"So out of Rs 20,000 how much have you managed to collect?” asked Priya. Astonished Dida looked up and asked, “How did you know about the operation and the exact amount that I have to collect?
Next day at office Priya narrated Papad Dida's story and all of us agreed to contribute.
It is my humble appeal to all if you can help a lady who refuses to beg and stands strong in the face of all adversities.
Most of the days, I generally take the short route to reach the nearby metro station after office. But last evening, my colleagues urged me to accompany them on a new, longer route to reach the same station. When we reached the Exide More, just opposite the Haldiram’s sweet shop, on the other foot of the road; I noticed an old lady selling a variety of papads. Just calling her old does not appropriately describe her age. The burden of life that she has been carrying so long has bent her spine to such an extent that even when she walks in a straight upright manner, it looks like she is still carrying the invisible load. Her face, pale, wrinkles running around each and every inch of it, yet she greets everybody with a smile. She is Shila Ghosh or better known as “Papad Dida”.
One of my colleagues, Priya, who is a regular customer of ‘Papad Dida’ (as she is often addressed ) briefed me about her. Shila Ghosh is about 80 years of age. She has lost her son to fate. Her grandson and his wife have left them, gave up all contacts with them and refused to take any responsibility. Dida, therefore, supports herself and her widow daughter-in-law and grandchild solely. Moved by her plight, many customers offered to help her financially but Dida refused to such help. She offers them snacks in return for the help offered.
Recently her daughter-in-law has been diagnosed with a health issue and needs to be operated. The operation would cost about twenty thousand rupees. Yes, I could have written the amount as Rs 20,000. But to Papad Dida, the figure is as large as written in words. This fact she had shared with one of her customers, who then in an effort to help Dida posted it on social media. It had gone viral.
Our conversation with Dida
My colleague then dragged me across the street to purchase papads. We were greeted with the same generosity as I have described early. After purchasing her requirements, Priya asked, “Dida how is your bou-maa (daughter-in-law)? Heard that her ear needs to be operated?” Papad Dida answered, “Yes that is true. Doctor said that the ear needs an immediate operation. “So out of Rs 20,000 how much have you managed to collect?” asked Priya. Astonished Dida looked up and asked, “How did you know about the operation and the exact amount that I have to collect? So far I’ve been able to collect around Rs 10,000. I can’t understand how so many people have come to my help.” Priya replied, “Dida this mobile phone that you see in our hands is a magical tool. It lets us know the feelings of a person sitting very far.” Dida, hearing this, was so happy that she wept and smiled simultaneously. Wiping her tears she asked, “Would I be able to collect the rest within the due date?” Priya replied, “Have faith Dida”. Next day at office Priya narrated Papad Dida’s (Shila Ghosh) story and all of us agreed to contribute.
My appeal to help
My little effort to help her is through this article. It is my humble appeal to all if you can help a lady who refuses to beg and stands strong in the face of all adversities. Please do help. You may verify the fact for yourselves and contribute directly. You’ll find her (Shila Ghosh) sitting with her papads opposite Haldiram’s, near Exide More, Rabindra Sadan metro between 5.30pm – 7.30pm.
A small help would mean a lot to her. This incident is a true picture of the fact that the social media is not just for posing with our near and dear ones, showing support to our favourite team or criticizing any wrongs. A little effort to spread awareness on someone’s part may bring joy to someone and resurrect their faith in the Almighty and the mankind. A belief that they are not alone in times of despair. Let us make this world a better place to live.
-By Pallavi Banik