munna's family or life in a thousand rupees


Many of us will sit down tomorrow night to usher 2006. There will be lights, and warmth and food and music.. no matter how chilly the night.

In the same city Munna's little family will sit in the dark, the only light being that of an oil lamp... Munna is 9 and suffers from mental retardation. He has been at project why for a few weeks. He has three younger siblings and brave parents who came to the city, floods having washed away the little land they had. the father earns the princely sum of 1000/rs, and the family lives on that.

The little family juggles with the sum to make both ends meet, so they have decided not to get an electric connection, and when vicky 3 and shakuntala 1 are hungry, the mother breastfeeds them.. Sapna goes to school, and Munna and Vicky come to pwhy. The children have barely any warn clothes, and the mother has none. Despite his limited capacities, Munna is very much the elder brother and in his own endearing way watches over little Vicky and helps his mother as best he can.

We were moved by the quiet dignity we saw in the face of such adversity. There were no complaints, no soliciting for help, on the contrary when ve visited them, we were offered food and tea.. the rules of hospitality were impeccable.

As we left munna's home many questions came to our mind: how did anyone live in a thousand rupees? How could any employer give a thousand rupees for a day's work - Munna's father beats iron for a living -? and above all how could we help them ...