A few years ago, while driving to my place, I saw a tree fell on a car—damaging the vehicle with four people trapped inside. The passers-by came together and pulled the victims out without any official intervention. The wounded were rushed to the nearby hospital in an auto-rickshaw. It occurred to me that there was nobody to explain to the doctor what had happened to them. So, I went along and completed the initial formalities at the hospital.
I got the contact details of a relative of one of the victims and called her up. The lady on the other side, daughter of one of the wounded persons, begged me to stay with her father in the hospital till she arrived. When she came, she thanked me and said that I was God to her since I was there for her father. But I had done the bare minimum I could for anyone. It pushed me to think that God, himself, will never come to save you; instead, he will send a messenger who will help you to get through the situation.
I Wanted To Bridge The Gap Between The Police And People
In 2015 after the devastating floods in Chennai, I wanted to make a difference and help people. I started looking out for volunteers, and to my surprise, 2000 people came forward to help. Witnessing so many people coming forward to help the needy was such an inspiration for me.
I was complimented for this by the then Chief Justice of Madras High Court. I had many options to work on, but I did not know where to begin from. I could choose to plant trees to stabilise the environment, but I firmly believe that it should not be on one person. It is each one's responsibility to plant at least seven trees in their lives. During that time, several reports in the media about children being put to begging and molestation started making headlines. The problem was that there is a gap between the authorities and the people. The victims and their families are scared of approaching the police for fear of being ill-treated. I wanted to bridge that gap.
I was crossing a traffic signal one day when I saw a boy begging for alms, and a woman was accompanying him. When I tried to take a picture of the boy, she stopped me from taking his picture. Immediately a man came and asked what was going on, and she explained to him that I was trying to take a picture. The man also denied it, saying that his mother will have an issue with it. I realised that the boy was forced into this, and I approached the police officials to report it. Eventually, it turned out that the boy was indeed forced into begging. There have been so many times I have received threat calls asking me to stop my work. Once or twice, people in groups surrounded me and threatened me to stop pursuing such activities. Initially, I would start shivering, but eventually, I realised that I have to face challenges for the work I had chosen.
I chose this because it is my passion. Seven years ago, I was not doing anything more than managing my own house. I was a homemaker; today, I have a purpose. If it were not for my family's support, I would not have managed both work and home. My family keeps checking on me whenever I am involved in a case at the court or getting late at night. They are always looking out for me. I have to reach out to as many people as possible and bridge the divide in society. When I go to sleep at night, I feel that I have made a difference in society.
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