Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently sent an official letter of appreciation to 16-year old, school-girl Duvvuri Rohini Pratyusha for her initiative in collecting and donating over Rs200,000 to the Prime Minister’s Jammu and Kashmir Flood Relief and Rehabilitation efforts. Every day through her dedicated efforts after classes, Pratyusha, a 11th Grade Student at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, collected this large amount from generous donors in Kuwait and delivered it to the Indian Embassy in Kuwait on 22 September.
Lauding her compassionate gesture, the Prime Minister wrote: “Your effort is a display of social concern, leadership and organizational abilities. That in the midst of your school work in Kuwait, you spared your thought and time for those in need at a distant place is truly commendable.” In a short chat with The Times Kuwait, young Pratyusha said she went about collecting the money from both, “Indians and non-Indians” after receiving an endorsement from the embassy. When asked about her reaction to the letter of appreciation and if she was flattered, Pratyusha replied, “I am not flattered, but I do feel even more responsible now.”
Acknowledging the support extended by the Indian Embassy, she thanked the authorities at the embassy for facilitating the collection and dispatching its proceedings to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. She also thanked the prime minister for taking time to send her a letter of appreciation. What came to the mind of this young student at this age to go out of her way and lead such a cause? She revealed that she had recently been to Jammu and Kashmir and felt the place, often called ‘Heaven on Earth’ to be very beautiful, and more so the people of the place.
Though the people were not very well off, she found them to be kind and very hospitable. Being an expat, the only way, she felt she could help fellow Indians back home in times of trouble was by a donation drive. There were other donations drives going on at the same time — for blankets, clothes, food. But to her, a monetary donation made the most sense, as it would allow individuals to purchase what they needed most.
It is surprising how a simple kind thought sprouted into a successful donation drive. An all-rounder at school, Pratyusha, besides her talent for debating, public speaking and writing poems, is also pursuing her journalistic interest by writing for a local website. She envisions that in future she could make the world a better place by inventing something usefull To youngsters, who might see her as an example, she gave a simple advice: “Have a heart for issues and keep pursuing your goals.”
Pratyusha has made the people in Kuwait and India proud of her efforts and her compassionate nature. The prime minister condensed it best in his letter when he wrote: “There is no cause greater and nobler than helping others, especially those caught in a moment of great adversity. I share the sense of pride that your parents, family, friends and the school have in your achievement. I hope that as you go ahead in life, you will always find time to be of service to humanity. I wish you success in all your future endeavors. God bless you.”
By Ghazal Praveen