We are in the middle of the two-day film festival on gender violence, Our Lives… to Live. Day 1 was great, a packed hall, rapt audience, great films, old friends and new.
The highlight (for me, Swarna) was this:
A frail, elderly gentleman slowly ambled up the ramp, slightly breathless, visibly tired by the auto-journey, saying, “I have never been here before although I have been getting their invitations for years. The signboard is too small.” He then asked for some water and went to settle down in the auditorium. He had taken our brochures and gender violence handouts in with him. Three hours later he emerged, sought out Anupama and apologized for having to leave (“I can’t sit for much longer”) and said he would try to return on Day 2. Also, he would like to make a donation. He left a hundred rupee note with us.
What a precious donation! When I think of him, coming all the way by auto from Villivakkam, sitting on a ‘naarkaali’ (a chair, this one wooden) for three hours, and then going back all the way by auto… he spent almost 600 rupees surely and a whole afternoon, just to watch these films… but thought too of giving something to our work. This gift is very precious to us.
The concern, the commitment, the support we saw in him buoyed our spirits no end.
People ask: So who funds you? That’s the answer: people like him. They fund us, they encourage us and they reinforce our commitment to doing what we can, as we can, where we can.