Generous Kunal facing fund crunch to run home for lesser fortunate children

Nisha Chettri
Kalimpong,6th June
People raised their brows when a young lad of 24 from Lapsi dara, East main road set his desire of acquiring a Royal Enfield aside for 10 children from Malbazar on November 2013. Kunal Ghatanay was at his cousin’s place (Othlabari, Malbazar) for a night before meeting the children. As narrated he met the children next morning while he was preparing to leave his cousin’s house.

The children who have now become Ghatanay’s part of extended family were then playing against the road in tattered clothes and in sinking slippers that incompletely touched the earth. Recalling the moment he said, ‘I asked them if ‘that day’ was a holiday for them and that’s when one of the kids said that they don’t go to school, their reasons touched my heart.’

Speaking to the journalist at his residence, Kunal today spoke about his childhood which is bitter than what the children of these days face, ‘I spent my schooldays wearing a thumb protruding shoe, I don’t want these children to face the same’ said Kunal while his eyes turned moist.

Kunal’s nudge did change the lives of 10 children but now what the generous man encounters is the lack of fund which makes him bite his nails, he can neither send them back to their condition nor can do something that elevates his financial condition.

He now has 13 children with him in his small, recently built house, 10 are from Othlabari, 2 from Kalimpong and 1 from Rangpoo. The children seemed noiseless, peaceful and well-nurtured, when asked ‘are we meeting again?’ They collectively said, ‘Yes, tomorrow.’

His father is an electrician of Lapsi Dara, in the contrary Kunal is an unemployed youth who doesn’t have a proper financial source to look after the family, the weight of pressure is now loaded with those 13 children. He later said that he somehow learnt the welding work and now assists his father in electrical break downs.

Incidentally, Kunal’s family sometimes faces a massive shortage of money and that’s when the young generous lad takes an alternative of collecting the neighbor’s ration cards and gets rice from the shop which is measured in a larger quantity when accumulated from many cards.

Kunal has also been meeting people for sponsorships but he was indirectly shooed by asking the children in return, ‘they were ready to help but they asked me to hand over my children to them’ said Ghatanay without clarifying whom he was mentioning, when asked he said that didn’t want to name them.

In the end of the conversation, he ruefully appealed the people to help the children grow with smiles on their faces, ‘they are not just my property, it would be very charitable if everyone would come together to make earth a better place to live, help these children to build their future’ said Kunal before signing off.

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