The story of a Naga girl and her monthly savings of INR 100
‘Just a drop of water in a mighty ocean’
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Nov. 1: In today’s fast-paced world, concern for the less privileged may be often, and easily, overlooked. From the child who cannot pay school fees to the old and feeble senior citizens who may need attention, many may tend to ignore the marginalised. But there are not always people who just walk by; some are like Sentipokla Jamir, who has been saving her money to help the underprivileged and the oft-ignored.
Jamir, who hails from Chungtia village, made Nagaland proud on Oct. 21 when she received ‘India’s Great Leader’s Award’ (IGLA) for her initiative known by the name ‘Footprint,’ during the ‘India’s Great Leader’s Festival-2018,’ organised by the National Human Welfare Council at New Delhi.
The award is given to leaders in India who ‘show the path of prosperity and who have inspired and done remarkable work in the field of social development, education, environment, science and technology, entrepreneurship, culture, sports, and literature.’
On being asked about ‘Footprint,’ Jamir said that it was to create a good memory, a worthy-experience in someone’s life and to spread message about it. It is a big thing to be a person through whom others receive blessings.
While talking to Eastern Mirror, Jamir said that she initially got the inspiration from her mother who constantly reminds her of a Bible passage: “It is more blessed to give than to receive”—Acts 20:35.
“If we give something to others then we should never expect something from them because if we expect then we will not receive any blessing from the above (Heaven). That is what inspired me and is still inspiring me,” said Jamir.
After her master’s degree, Jamir said to have decided to save INR 100 every month from Jan. 1, 2015 with the purpose to buy blankets and electric rice cookers for underprivileged widows and widowers over the age of 70 years, living in the remote villages of Nagaland.
“There were so many people who mocked me by saying ‘what will you do with that INR 100?’ ‘You can do nothing with it’,” she said.
The 27-year-old explained that the reason behind buying electric cooker is because ‘electricity for senior citizens in villages is free including free installation of power plugs and sockets.’
“They are also too old and feeble so they can neither gather wood nor can they make fire,” she said and added that most of the senior citizens she met have been abandoned by their children.
Jamir also testified that that some of her friends, who were indulging in ‘tobacco and alcohol abuse’, approached her saying that they were interested in ‘sacrificing their money’ to help the senior citizens. “I am happy to say that, nowadays, they are consuming (tobacco and alcohol) less,” she added.
Jamir also shared a story about one of her neighbours who achieved distinction in five or six subjects but did not have enough money to pay for her college admission. “She wanted to go to college but she needed money so I started praying to God about it. He showed me an idea of selling pickles.”
Jamir said that she also asked help from a Facebook group. She said that many people from that group volunteered to buy pickles. “I never took a single penny that was meant to be hers,” she said and added that the entire money was deposited to that girl’s bank account.
‘Footprints’ has reached out to some of the less-privileged students in remote areas by raising funds through selling homemade pickles for INR 50 to 100. The money generated is used to send them to school, clear their school fees, and to provide them with stationeries.
Today, Jamir, along with three other friends from different districts, have also reached out to more than 200 widows and widowers in five districts.
“People think that I might be flooding with money. In reality, I do not have any. Though, sometimes by the grace of God, I do receive some amount. There are many times people had laughed at me but I am here to prove them wrong. I do not get inspired by them but instead I get motivated to do better. I am just a drop of water in a mighty ocean just trying to do something with my own capacity,” she emphasised.
“You don’t have to be rich (sic) to help someone. One should not think that only the rich can help the needy people and the poor. I don’t believe that because if only we have the zeal to do something and if only we have faith in God, ideas will come to help them out,” maintained Jamir.
“I only had ideas to take this initiative but there were people who helped me physically and financially. This award was not only for me but also to those people who were there for me. So I give credits to them too,” she acknowledged.
In recognition of the service rendered to the society, Sentipokla Jamir also received ‘person of the year’ award during the Red Carpet Social Awards organised by the Find Studioz production house from Mumbai at IMC hall in Dimapur on Jan. 29.