Spread of word changed the wellbeing of a family
I remember the days when I looked out of my hostel's room window and saw a “street vendor’s family” struggling to look after 2 kids everyday.
A few days passed and one day I was just walking by their tent (where a family of 4 lives) and strike a conversation with the mother.
As I was a development studies student, I was always curious to learn more about people's livelihood . She was very humble and always had a smiling face. I asked her what do you do and what does your husband do? And what age are your kids and what are they studying currently?
While she was cooking food for her family, before the sun set (as they have no electricity and it gets dark after 6:30 pm) she was answering all my questions patiently and with a peaceful smile.
Most of her answers were revolving around the husband and his every day struggles.
She goes like this
“My husband is a mobile vendor and carry's the food basket over his shoulder throughout the day and it's very painful to see me like that, but we have no choice, we have to feed our kids and send them to good schools, hoping that they will not face these struggles one day” (she weeps)
“He spends his whole day roaming around the city”
“ He makes a wide range of snacks from his food basket, his main dish is Bhel puri (it's a famous street food in India)”
“He carries a 30 kg basket from 11 am to 11 pm around the streets of Bangalore (a city in India).”
“His basket has been our only source of income for more than 10 years for our family ,We know it's so tough and tiring, but it is my only source of income, what else can we do? we have no choice nor a skill”
“I always wished for my children so I am sending them to school and they will look after me in a few years”
As she was talking and completed her cooker, she was so kind enough to offer me some food, i was astonished and surprised how some people have very little for themselves but still want to share with others.
She said “its my sons birthday we made Sabudana vada(its an Indian dish), it's his favorite”
Once I ate the “Vada” I was amazed by the taste and left with tears in my eyes.
The day I came back to my hostel and realized how hand life is for some people and I wished I could do something for her.
I enquired few of my classmates who were staying in the flat, if they needed a cook. A few of them responded in a few days. I was so happy to inform her if she will be willing to cook for 3 students in a nearby place and they were offering a good amount for cooking lunch and dinner for the students.
The moment I told her this news, her eyes lit like firecrackers and she hugged me out of happiness. A few months passed by and she updated me that now she is sending sons to a private school (which is a big deal in India) and her husband is working less hours because there is another source of income in their family. This made me realize how small “Act of kindness” can change a family's well being.
- Anjali Naidu