Eight-year old Mriganka had been saving up for over three years to buy the complete set of Harry Potter books, but he decided to empty his little blue bag for a community kitchen instead.
The Class III boy was reading a book sitting in the balcony of his home at Habra in North 24-Parganas when he saw a group of students distributing dry food among the distressed.
“Why are so many people standing in a queue for food?” he asked his father Manoj Das, an accountant in Burrabazar.
Mriganka’s father explained to him how many had been robbed of their livelihood during the lockdown. “He said he wanted to give his savings to the aunty across the lane,” Manoj said.
When Mriganka handed over the blue cotton bag with all his savings to volunteers running a community kitchen to feed the poor, they were surprised.
“He just told me ‘I have come to give you this’, handed me the bag and sprinted away,” said Anindita Dutta, a former student of Presidency University who is associated with the drive. “Later, his father told me that the boy had donated his savings of three years to help our cause. He thought many are still unfed and wanted to help through our initiative.”
Anindita, who completed her master’s from Presidency last year, opened the bag to find a collection of coins and a few crumpled notes that added up to around Rs 500.
Quarantined Student-Youth Network — the group of present and former students of Presidency University and other institutions — have been feeding the poor in pockets of North 24-Parganas. But donations have started drying up because of an unprecedented slump in business.
“All is not lost,” said Anindita, who lives across the lane from Mriganka’s home in in Naba Palli off Jessore Road in Habra. “It has given us a new lease of life. If he can go the extra mile, why can’t we?”
Arkopal Dutta, a batch mate of Anindita, said: “We hope the story of Mriganka would inspire more to step forward.”
Source: The Telegraph