Gratitude is riches’, ‘be grateful with what you have ‘, is what I keep telling my children. We often fulfil our kids’ demands and they don’t realize the importance of resources. So, a couple of years back, I took my elder son along to one of the schools in my hometown, where one of the teachers, Ms. Gayatri, had started a social cause of teaching the underprivileged. 

We both used to teach in a private school, nevertheless, she was my senior and a very humble human being. Years later, she joined a government primary school, where she persuaded the children from poor families to join the school and study instead of begging and rag picking. It wasn’t an easy job to convince the parents, who thought their earning hands would be a loss for the families of those kids who went to school. Yet, she overcame the challenge. Apart from these children, there were also a lot who didn’t have any valid document to prove that they were living below the poverty line. So, she started teaching them too at her own expense. Not only academics, but she also takes care of their creative and physical development too. I was so impressed by her initiative that I donated a few storybooks for her library. I was touched by the love and respect that I got in her school by the little curious minds. I showed my son that even with little resources they were so happy and full of enthusiasm to learn. 

This year too, more than a week back, I was in my hometown and it was our younger son’s 5th birthday. To mark the occasion, we decided to gift some stationery to those children. Since the schools have been closed due to the pandemic, Gayatri Ma’am goes to their colony to teach them, using makeshift classrooms. Gathering all the stationery stuff in bags, I handed them to ma’am, who thanked me immensely. I told her that instead of thanking me, I should thank her for all her efforts and good deeds. 

One night, a couple of days back, I picked up my phone to check the sudden message beeps one after the other. It was Gayatri Ma’am.  As I opened my WhatsApp, I was overwhelmed to see the pictures and videos of the children with the stationary items I had given.  And that was not all. The children had sung birthday songs for my son and even made beautiful birthday cards. Ma’am told me that the kids were too happy with the stuff they got and it was visible in the photographs. Seeing their ear-to-ear smiles and eyes gleaming with joy, my eyes were moist. I couldn’t believe myself that with just a handful of stuff the children got, could make them so happy.

It was indeed an emotional moment for me and it also made me realize that our little steps can truly do wonders for someone. This was a moment and a small step that truly filled my heart with so much joy. Let’s explore and express as we began this new week writing on those small little things that fill our hearts with joy.