Say Yes

Sunita Giri 1:41 AM |



Sometime around 2006 or 2007 I had gone to visit  Madam S  at her residence, which was a courtesy visit and  I did occasionally. When I entered her TV room, her favorite spot in her home, there was a woman, already sitting  on the long floor mattress. The woman was  mother of Binita trying her best to please Madam S, so that she will reconsider to send her daughter, to nursing college.

Binita was not very bright student, in fact, she was a bit lazier than the average student. Maybe for that very reason, Madam S was not willing to reconsider to take her back in the project. Then, she was chief in charge, here of the education project; which is started by Bernhard Rutz, a Swiss by nationality since 1989. This project provides opportunities to underprivileged children, to get better education in school and college. Binita was in the project for long but recently her behaviour had been changed specially, towards her study and her result was not so good, to give her another shot at nursing college. Nursing colleges are expensive in terms of admission fees, compared to other colleges to get in and at times its bit hard also to get in as there is huge demand for nurses in foreign countries. perhaps for that very reason, people here are also seeing money in this colleges. It also need good marks on report card.

How Binita was on her study was one thing, but for this mother, all she knew was, if she could please this lady; her daughter’s future will be secured with better career, if only she tried little hard to please madam S.

Binita’s mother was seating on the floor mattress, on my left side and madam S was on the small bed-cum-sofa in front of TV on my right side. I was in between them alongside madam. So, not surprisingly, I was mostly watching them doing all the talks. It was very obvious that, Madam S was agitated and irritated while she was talking with this mother. She found her deceiving and untruthful, when it came to provide her facts, which she sure needed to know, especially about her financial conditions.  

The woman was a vegetable seller nearby her home as well as madam S, at Old Baneshwor. Occasionally, this women used to give some vegetable to Madam S, but this only fueled her anger and she said to her, “ do not give me any vegetables, if you do, I am going to throw it on the street”. I found this line so amusing and confusing at the same time but  before I dared to bring that line of laughter in my eyes or even on my face, I turned towards the desperate mother to see her reaction on this statement. To her this was not funny at all, so I did not dare smile in front of her. Honestly speaking, she was kind of begging her to give her daughter, one more chance to go to nursing college.

Here I learned that, this mother of three, has a daughter and two more boys and one of her boy was drug addict, lives her life by selling vegetables at vegetable market. No wonder, money was always tight to meet her daily needs. Therefore, she was trying her level best to please Madam S to get her only daughter to college; if only she melted to say yes.

What I was not getting clearly, while listening these two; was one was literally begging and needed sympathy and another was visible irritated and angry with all her plea. Plea of a desperate mother seem to be falling on deaf ear or the dead person. I just could not get it at all, when this desperate mother was begging for better future of her daughter does Madam S, has to be that agitated ? Even if she thinks, this mother is lying and deceiving to her.  What she has to lose personally in all this, to to give her worst mood to this desperate mother ? The money she uses is all charity money raised by somebody else to help the needy ones and she is just a social worker, for God’s Shake.

But this pungent reality is something, so hard for me to shake my head off; even after all these years I have witnessed this scene. She does not have to give anything for her from her own purse, to this mother to be so irritated and agitated like this, does she ?

It is understandable, that she has to deal with this kind of request, almost regularly in her life, but that is the part of her life as a social worker. But the reality kept me nagging; is that reaction normal ?  What she will lose, if she listens a desperate mother or indulges her heartbreaking request once ? What will happen, if she says ‘yes’.

This is one word, she has to say for herself not for others, not for us. Say yes madam, you will not lose anything, from your personal treasure; to give them hard reaction like that.


1 comment:

Sumedh Sharma said...

Well! That's the case with urban Nepalese nowadays they don't seem to accept that life in rural and poor part of Nepal is not easy and help in any form is more than a miracle. Coincidentally, I too live at Old Baneshowr. We have lots of vegetable seller, one whom i asked said to earn 10000 per month at most in that case its tough to teach her daughter at a nursing college. Even if the student is weak at studies, it maybe due to poor base in schooling perspective due to financial reasons!

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