Chubby cheeks, mole on chin; Sparkling eyes, dreams within,
Short hair, confident glare; Smile so true, bubbly too,
Savita Verma, Is that you? “Yes, Yes, Yes.”
I visited Savita’s place in April this year. Although she’d always narrate to me her exciting stories of college and hostel life over phone, but when I met her she had so much more to tell me. Her laughter did most of the talking and I couldn’t be happier.
I had taught and mentored a lot of kids under Project Umang, but Savita was different. She had dreams & aspirations, and just the right determination to pursue them. And the fact that now she had stepped out of home for all the right reasons made me feel so glad.
About a month later, one evening, her mother called me up to break the news that Savita’s father had abandoned the family and had left for Mumbai. Savita was obviously shattered. A week later I got a call from her, “Didi I plan to drop-out of the college. I want to support my mother in this time of adversity.” I was shocked. I tried telling her that it wasn’t the right thing to do, but she wouldn’t listen. It took me another week to convince her why she should not drop-out.
Next, her fees for college tution and computer course had to be arranged. I made a list of the people who’d contribute for her education. Everything seemed pretty easy by end of June, when the government hostel authorities decided to keep only the 1st year girls.
The total sum needed for 2 years of her graduate education was now huge. I didn’t know what to do. The thought of giving up struck me at one moment, but the very next moment I knew that was never going to happen. I had promised her I will do whatever it takes to arrange for her fees and that she didn’t have to worry about it.
But the main challenge was conveying her story in an impactful way, so that people would understand the genuinity and be willing to contribute. “A video will be able to serve the purpose”, I said to myself.
What next? We shot in July when Savita visited Gurgaon in July.
A loud shoutout to 3 awesome heroes whose help made this video happen!
Devyani Choudhary for composing the beautiful script !
Gunvarun Singh for sharing inputs & reviewing ideas at all times !
Aamir Fahim for shooting and editing the amazing video !
Savita’s college began in August. The 1st installment of her tution fees and August month’s hostel rent had to payed immediately. A friend’s contribution helped Savita with that even before the fundraiser campaign started. Well,the “friend” wishes to maintain anonymity 🙂
Finally on August 25, the fundraising campaign was live. I was overwhelmed by the response. People came forward and took responsibility and the campaign met it’s 100% on 29th August (yeah, that’s right in only 5 days) It’s not any one person who should be thanked for this, it’s an endless list of amazing people.
Well there’s another 2 years to go, till Savita completes her graduation.
But atleast now, we both (Savita and I) know that we have crossed our 1st milestone.
P.S. “Thank you everyone, thank you for making this happen 🙂 “, says the wind, not me 😀