An air of expectancy was palpable in Magpara School’s anganwadi on Tuesday when Khimjibhai Prajapati walked in on his crutches. Parents of 10 little girls from poor families, who were invited at the centre, thought as per his three-year-old practice, Prajapati would donate either books or school uniforms.
But their jaws dropped in disbelief when this 68-year-old beggar, famed for donating alms to encourage girls’ education, brought out 10 small jewellery boxes containing gold earrings.
Prajapati presented each of the 10 girls with a pair of gold earrings, all purchased from the money he received by begging outside temples in Mehsana.
“We struggle to meet monthly expenses. We never even dreamt of getting gold,” said Kumud Luhariya, seeing the twinkle in the eyes of her three-year-old daughter Bhumi after getting the earrings.
After Prajapati expressed his wish to gift the girls gold earrings, the anganwadi chose 10 girls who came from extremely poor families. The girls were children of daily wage labourers and blacksmiths who live in slums of Mehsana town.
“Girls need to be encouraged to study. They must be come self-reliant and stand on their feet. The situation in Mehsana is not good. There are very less girls compared to boys and this is the reason why I try to encourage them with such incentives,” Prajapati told TOI.
Sheetal Sathwara, who runs the anganwadi centre, said, “Leave alone a beggar, I have never come across any poor person donating gold for girls in my entire life.”
Deepak Shah, a gold jeweller, who gave the gold earrings at a discounted rate to Khimjibhai, said, “These were small earrings, slightly bigger than a nose stud. The total cost came up to Rs 13,000. But after I found that Khimjibhai wanted to present the earrings to poor girls, I decided to give him a discount of Rs 3,000.”
In the last 13 years, Khimjibhai has spent Rs 80,000 for various causes like buying books, school uniform and paying fees of poor girls. He has donated for girls of 12 primary schools, including Disha Day School for the disabled.
After spending all the money for the earrings, Prajapati was all set for another round of begging. But a lady teacher, who was transferred from a government school on Tuesday, saved his day by giving him Rs 500 as Tuesday was her last day in Mehsana town.
via – indiatimes