181 – Games of trust & Water carrier @ Chincholi/Kokrud

 

 

181-chincholi-kokrud-shankar-mahadev-jhadav-kirran-nichani

Sr no 181

 

Shankar Mahadev Jhadav (50 plus)

Profession: Water carrier.

Livelihood bicycle.

 

“Fugdi/Sakhli, a trust building fun activity we urban people have no more in our lives.”

 

Shankar lives at Chincholi, Kokrud. I met him during a medical camp for children organised by MMF, Pune, at Chincholi village. Primary school kids from many schools in that region attended the free medical camp.

 

I served at this medical camp simply as someone checking weight and height of the kids, and noting in down for their medical records. It’s the closest I get to be with the happy warm souls of rural children when I go for this camp.

 

Shankar is a water carrier.

He is also responsible to release water meant for crops from the irrigation canal. He has to walk the miles for the many trips he has to make to bring water for the school, and to release water meant for agriculture. Years of carrying water on his head has taken its toll and his knees are giving him trouble.

 

Cycling is a zero impact (on knees) mode of transport. Shankar was not aware cycling causes zero impact on knees and is an exercise often recommended for people suffering from knee issues, so I informed him about the relief cycling will bring his knees beyond making it easier to carry more quantity of water and make more trips.

 

I know he was very happy he can now ferry the water in containers larger than his head can balance and his shoulders & knees can bear. It will lighten some of his burden of daily livelihood and existence.

 

Two experiences at this school are most worthy of sharing.

One, I never saw a bored child. Five girls had made the dry earth of their school ground wet with water and had built a house. One of them was poking holes in the structure to contrast doors and windows.

 

And I felt, ‘this is true creativity. This is what real imagination is.’ They have nothing really, yet they can create fun for themselves. These are self-inspired children. No mommy & daddy wondering how to inspire them to play. Unlike some of the children of my urban and well to do friends who I often witness complain they are bored and its nerve wrecking for their mothers to find some time pass/activity for them.

 

Second, I saw the children play fugdi, sakhli. Two girls reach out to each other to spin around endlessly until their bodies are exhausted, even though their joy and laughter don’t. View the video clip I shot on my phone, I’ve posted below. https://www.facebook.com/rakesh.anand.bakshi/videos/g.309043432570135/10154689818758213/?type=2&theater

 

Looking at them play sakhli, fugdi, I thought these are games of trust. Trust building naturally. This game we urban people may have lost forever. I think we should re-introduce such games in our schools, because when we reach out for someone’s hand to spin with us we are actually placing our trust in that person she will not let us down, not leave our hand.

Likewise, when the opposite person takes your hand in hers, she too is in turn placing her trust in you.

Thus instilling a sense of trust and faith in us right from childhood, they are able to gauge whom they can approach to co-play this game where if the other person leaves your hand midway you can go spiralling away and hurt yourself.

 

Returning to Shankar, he was so grateful for the bicycle he received, I was moved by what he had to say when I asked him if he would like to say something to the people who donated the bike to him. He said, “I will never ever forget this gesture.” https://www.facebook.com/rakesh.anand.bakshi/videos/g.309043432570135/10154689815958213/?type=2&theater

 

The bike costs just Rs 4000, and it reminded me of some people who do not acknowledge the thanks they owe others. Because we are beings on an adventure and we are not the only heroes of our adventure tale. Never not-acknowledge those who most often unknowingly played hero for you.

 

Thank you Kirraann Ramesh Nichani for donating this new bicycle to Shankar.

Thank you Mukul Madhav Foundation’s http://www.mmpc.in/ medical camp, for carrying me like a favourable wind to this village so far from my home.

 

(#MukulMadhavFoundation #FinolexPipes Pune to Ratnagiri Medical camp and cyclothon 2016.)

 

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Sr no 180 – “….. and before I go to work, I can also drop my daughters to school …” #BicycleAngels

180-umbraj-santosh-himmat-lohar-raman-m

 

Sr no 180
 
“….. and before I go to work, I can also drop my daughters to school …”
 
Santosh Himmat Lohar (32)
 
Daily wages labourer.
 
Santosh resides at Umbraj. He has three daughters, 5, 7, and 8 years young. His daughters study at Umbraj Zilla Parishad School.
 
Santosh’s father died when he was in the 8th and thereafter he could not educate himself. He had to take over the financial responsibilities of their family.
Ever since his teens he has been working at various construction sites and local road building projects and even as an agriculture labour since then, digging, lifting and shifting the earth.
 
The bicycle will help him travel to work sites without the need to wait and spend on public transport, which is scare and not reliable as far as time schedules go. By riding to work, he will save Rs 20 per day, he says.
 
I did not probe too much into Santosh’s life and circumstances, For us, a daily wages worker with the weight of the earth he shifts daily and the weight of the responsibility of three daughters, was a good enough reasons to help him in our own tiny way – with a tough bicycle to transport himself in a cheaper and faster way for his livelihood purpose. Additionally, he can also use it to carry other loads now and then.
 
I do recollect now, Santosh had also mentioned before he rode away on his shiny new bicycle “….. and before I go to work, I can also drop my daughters to school on this bicycle…” Honestly, for us that was enough to gift him one. 🙂
 
 
Thank you Mukul Madhav Foundation’s medical camp, for carrying me like a favourable wind to this village so far from my home.
 
Thank you Raman Macker for donating this bicycle to Santosh. (This donation was his gesture for his wife’s (Ambi’s) birthday, Happy Birthday Ambi.)
 
#MukulMadhavFoundation
#FinolexPipes
Pune to Ratnagiri Medical camp and cyclothon 2016.
 
#BicycleAngels
#RakeshAnandBakshi.
 
 
#RakeshAnandBakshi https://twitter.com/RakBak16
 
 
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179 – Then she sat with her father, like a mountain…

179-shirwal-digambar-maruti-lohar-surabhi-shah

Sr no 179
 
Livelihood bicycle.
 
Then she sat with her father like a mountain looking after its one weak tree.
 
Digambar Maruti Lohar (49)
 
Digambar lives at Shirwal. Around 60 to 70 Kms from Pune.
He has four daughters and one son. All four daughters study at the Zilla Parishad School.
 
Digamber is a lohar, (Blacksmith) and his late father was one too. Educated till the 5th class, he is unemployed since four months because of poor health. He has done many jobs in the past, from working in an iron-casting workshop to a moulding and machine workshop, to being a lohar.
 
He has developed sever acidity, or some other condition that is yet undiagnosed. He vomits often and feels faith when this happens, because of which he is unable to find stable work since four months, he says.
The day I met him, at Shirwal Zilla Parishad School, he vomited while he was waiting to meet me. I was at the school with a team of doctors from Pune (courtesy, Mukul Madhav Foundation’s medical camp across four villages in western Maharashtra) and one of the doctors attended to him immediately. We let him rest a bit before I could resume our conversation.
 
When Digamber vomited, because he happened to get an attack of acidity apparently, his eldest teen daughter was called from class to clean up his vomit and take care of her father. She did it without shame and embarrassment. Then she sat with her father like a mountain looking after its one weak tree. I felt glad we were helping this under privileged family.
 
Digamber felt better after about 30 minutes, so I proceeded to speak to him about his life so far. I really did not want to interview him thereafter, but I did. Because I did not want my donor (Surabhi Shah) not to know more about the person we had decided to help from his hard earned donation/money.
 
I think, because Zilla Parishad schools do not have peons, the students clean the school themselves, daily. Sometimes I saw their teacher and principal pitching in too.
Every morning when we visited four ZP primary schools over four days at Shirwal, Umraj and Chincholi at Kokrud, I saw the school kids sweep and clean the class rooms, corridors and sometimes the playground too. I never saw a single child unhappy at this task. Different kids are made to perform this daily duty, so all the kids have their turn at it.
 
Urban children in Mumbai and elsewhere are truly privileged, I realised. I recollected then, that a privileged children’s school in Japan makes their ‘rich’ students clean the school’s toilets daily. And their ‘rich’ parents do not complain. They think it’s okay that their kids are made to clean their school’s toilets.
 
 
Thank you Mukul Madhav Foundation’s medical camp, for carrying me like a favourable wind to this village so far from my home.
 
Thank you Surabhi Shah for donating this bicycle to Digamber. Before they left with their well deserved bicycle, his lovely teen daughter told us “Pappa ko cycle diya, thank you.” ( https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frakesh.anand.bakshi%2Fvideos%2F10154602008573213%2F&show_text=0&width=400
 
 
#MukulMadhavFoundation
#FinolexPipes
Pune to Ratnagiri Medical camp and cyclothon 2016.
 
#BicycleAngels
#RakeshAnandBakshi.
 
 
#RakeshAnandBakshi https://twitter.com/RakBak16
 
 
#BicycleAngels:
 
 
#BeautifulBicyclesBeautifulPeople