“Kindness is something that can be taught to a child. I come from a small village in Tamil Nadu. And I went to a school with bare minimum facilities. But there was one thing that my parents always focused on, share when you have enough. If you have a pencil, you have two choices. Either you break it into two and share it or use it to harm someone. I opted for the first one.
My parents came from humble means and weren’t very educated. My 3 siblings and I grew up pre-programmed to aim for government services and help the other siblings with their education. My elder brother joined the Navy at 19 and would send a money order home every month. I joined in a college as a professor and would send a part of my salary home to help out too.
I wasn’t satisfied with being just an economics professor in a college. I wanted a few challenges and some thrill as a young man. So I decided to apply for UPSC exams. I’d study in my extra time in the college library and travel from Coimbatore to Chennai 600 kms by train to give my exams. And in my first attempt I cleared the IPS exams. I was over the moon and so was my family. All of it was on my merit. No bribes, no donations. All I paid for were my exam fees which were Rs.85!
When I joined the police, everything I’d learned as an Economics professor became real. Every crime was committed because of lust, greed and hunger–I’d studied about it, but it was gruesome to watch. Back in 1998, people were being hacked and shot to death in the streets–gang violence was at its peak. I was the head of Crime Branch back then and I saw this interview on a news channel. A woman was telling a reporter that she wasn’t sure that her husband would come back home or not. I took that complaint by the woman in the interview personally and vowed to give her husband a safe passage home every evening from then!
All the gang violence was started by people who didn’t have enough–basic necessities like food and a roof over their head. All of them were children of displaced mill workers who had gone on indefinite strike and were jobless.So many street children were addicted to drugs, all because they wanted to escape poverty and hunger. When I was posted as DIG Nagpur range, I was living in the Gadchiroli district dominated by the adivasi population. I saw what hunger did to people. People would crush red ants and eat that for dinner–they would try to find anything to eat. I knew I had to do something.
So, I started 3 schools, in Gadchiroli, Thane city and Chandrapur, on my own. And I started the Roti bank in Mumbai that redistributes leftover food to people who need it. And with Kindness Unlimited, we would be distributing food packets to children in schools to celebrate World Kindness Day on 13th november. All I ask for people who are ever benefited by someone’s kindness is that they pay it forward. All you need is small acts of kindness. You can’t see it at the time–but trust me, it creates big ripples in someone’s life.”
Kindness Unlimited will distribute 20,000 packets to school children on account of World Kindness Day. Help and donate on the link below to spread the kindness.