The whole country was locked down and fighting against a deadly pandemic. One Specific district administration in the western part of the country was in the news for the care it took for its migrant workers who returned home from the other parts of the country, which had shut the doors for them.
The district administration received all its migrant workers as they returned , accommodated them in the public schools, provided them good food , water and medical care. It kept them in isolation for two weeks before sending them to their homes. And when they left, they were given a bag full of dry rations enough for next two months, Rs 1000 in cash and on top of it an assurance to get their lost job back when normalcy is restored.
Leading such measures from the front was the district collector Ms. Aasha IAS. Very hardworking , sincere and a brave young lady.
An old migrant worker on completing his isolation period and before returning home wanted to talk to the collector and thank her. He pestered the authorities and finally got him connected to Ms Aasha over the phone.
He spoke –“ You are an angel, good that you had the courage to stop your marriage then and continue your studies. Today because of you our people in this district are taken care well. Though I am older , I salute you to show my respect . I wish I had a daughter like you .Very sorry that your father is not alive today to see all this, he would have been very happy as I am. You kept your word. God blesses you.” The phone call ended.
Aasha went back sixteen years down her memory lane
Her father Abanindra was also a migrant worker and after one such similar pandemic resulting in nationwide lock down, he walked three hundred kilometres all the way back to reach their home. The administration’s support then was not to the level as it is now . Abanindra feared that he wouldn’t be able to get a job again and end up spending all his little savings to take care of his family’s needs during the lock down or may be for a little time after that. He left home and family to work elsewhere only to save money for his daughter’s marriage. Securing a future for her daughter was the single most important thing in his life.
He thought over it for few days and decided to arrange his daughter Aasha’s marriage immediately though she was still a minor. He secretly worked for it. Aasha somehow came to know about his fathers plan and reached out an officer in the district administration over the phone and sought his help . District Administration came to her help before the groom could arrive and rescued Aasha from that marriage.
When questioned, Abanindra replied “ It is only the fear that I will not be able to earn money again and all my savings would be spent during the crisis time, I took this decision keeping in mind my daughter’s well-being. I thought if she is married , the groom will take care of her. And I wanted to do it before my savings erode .”
Aasha with tears in her eyes was moved by her father’s love. She requested her father to spend his savings on her education and in return promised to study well , get into government’s administrative job and ensure no other father and/or daughter will go through the same situation in this district again.
And now she was happy for keeping up that promise.