Kerala is battling the worst floods it has witnessed in a century but the state is not alone in its fight. Lakhs of people from across the world have opened their hearts and wallets to send money and supplies to help residents of the state. Amongst them is 8-year-old Anupriya, a Class 3 student from Villupuram district in Tamil Nadu, who went on to break open her five piggy banks to contribute Rs 8,240 towards the relief efforts.
“I was saving this money from the time I was in LKG. Every day I would put at least two rupees that my father or mother gave me into the piggy bank. I didn’t open it because I wanted to buy a cycle,” Anupriya tells TNM. “But on Friday, I was watching TV with my father and I saw lot of young children suffering in the water. I felt very bad and told my father that I will give the money to help them,” she adds.
Anupriya doesn’t understand the enormity of the situation in the neighbouring state nor the significance of her decision. She simply removed the money from her collection and put all the coins into plastic covers to deposit in the bank on Monday.
“From a very young age, I have tried to inculcate the habit of saving in her. But I had no idea that it would lead to this,” says her father Siva Shanmuganathan. “She really wanted a cycle last year but I was afraid that she was too young and couldn’t be let alone on the streets. So, with great determination she began saving more money and decided to get one for herself. But when she was watching the visuals of the floods, she decided that helping them was more important than getting a cycle. I am really proud of her,” he adds.
But even as Anupriya extends a helping hand, her kind gesture has ensured that her dreams are fulfilled as well. Soon after news of her decision to forego a cycle to aid those in need spread, Hero Cycles decided that the young girl must be rewarded for her actions.
“Dear Anupriya, we appreciate your gesture to support humanity in the hour of need. You would get a brand new cycle from us. Please DM your address or contact us at email@example.com,” the cycle company posted on Twitter.
The company’s Chairman and Managing Director Pankaj M Munjal then took it a step further and declared that the girl will get a new bike every year of her life.
Anupriya, parnam to you. You are a noble soul and wish you spread the good around. Hero is too pleased to give you one bike every year of your life. Pl share your contact on my account. Love you and best wishes. Prayers for Kerala https://t.co/vTUlxlTnQR— Pankaj M Munjal (@PankajMMunjal) August 19, 2018
When asked about this offer, however, Anupriya says, “I didn’t do all this for a cycle. I want to help and I will tell my school friends to also contribute.”