Sr no 181
Shankar Mahadev Jhadav (50 plus)
Profession: Water carrier.
“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.)
Beneficiaries of help: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.357090647765413&type=1