I am Deepak and I am the chairman of People First. I like this rickshaw appeal. It fits in perfectly with our approach of self help by giving a helping hand so others can help themselves . I know you are aware of just how much poverty there is here in Bihar, these cycle rickshaws are not for those living below the poverty line to earn a little extra. They help for the necessities of life. BPL families earn only a very few dollars a day and so the extra they can earn with a cycle rickshaw helps a very great deal.
I will give you example, now is the big colorful festival of Holi here in Bihar. Just before the holiday the mother of one of the families came to see me to show her children in their brand new clothes. This is what she said to me,
"Before we had the rickshaw we couldn't really afford to buy new clothes for our children, this is the first festival we could, because we saved a little from our rickshaw money that we can do this. I just came to thank you".
But you should know kind friend and supporter , the children were dressed in new school uniform, because the extra money made education possible for her children.
I send her thanks onto you, and let's hope we can get just a little more so we buy another cycle rickshaw for another family.
Thank you all.
Please note- we will be re-designating this appeal as a micro project in the near future.
I am Arjun.
Thanks to People First I got my own rickshaw and no longer have to hire one every day. I am earning more than I expected. I realize it is the main season here in Bodhgaya, but I can provide much better food for my own family now
But its more than that.
People First don't just give us a rickshaw and forget us. I have received classes in basic English, this does increase my earnings because foreigners do give more. I ask only the going rate from them because that is only fair and we have received guidance about the right way to behave, but in their currency I think it is quite a small amount, and sometimes I get generous tips. One person gave me a whole 100 rupees extra , we had chicken in our dwelling that day!
But it is more than that, being your own boss, earning your own money, and now People First have told me they will pay half the cost of day education for my children in a good private school as long as I send my daughter as well as my son. This is the first time anybody received an education in my family, I hope this is a new beginning for all of us.
And it started with my rickshaw.
The following was based on an interview with Arjun and his comments are unedited . Arjun understands why we asked him to tell his story and he has given his full consent. For the record 100 rupees is one UK pound or a dollar and 40 cents. The cost of educating Arjun's children in day school comes to about fifteen dollars a month. from these figure i an sure you can appreciate just how far your money can go here in India, and just what a difference it can make to someone's life.
Thank you so much, and please accept our very best compliments of the season.
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