Have you ever helped the maids that come to your house every day? Yes?
We bet it's either by giving them a bag full of clothes that don't fit you anymore or by giving them a big Diwali bakshish. But do you know how many sons/daughters she has, or what they do? Or how has she been managing to run a house after her husband died?
Nithya decided to help them in a way we all should get inspired from.
After spending some time in the corporate world, he decided to become a Buddhist monk to get in touch with his inner peace. Currently a spiritual teacher, he helps people explore their inner strengths and potential. "Before I raised funds for Madina and Meena, they were nothing more than two women working at my mother’s place for me", says Nithya on being asked about his equation with his maids.
But one day, an unusual warm introduction of a tradition changed his equation with them.
"My maids were having sleepless nights, it feels great having changed that.
A beautiful Diwali tradition
On Diwali, Nithya’s mother got enthused by one of her friends and decided to call Madina and Meena’s family over for lunch. "I was pretty impressed by her idea. I used to have constant debates with her about taboos around maids using our vessels and eating with them", says Nithya about the Diwali tradition his mother started. He decided to join and talk to them, connect with them as opposed to knowing them as maids who work for his mother. They ate, bonded and got to know each other a little better that evening.
Who knew it would lead to something so heart-warming.
Nithya hears his maids out
It was an eye-opener for Nithya, "I realised how lucky I am to lead a privileged life." Local money lenders would exploit Madina’s family. Madina spoke about how she had sleepless nights thinking of ways she would pay the loan off. Her son had to discontinue college and work late nights to manage the amount. Her son had an aptitude for computers but with her husband being a labourer her family could barely make ends meet to afford one. A year earlier, she had almost lost her other son to typhoid."
The last couple of years had been pretty tough for Madina.
"I couldn’t help notice how positive all her kids were in spite of going through constant rough patches."
Meena too was truly a brave heart! She lost her husband in a car accident but that didn’t break her. She worked in 6 houses to support her family. Cooked food for her own kids and also for the six houses she worked at! "Never did she complain or frown once about how she had to work extremely hard to feed her family."
Nithya decides to take charge
Nithya was moved by the conversations he had with his maids. "I like to share positive stories on my page so I decided to share my experience on Facebook. I don't know what it was, maybe my story of inviting a Muslim family over during the festive period touched a lot of hearts, it went viral!", says Nithya, still excited about how it worked out. The story created a lot of noise on the internet and a lot of suggestions started pouring in – crowdfunding being one of them.
Nithya decided to give it a shot! He started a campaign to support the families of Madina and Meena, to help Madina pay off her unfair debt and to get her son a computer. He also decided to share part of the proceeds with Meena to support her as a single mother. "I decided to not tell Meena and Madina about it because I didn’t want them to raise their hopes in anyway." So without letting them find out Nithya started a campaign page on Ketto and shared it with everybody. And soon Nithya's campaign met with a huge success! With support from around 128 backers, he raised over Rs. 3,00,000 for Meena and Madina.
"My maids were having sleepless nights, it feels great having changed that. Crowdfunding is such a positive experience. The process is pretty streamlined and straightforward. All my concerns and anxieties about crowdfunding were taken care of by the Ketto team. They are super prompt with responses."
The next time your maid, house help, cook or even the security guard who watches over you while you sleep needs financial support, instead of just reaching your wallet or cheque book, start a crowdfunding campaign. It will change their life as well as yours.