Saturday, 14 June 2014

The poor are not poor ...

The only story I carry from my village is this ... people are poor, but that is the secondary quality. The primary quality is their goodness, generosity ... This is the only truth I have learnt in my years  as a neighbour and friend to the 'poorest'  people.

Someone was asked by another person what was special about the pickle made by Varalu that we were trying to sell, " ... Nothing very special. They are made by a poor woman who is trying to keep her family afloat with meagre income. If you need some, let me know."

Oh, but it is special. It is made with much love and care. And when I tell Varalu and Annapurna that people appreciate their pickles, they beam down the phone, and the room lights up here 200km away. We buy it because the beams light up our lives. And the pickles, very tasty pickles, jazz up our meals.

And Varalu is not "a poor woman who is trying to keep her family afloat with meagre income" ! She is a generous soul, who despite being abandoned by husband, and having to bring up three tiny children, has equal concern for every other disadvantaged child in the village. She gives time and love and mentoring to all in need. Yes, she has to earn to bring up these children, and is willing to work hard on anything we can suggest she does. And she's hardly a woman, more a child - maybe 22 years.

...if we buy what the poor make, we need to remember this. We are doing ourselves a favour, by doing what we ought to do ... that is all. The poor have given us a chance to serve, and we are eternally indebted to them for that.

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