The impact Bani Mandir makes in the lives of the poor is clear from the stories of the people they have helped.
Like Ishita, a class 12th girl who studies in the same village. She is an average student. In her words “I used to fall behind all the students in my class when it came to Philosophy. Although there were tutors for math and other subjects, when it came to philosophy, there were none. Through one of my friends, I got to know about the remedial classes at Bani Mandir. I was coached very efficiently and my exam was easy to write.”
Bani Mandir’s tutors are teachers at schools and colleges from surrounding villages. Mriganka, another student who avails this tutor service says, “I go for Physics tuitions to my tutor who is a lecturer at a college. He teaches me numerical problems and theories through stories. This way, I recollect the concepts quickly during my exams. My marks were just 36 on 100 initially, now they are 65.”
Another person I interacted with was a 27-year-old woman named Monisha. She was helped during her pregnancy with regards to prenatal and postnatal nutrition. “My husband earns only daily wages. We have never had a stable income. I was apprehensive about conceiving since I didn’t want my baby to go through what we had been through. Then, one of the community workers from the organization came to us and explained the process. I was initially sceptical of their offer to provide free food to so many people. But their concern and genuine work cleared all doubts. Thanks to their support, I received good nutrition and gave birth to a healthy baby. She weighed 3kgs when she was born. After my delivery, I was also given food for my lactating period. The community workers used to keep in touch regularly and inquire about my health,” she says.
I also met a rickshaw puller named Dhulal Khan. He has a family of three consisting of his wife and two children. “Earlier, I used to work under a contract. I earned Rs. 300 per day of which more than Rs. 200 was given to the contractor. There were days when we went without eating and survived on water. One day, the organization approached me and told me about the rickshaw donation. With the rickshaw they have given me, I now earn Rs. 5,000-6,000 per month. I don’t have to pay anyone anything and I take back 100% of my earnings,” says Dhulal.
Kiran is a young man in his early twenties who studied at the computer centre. “I learnt the basics like MS office, Adobe etc., and now I work for the administration at an eye hospital.”
The oldest file on Bani Mandir’s book shelves dates back to the 1970s. Yet, it still looked fresh and clean. Just like the organization, old, yet fresh and clean in its work.