You know dear, there used to be a time in my life where I would just not care about earning money. I did not want to earn money as I used to think that it is not money which brings happiness but love. A lady in a stock trading training presentation said that people are shy about earning money; they feel that it is evil to earn a lot of money – it actually was true for me. I actually was somebody who used to feel that earning lot of money changes people and they become unsocial. Their perspective towards life change, therefore their priorities. That was the reason I joined the NGO for street kids as a teacher because I thought earning money and giving them money is not going to help – rather teaching them and interacting with them is going to.
Those days while I was teaching them, I was also lecturing at St. Stephen’s. I would wear very simple clothes when I would go to teach – a cotton kurti with churidaar, a pair of chappals and a little hand bag, that’s it. No ostentation. I was getting Government scholarship for PhD and some money from Stephen’s teaching, and that was more than enough for me to live an adequate life.
Dear, I believed that teaching is the best job to do as you are enlightening people with your knowledge. It’s a noble job. While I was teaching the SBT kids, I realised that I was helping them dream. Can you imagine such a big responsibility that is? It can hurt them so much if I showed them dreams they will not be able to achieve, so I had to be very careful in everything I said. They shared with me how they ran away from their families. I felt like crying. They were so talented but with no resources to do anything with their talent. It was summers when I was teaching them, and the room where I would teach them hardly had one fan. It used to be hot. I used to enjoy eating a lot of mangoes during summers and one day I felt like buying lots of mangoes for everybody at SBT. That was the first time when I realised that I was not earning enough to be able to do so freely. I had to think twice before I could do something like this on my own.
This is the point where the enlightenment came to me that if I have the opportunities and the talent to earn money, I should do that. Not everybody gets such opportunities just like those kids. And this way I will be able to help them achieve their dreams and not just give them some knowledge about some examination subject. That day I told myself that earning money is not a bad thing. Those who are earning money are creating wealth in the economy which in turn helps everybody.
Today when I look back, I feel I have come a long way. The person I am today, I was not so a few years back. I don’t know if this transition is for my own good or bad, but I can definitely see that it will help me achieve the goal of helping those kids better this way than merely teaching Mathematics to five Class-X students at the shelter home in a big hot room with one fan. My charity here acts as Friends of SBT and helps raise funds and awareness for various projects that SBT undertakes to facilitate the kids in getting closer to their dreams in whatever way possible.
Every little that we do really helps.