By Venita Coelho
My mother , Marie Coelho, who is 71 years old, and my aunt, Caroline Smart, who is 74, have just done an amazing thing which I would like to share with you.
Last year a friend of ours who works with education opportunities in rural India returned from Chattisgarh with a story that broke my heart. Sujata told us that the rich child in school was the one who had an empty cement gunny bag. Because he had something to sit on while everyone else sat on the cold floor. The story moved me to tears, but it moved the two Nani’s to action.
They got friends to sponsor wool. ( Rs 350 got you one kilo and you could choose the colour). Then they set about knitting. All through the monsoons, in every spare moment, they knit. The cats helped out by chasing the balls of wool around the house. My daughter, Kaira, helped roll the skiens into balls. And we waylaid all guests to become part of the project.
They made 72 vests ( neatly marked for sizes) and 52 caps.
Just today we packed those up so that Sujata from Bookworm could take them off to be distributed to children who struggle to attend school in extremely bad conditions.
The Nani’s are very proud of their effort.
And so am I.
Thank you also to all the generous donors – Subash and Gayatri Kamat, Sudeep Chakravarti, Aimee Ginsberg, Mukta Kunte, Sandeep Shrivastava, Anjali Sengupta, Gurpreet Sengupta