'Mary!' How many of you are aware of this name or have come across this name recently on the news or social media? No, it’s not about Mary Kom, the great Indian boxer but it’s a story of Mary Sebastian who was just an ordinary lady but her thoughts and actions were enormous enough for everyone to know about her; a lady who will inspire.
We all love someone in our life, be it our parents, siblings, friends, or a special someone, but love for humankind is eternal, and hardly do we behold. Perhaps we all get driven by the sufferings of society but seldom do we initiate to eliminate things and, even to some extent, try to offer a short respite from the hardships. Not everyone in society is bestowed with the same level of bounties and this disparity often leads to troubles and difficulties at times of misfortune or any calamity. But this is the time when our humanity is at stake when it is tested when we all need to step forward and render our helping hands of compassion and generosity when being rich and affluent is justified in its true sense. Yes, we all are perhaps acquainted with teachings of love and welfare but it shouldn’t be something just to define our actions and thoughts but it should be something we truly believe in. This is well corroborated by the effort of Mary Sebastian whose effort might be small in monetary terms but colossal enough to inspire millions.
Mary, a native of Kumbalangi, a small village in Kochi, truly felt the pain of the people of Chellanam during the unprecedented and difficult times of Covid-19. When we all were engrossed in planning or lockdown routine or just showering words of sympathy, getting restless, she emerged as a ray of hope amidst the darkness of predicament for those who couldn’t even afford two square meals a day in such difficult times. Chellanam, a small village in Kochi, had to face the double wrath of nature as firstly, it got ravaged by sea surge, and then came the pandemic which shattered almost everything, be it homes or hopes. Though this pandemic forced everything to shut down, the hunger couldn't be suppressed just by sympathy and patience. Mary felt the agony and started packing food for the people of Chellanam in a catering agency without thinking about herself. Once she got so overwhelmed with emotions that she slipped Rs. 100 note in a packet of food with an unconditional and pious thought that at least it would help a family to buy a few cups of tea. Mary herself doesn’t have a regular job, and with her husband, V Sebastian, who is also not well off, repairs boats and earns his livelihood. In such a pathetic condition, such a remarkable act of generosity is really commendable and worth learning from. The food packet containing 100 rupee notes ended up in the surplus pool and ultimately it was found by a policeman who posted with a note on Facebook gathered people’s attention and a wave of appreciation for such an act of compassion could be seen. When IBS Software, an IT firm saw this, they thought of giving recognition to her selflessness and awarded her Rs. 1 lakh. Senior officials of the firm themselves visited Mary’s residence and handed over the cheque with a citation. Mary mentioned, “I have many small loans and the money will help me close two of them.” It has rightly been said, if you give 1 rupee to a needy, God will give you in lakhs. This line still holds its luster and is never going to lose it. One who thinks for the betterment of others God takes care of them. Such inspirational stories are indeed a breath of fresh air during such bleak times.
By Ashish Keshri; Abhinav Sagar.