After a long telephonic conversation about Akshaya Patra, Rajeev (Assistant Manager – Tele Collection) managed to get an appointment from Mrs. Reddy (name changed) a Headmistress of a Primary school. Rajeev was trying to schedule the appointment in the second half of the day as the place was quite far away, but she told in an uncompromising voice “be in my office sharp at 9 o’ clock.”
Next morning Rajeev reached school 10 minutes before time and met the donor (Mrs. Reddy). She looked very stern and strict and reminded him of his old school days. Rajeev wondered why the entire Headmistress clan looks alike. Why do all of them wear the same grave faces?
The clock ticked 9 and Mrs. Reddy walked in the room. She took Rajeev to the prayer hall where a few hundred students were standing in rows with their hands folded for prayer. A photo frame caught Rajeev’s attention…the picture was of a young man. After the prayer Mrs. Reddy walked up to the photograph and put a garland around it. She then distributed sweets among the students and gave one to Rajeev too. Rajeev asked her what was the occasion and she said with a smile – “today is my son’s birthday”. Rajeev was glad to see her smiling for the first time and asked her to convey his best wishes to her son. She looked at Rajeev and replied back saying “he is no more with us. He was my only son and was an orthopedic doctor by profession. He expired 6 months after he got married leaving behind his beautiful wife and his old mom. Me and my daughter in law wanted to do something special on his birthday and decided to feed the underprivileged children through a genuine organization. We were happy to find Akshaya Patra. ” Telling this she took out her cheque book and signed a cheque of rupees six thousand and handed it over to Rajeev. Rajeev was so moved that he could not help himself from touching her feet and left the school without saying anything.
There are thousands of people like Mrs. Reddy who have lost many things in life but are still optimistic about the future. They still believe that we can bring about change and make this planet a better place to live in. Akshaya Patra salutes such people with Great Spirit and moves ahead to reach out to 5 million children by 2020.