Social Sciences and Humanity Studies Academic Blog

A rupee Note ? Make Difference !!

Posted in Uncategorized by Shekhar on June 27, 2008

compulsion or freedom ?

It wasn’t the first time I had to shut my mouth and suppress the anger in the bus ride. Due to jam and traffics problem it is not new for a bus r

ider to get stacked for half an hour on the road. Last time what happened, I was asleep in the bus and somebody wake up me moving my legs. An 11 year girl with painful, watery eyes was pledging “please give me a rupee” (though she was not so bad dressed anyway). Most of the passengers were staring at me and even laughing at my pity condition. I was in dilemma whether to stare back at them or to understand the high expectation of that girl with me that I will take out my money bag and give her what she wanted. I could hear and sense others whispering with their fingers pointing sometime at me and sometime at the girl. Neither could I scold an 11 year begging girl nor could I announce loudly inside bus, “I have not a rupee note”. To cope up with the very moment I opened side pocket of my college bag where I often keep my dollars. Restraining my unwillingness to do, I put one rupee dollar at her hand and she went with away with a light smile. For a moment I boast myself for giving a rupee note to a helpless girl. Though I knew it would encourage her to do that repeatedly and I invited other in the queue to be the next scapegoat, but what else could I do? Was I a fool to give the girl money for no reason? For a moment I questioned myself what could just a rupee note make a difference to her life?

It was not more than half an hour; I had to invite a thin, Indian looking woman with her head covered by her old, torn sari in front of me as unexpected guest for a moment. She was carrying a well laminated letter in her hand (it was the photocopy version). For a moment I thought it was some kind of Public notice but after I read first 2-3 lines, it was clear that the letter was really a great “public notice”(there was a signature messed up from top to bottom) asking to donate not less than Rs 5 to the women for no specific reason. I also determined that I was not going to get fooled this time. Often I see others putting aside such awkward moment by lying that they have no change. I did it too. What other alternative could I have?

What I find in the present trend is that with the hike in the price of fuel and other domestic commodities there is a remarkable increase in number of people like the 11 year girl and the Indian look women emotionally bargaining for a rupee note with the passengers like me. Who is going to take responsibility of such people who ask money as if they have been authorized by government to dwhat to Do ?o so?

Once my English teacher asked me about my future aim during childhood days and I had answered to help poor and destitute. I no longer feel proud of that answer. Rather I feel quite ironical to step behind giving just a rupee note to a helpless girl. A rupee note might not make so much difference to the life of that 11 year girl but by not giving; it creats controversy over my commitment in life.

Shekhar KC

Kathmandu University

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