Neerja Rai, citizen next door

“She’s my mother. My first teacher, who showed me what it is to practice compassion and empathy towards fellow citizens. When I was a kid, I saw her gathering all the under privileged children in and around our colony and seating them in our drawing room with a copy and pencil each. At the far end was situated a portable black board and a chair where she sat teaching those kids and narrating interesting stories to them. I have often seen her distress over a scantily clad rickshaw-wala pulling away in the biting cold. I have seen her hire that very rickshaw to the market and purchase him some woolens and shoes. I have often seen her donate anonymously towards educating an under privileged kid, treatment of cancer patients, education funds for the deaf, mute and blind. She is the reason I have imbibed some sense of humanity and servitude towards the society. She is the inspiration behind my dream of getting into the civil service and working towards the betterment of the society, the women and children, in particular. Her benevolence has propelled me to think of ways in to contribute, in whichever way I can, towards nation-building and towards making this world a better place. She continues to be an inspiration for me and a ray of hope for many.”

Submitted by daughter, Divya Rai.

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