Even being very poor my maid servant Radha doesn’t very often ask for payment in advance. I know it’s a common tendency among most of the maids, so that you can’t leave them. In the last summer vacation she asked for Rs 300 more. I did not hesitate to give, but just asked- “why do you need that?” She said – “didi I have to buy vegetables everyday, my kids will eat at home for two months”. Suddenly I could not understand and asked- “don’t they eat at home everyday?” Radha replied- “no no, they take the lunch at school and rarely do I buy vegetables, but now it’s the summer vacation you know”.
I felt very sad that they can’t eat vegetables daily. Then what do they eat? I don’t know, but the thing is that Radha and her family is very poor. And this poverty led her being attracted towards sending her kids to school. At least for the sake of midday meal the poor kids are visiting school everyday. It’s good that they will learn to read and write. When the summer vacation is a matter of happiness for all, to Radha and her family, it might be a little burden. I could not stop thinking again and again.
Earlier I used to criticize like others that the midday meals offered in schools are of very bad quality, how can one digest so hard and half-boiled rice and dal? But for the first time I personally realized that the concept of midday meal does really work!