This is one of many stories from a wide variety of sources and a multitude of forms contributed by people upon request for my 70th birthday. They will be posted without editing, with the attribution that was with them. I will be posting these regularly until they run out next year sometime: if you have others to add, please send them to me.
The story I want to share is actually from Mumbai. It is from my last visit 2 years ago.
When I visit Mumbai, I stay with a close friend of mine in her apartment in Juhu. As is customary in India, the families stay together. In this instance, the building is made up of three floors and each floor is a separate apartment housing the 3 brothers’ families.
One morning I was leaving fairly early for an appointment and I noticed several children entering the building. They all took off their slippers and put on a pair that was laid out for them at the bottom of the stairs.
I was curious as to who these children were and why they had to change their slippers to go upstairs.
Upon enquiring, I found out that an elderly aunt who lived upstairs had taken it upon herself to teach children from the slums how to read and write. This would then allow them to secure better paying jobs in shops etc.
She taught children from the ages of 6 to 15 from 7am to 10am as then they had to go to work. She expected nothing in return from them. Apparently she had been doing this for the past 5 years and continues to do this to this day.
Children have come back to tell her of how their lives have improved because of her help. It was amazing to me how one person could touch so many lives.