Sr no 179
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)
Pune to Ratnagiri Medical camp and cyclothon 2016.
Beneficiaries of help: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.357090647765413&type=1