Amidst the nationwide lockdown that was imposed in the wake of the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak, a 13-year-old girl Nethra from Madurai reportedly convinced her parents to utilise ₹5,00,000, which was initially saved for her marriage and higher education, to help the migrant workers. Her fascinating story of service before self has earned her praise from India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the chance to become UN Goodwill Ambassador for the poor.
Nethra’s father Mohan (47) hails from Melamadai in Tamil Nadu and runs a saloon in Madurai. As per reports, his hard-earned money was taken away by a group of people 7 years ago. Mohan was thus stranded with no savings. Fast forward to 2020, he had been able to save a part of his monthly earnings for his daughter’s higher study and marriage. Nethra who now studies in Class 9 aspires to become an IAS officer in the future.
Mohan exhausts his entire savings during lockdown
The plight of migrant workers, amidst the lockdown, deeply affected her. She convinced her parents to donate the entire savings to serve the daily wage labourers. Despite the harrowing experience of losing their savings 7 years ago, Mohan took it upon himself to distribute grocery and essential items to the poor. “We have spent nearly 5 lakhs, the money we saved for my daughter’s marriage and studies,” Mohan revealed.
After the family began helping the needy during the lockdown, more and more people began seeking for help. Mohan did not shy away for utilising his entire savings. He believes that he can earn back the amount from his customers with God’s grace. He has promised to even give away his wife’s jewelry if such a need arises. His goodwill gesture was acknowledged and applauded by the Prime Mi Minister himself in his radio programme, Maan ki Baat, on May 31.
Following this, media, politicians, and local leaders had visited his house. Impressed by the determination of the family to help the poor and needy at a time of a humanitarian crisis, Ramakrishna Matha (Trichy) has decided to bear the expense of Nethra’s financial studies.
United Nations acknowledges gesture
Nethra was contacted by a representative from the United Nations Association for Development and Peace (UNADAP) and asked whether she would be willing to become the goodwill ambassador for the poor. Overwhelmed by this recognition, she accepted the offer. UNDAP has announced a scholarship of ₹1,00,000. Reportedly, the UN goodwill ambassadors raise funds, generate awareness, and get a chance to speak at conferences in New York and Geneva.