Five days back, on my way back after the open-mic night at Bandra, I met Professor Sandeep Desai on the train. He is a chief architect of Shloka Missionaries, a charitable trust for educating poor children from the interiors of Maharashtra. He walked into the first-class compartment and had started a speech on “Vidya Daan,” the latest project of Shloka Missionaries, through which he collects money from willing commuters on the train and distributes it.
At first, I thought it was just another guy trying to sell a product and didn’t take my eyes of the book that I was reading. But he sounded earnest and sincere and soon he had the attention of all the passengers in the compartment. He first did a speech in fluent English and went on to display laminated copies of various articles that have come up in newspapers and magazines about the charitable trust. I was moved by the man’s commitment and devotion to charity. He then went on to give a repetition of the speech in Hindi.
At the end of his speech, I couldn’t help but donate the last 100 Rs. note that I had with me to his charity. I got his “card” — well, it’s not much of a card because he can’t afford high-quality card paper for distributing the details. So, it was just a cut-out of a printout — and went through it. Two days before, I had sent him an SMS indicating my desire to help in anyway as a musician. I haven’t gotten a response to that yet. Today, at work I was able to go through the website and I was moved again. Hence, I decided to blog about it.
I urge everyone to give in a couple of minutes of their time and go through the website. If you are as moved as me, please get in touch with Sholka/Prof. Desai and contribute whatever you can. You never know, you might run into him in the train some day!