Kolkata, West Bengal, June 2012: Have you ever been to Haldirams at Exide more? If you’ve; ve been there, you must have noticed an old lady who sits there near the gate and sells papads. One thing you don’t know for sure is that she comes here all the way from Bally each day to sell some 30 packets of papads @ Rs. 10/packet.
She is 85 years old. Yeah, you read it right. She can barely stand straight. Helping Hands of Kolkata took the initiative to do something for her. A small gift hoping to put a small smile on her face. We handed over some cash that we had collected and a shawl, as a mark of respect. And we also bought all the 40 packets of papads she had got. She was thrilled to bits. We took her to the Victoria Memorial where we chatted for a while. She was so happy that she offered to sing a song. It was a
great experience for all of us who were present today. We don’t hope to achieve anything by doing this. We just hope that every one of us who are privileged enough to lead a better life extends their helping hands to the thousands of Shila Ghosh around us.
As a part of our “Celebrating Kolkata. Celebrating Bengali.” initiative, where we would be celebrating
the success and achievements of Bengalis who have made us proud. It is these people through
whom we spend our ‘’office-er golpo’’ and ‘’rok-er adda’’.
But, in the midst of all these, we forget the unsung heroes – the uncelebrated Bengalis. They are
people like us, or even less fortunate than us, yet their spirits are much stronger than ours can ever
Today, as we grow stronger with the support of over 800 pairs of helping hands, we are announcing
another initiative – “Celebrating the Uncelebrated Bengali” – and, this is the area where most of the
projects of HHOK would concentrate on. To flag off this initiative, we could think of only one person –
the one who inspired the inception of HHOK – Smt. Shila Ghosh.
It was fortunate for us that we could spend some time with her, hear her sing, and bring a smile on her