Akshaya Patra in Gujarat: Sometimes, a beautiful face hides the grief behind it with great knack. Such is the story of Sheetal Chawla. Sheetal loves to draw Mehendi on others’ hands and is also fond of dancing. However, there is a gloomy story behind that smile due to an unforeseen life event that Sheetal has to go through during her tender age.
Two years ago her father suffered from high BP and had a mild heart attack. With some hope to help her husband recover and to support her family, Bharati Behn- Sheetal’s mother began to work as domestic help in a few houses.
“We could not afford the surgery and hence we were forced to treat my husband with medicines,” says Bharati Behn. After suffering for two months, Sheetal’s father passed away in March, 2011 which was also the first day of her annual exam. Due to this unfortunate event, Sheetal was unable to take her exams and hence she lost a year. This eventually led her to repeat class VII at Pragati Vidyalaya, Bhayli. Sheetal has deep regrets for the same, and this is the reason for her grief.
Bharati Behn is the only earning member in the family now. With her little income, she manages to educate both her children. Sheetal’s brother, Piyush who is studying in the X standard, aims to do his ITI Diploma. Bharati Behn leaves for work by 6 a.m. and hence Sheetal and her brother’s breakfast is just a glass of milk.
Sheetal looks forward to having the delicious meal provided by Akshaya Patra which is served before noon during day school from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sheetal says, “Akshaya Patra mid day meal is a boon to families like ours, where it is difficult to have such a nutritious hot meal every day”. She further extends a special thanks to all the ‘Bhais’ (brothers) and Behns (sisters) of Akshaya Patra for their continued efforts and support. Feed the Children today!!!