Anjali Kumar - 23
AUG. 11, 2020
Incident 1: Casteism It was Sai’s first day at school. A strict looking teacher stepped into the class and all the students greeted him. Sai remembered the teacher from the time he had seen him with the principal during his admission. The principal had been listening intently to his parents.. His classmates told him that he was a social science teacher. The teacher was talking about a chapter that dealt with steps taken by the Government to eradicate the caste system. While students were discussing this lesson, the teacher quickly pointed out a boy and said that people like him are the ones who usually undergo caste discrimination. Sai became aware of the fact that he was being pointed out and told something. It didn't take much time for him to realize that it was about his caste but it was not a new thing to him. It had become a part of his daily routine to listen about the Dos and Don'ts of his caste. I was also one of his classmates, so I know how fluently he ignored the teacher's taunt. Once I asked him how he felt about all this nuisance, and he told me his story. He had shifted his school for various reasons; he was made to sit on the floor and treated rudely by teachers despite repeated pleadings from his parents. He loved to study and people at school discriminated against him & deprived him of basic human bonding. His mind wandered to think about his humble father who was a doctor in their village. He had seen instances where people even refuse to enter a doctor's home even during emergencies. He told me one particular instance where one of his father's colleagues came inside their house and commented openly that it was too good and hygienic to be the house of a person belonging to that caste. His mind went on and on to think about many such incidents which reminded him of the discrimination his entire family was facing in a society where Government has to take a call to preach basic humanity. He was pulled back to present by the same teacher asking him when they saw us talking, "Sai, which caste do you exactly belong to?" And the teacher gestured to me to kind of don't talk to him. That was the day when he proved once again that casteism is still there in our roots. I took Sai with me and went to the principal's office. Thankfully, our principal was very nice. I told him about all that happened and asked him to take action against that teacher so that no one in the future would dare to insult any person based on their caste, creed, or color. That was my proud moment. From that moment, I and Sai became best friends.
Incident 2: Feeding the Hungry One day when I was around 7-8 years old, it was my birthday so I had gone to a neighborhood temple and as usual, there were many beggars sitting and asking for money from every person passing by. I always used to grant some of them a few pennies whenever I cross by. So that day I saw a little girl crying, I guess out of hunger, and asking her mother(maybe) for food. So I went to them and gave her 10 rupees and told her to go get something to eat. But the lady with her took the money from her and kept it in her small bag.. I got very upset to see the girl crying continuously and asked my mother to give her something to eat. Then my mother bought a packet of biscuits and gave her. In a span of a moment, those hopeless eyes were glittering in joy and without looking here and there she started eating those like she was hungry for ages. After that incident, I usually prefer to offer food or other stuff rather than giving money to the people who ask for money in the name of hunger. I feel it's just a matter of your tiny gesture of kindness that can bring happiness to you and others.