MONEY HAS NO VALUE?
Often, my family and my friends complain, and sometimes rightly so, …. “Yaar, money has no value anymore, really. We went to see this ‘shit’ film, at a multiplex, the tickets we can understand are more expensive on weekends, but the movie was garbage, moreover, the super large popcorn and coke at interval, and the nachos before the film began, we end up spending 5000 nearly on some weekends watching really bad work put out by some filmmakers! We spend nothing less than 5000 as a family, sometimes our children’s pal tags along so naturally we pay for him/her too…; man, I tell you na, money has no value anymore!”
However, meet Kavita (partially visually impaired) and Jignesh (visually impaired).
Kavita and Jignesh. Both Mumbai residents, both have lost their fatherswho were the sole earning members, both are dependent on an extended family member today.
I met Kavita when a friend of mine, Archana Bhatnagar assisted her by paying the fees for her Massage Therapy course at Mumbai. I asked Kavita, “… you are young, perhaps, 17-19, what is your education background, and, what are your reasons to learn Massage Therapy course (professional training to become a certified Masseur) at a young age…” (Btw, some of my friends who have taken massages at centres in Bandra that employ the ‘blind’ as masseurs, say they are amongst the best massages they have received, because the blind have a great sense of touch and excel at this profession. We are glad such an opportunity today exists for them.)
Kavita replied, “… I have lost my father, my mother is dependent on me and my maternal uncle and we live off our family savings. They are getting depleted and we do not want to be a ‘burden’ on my uncle, though he looks after our needs. My mother is not educated and takes care of our home. So I must begin work. I am HSC pass, with good scores, but I have not continued towards a college graduation because I have to earn a livelihood for my family, my mother and myself, right away. I do not want to ask my uncle for college fees. Once I make some money, I can take admission in college and work simultaneously.”
I asked Kavita, “what does the FYBA fees amount to?
She replied, Rs 3675”
I asked, One full year?
She said, Yes.
I instantly thought, that’s half of what my family and friends spend on some weekends, and it was quarter of the amount I spent last on my birthday, and it amounts to – an entire year’s fee at Bombay University!!! A prestigious institution! OMG!!! WOW!!! Man, I tell you, MONEY HAS VALUE FOR MILLIONS I tell you!
Thank you dear Dipti & Rishi for paying Kavita’s FYBA fees. I have committed to pay her SYBA and TYBA fees too, I know I will have some friends lined up to do that over the next two years. 😊
Strangely, Jignesh had a similar predicament. He dropped the thought of taking admissions at a Mumbai college because his uncle could not gather Rs 6000 for the first-year junior college fees. Yes, an entire year’s fees! – Rs 6000! At a good college at Dadar west. Man, look how much value Rs 6000 has!!! Thank you dear Picto Writ for paying Jignesh’s college fees.
Jignesh paid the fees a week after admissions had shut for the year, because a very kind professor of that college wanted to ensure Jignesh does not miss a year, his reason …‘Jignesh was a good student.’ Last year, Jignesh won the award for the best player in their annual cricket match for the visually impaired. Yes, there is a ‘special; form of cricket for the ‘blind’.
Hmmmm, next time we feel our ‘wealth’ and resources have no value, perhaps, and I wish I am wrong about this, we are probably not ‘in touch’ with sentiments that must be the part of the lives of at least 50 % of our population, if not the widely accepted 80 % figure.
#RakeshAnandBakshi 🎶 #BicycleAngels
(Photo thanks to https://www.theiab.org/education-higher-secndary-school.html)