect in the society. Mohan and Priya are part of the Samvidhan Live! The Jagrik Project – a nationwide campaign by ComMutiny – The Youth Collective and 22 partner organisations in 14 states engaging more than 600 youngsters in making the Constitution and it’s rights available to all. Being a part of a partner organisations called Alfa Educational Society, Mohan and Priya (participants of the Jagrik Project Campaign) were assigned a task to visit a family living in a remote village of Rajasthan. Mohan and Priya were kicked about the idea of visiting a remote village and understand their problems. But when they actually went and met a family who were living in a shanty settlement outside the village, they realised that the situation is much worse than what they thought. “I never knew the problems a person belonging to a backward area faces until I got to witness them”, says Mohan. 

When they enquired more about the life led by Dilip and his family, the difficulties faced by them and how do they make their ends meet, they got to know that he had been living in the shanty settlement with his family of 7 people for more than 12 years. He earns a living by selling the waste materials collected by him on a lorry from all the households in different villages. On inquiring further, they realised that though Dilip’s family has a Ration Card, but they are still denied to avail the benefits by the PDS shop owner because of which he and his family sleep with an empty stomach for a substantial chunk of the week. On hearing this, Mohan and Priya were very disturbed. They realised that the least they could do is to share whatever little food they had at that moment. Mohan and Priya offered the food that they had got from their home and ate the food with Dilip’s family. Dilip’s family couldn’t believe that some strangers would actually want to help them out without any hidden agenda or a selfish motive.

Mohan and Priya with Dilip’s children

While conversing more, Dilip also mentioned that he wishes to send his children to school but he has no money due to which he is forced to keep them employed in petty jobs. On hearing this, Mohan and Priya decided to do something about it and make them aware of their rights and duties. They took out all the information on the rights and duties of underprivileged (BPL) families and explained Dilip and his family about all the government schemes which support the education of disadvantaged people and help them to come out of poverty. They explained them that by keeping the kids away from education they are putting themselves into more poverty as they would never be able to emerge out of it. Mohan and Priya encouraged the family to enroll their children in school and aim for a bright future and promised to lend support wherever and however they need it. After all the encouragement and motivation, Dilip’s family decided to send their children to school from the next session. 

This visit to a remote village was an eye opener for Mohan and Priya. They felt really bad for Dilip and his family as they have to live in those shanty ghettoes throughout the year irrespective of the rain and cold. They were disturbed to know about the difficult life of the family, but they were content that they could offer them some advice and contributed in bringing a smile on the faces of small children by offering them food to suffice their hunger.

Though this action by Mohan and Priya might be small, but no act of kindness,no matter how small, is ever wasted. As it is being rightly said by Amelia Earhart “A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions and then roots spring up and make new trees. This gesture by Mohan and Priya will definitely help change the world, one random act of kindness at a time. 


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