“More than his profession as a banker, my father often took pleasure in helping others. Any friendly help and he was always there to lend a hand to others. I remember, one of my father’s bank colleagues had passed away. As part of the bank’s custom, they help the family of the deceased by paying for the cremation. Due to the delay in the process, without any second thoughts, my father gave them the money for the funeral from his pocket. He did not want the family to delay the last rites of his friend. This is a small example but I can only imagine how many people he has helped the same way.
My father passed away in 2010 and believe me, for the next few years his phone still kept ringing for help. A lot of his bank customers or someone whom he had helped in the past kept calling. This is when I realized that his altruistic nature is what he left behind. Perhaps, the philanthropic quality that I have, has been acquired from him after all. My mother is from Karnataka. Along with my sisters, we used to visit her village. We realised there was a sea of a difference between our level of education and that of the kids of the village. As kids, my sisters and I used to make it a point to study at least for three hours every day. That’s how important education was for us. When I looked at these eight year old kids working when they should be studying, it certainly broke my heart. Well, this was one of the many reasons why I started a charity organisation, ‘NEMAT – the blessing’.
After completing my under-graduation in Hyderabad, I moved to the UK for my higher education. Thereafter I moved to London and worked there for a few years and moved back to India in 2006. I started the organization back in June 2010 and since then, we have been working to ensure that every child – regardless of gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, or circumstances – has access to quality education. We focus on gender equality and work towards eliminating disparities of all kinds. In the last 10 years, we have helped at least 100 children every year with admissions, stationary, notebooks and career guidance, all free of cost. I remember, one of the best experiences I had with my organization was just before I was shifting to Australia for work. It was a charity event for 317 children under the age of 12 where we distributed stationery. Having been involved in it from end to end, I had the opportunity to spend time with those kids and learn so much from them. Every year, I make it a point to visit India in July and go to small government schools by helping them as much as I can. While I handle the charity events from Australia, I have two of my close friends, Mohammad Saleem and Khalid Rehman, who have been pillars to the organization in India.
Last year, we helped the migrants and domestic workers.Having spent most of my educational years abroad, I have observed that no one asks you what your parents do. A millionaire’s kid and a daily wager’s kids go to the same school and this never bothered either of them. Having been closely working with students and schools in India, I have seen there is a lack of benefits and support. Rather than sending their kids to school, families prefer sending them to work and making them earn. We need to make an inclusive society and motivate children to attain education.”
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