“Born into a middle-class family, especially to an extremely generous father took me through a roller coaster of a journey, growing up. With his intentions at the right place, he never hesitated to help anyone in need- even if it meant rummaging through our household’s finances.
But life rarely ever favours good people, and I saw my father’s kindness being taken advantage of, countless times. All the friends he’d lent surety signatures for, fled away soon after and we had lenders flocking our doors constantly, threatening us in condescending tones. What added further to the chaos was his fluctuating ideas on spirituality, which spurred a ton of fights within the family itself.
Nevertheless, amidst all the downfalls, if there was one thing I realized then, it was to put my head down and focus on my studies. Education seemed like my only way out of the vicious cycle of debt and I knew that with financial independence, I would also be able to take forward his idea of social service to a lot more people.
And that goal manifested itself most aggressively, especially after my dad’s demise this April. With an unexpected cardiac arrest taking his life, I finally realized the depth of his service and all the lives he had impacted. Having seen only creditors line up in front of him, for the first time I witnessed crowds of people celebrating what a great man he was! Even the technicians at the hospital, whom I hadn’t met during my father’s treatment, broke down upon hearing the news of his passing.
That was probably the first time that his motto of ‘Earn people, not money’ made sense to me. So with that newfound awareness, I started fully dedicating my time towards COVID patients who were going through an incredibly tough time, through the Chennai helpline group. I took up every single request that came my way, and started answering calls all through the day. I did it purley out of the will to help, but seeing the number of people I was impacting, a fellow volunteer featured me in local online newspapers for my contribution as the most active member. The unexpected act was indeed a huge encouragement, but all it could remind me of was my father. I’m sure he would’ve been proud, seeing his daughter lending a helping hand, at a time when the country needed it the most!”