Madurai teen M Nethra who donated her entire money saved for higher education to Covid Relief Fund has not only earned the appreciation of Indian Prime Minister but caught the attention of the world body that made her UN Goodwill Ambassador
Nethra’s 47 year old father C Mohan is a hair dresser by profession. He owns a salon in the temple town of Madurai. Mohan is a resident of Melamadai. His daughter is Nethra is studying in 9th standard in a local school. She wants to become an IAS officer.
Mohan saves a part of his earnings for daughter’s study. Seven years ago a group of people took away his hard earned money. “We had no money even to get water” recalls Mohan. Undeterred by losing his hard earned money, Mohan worked hard to set apart money for his daughter’s education. After seeing the woes of the migrant labourers and the sufferings of poor during Covid 19 lock down, Nethra convinced her family to give away all the earning to such people. Mohan and his family, who had tasted bitter experience after losing their entire savings seven years ago, distributed grocery and other essential kits to needy. “We have spent nearly 5 lakhs, the money we saved for my daughter’s studies. Initially I gave the kit to only a few. On hearing this, people started knocking at our doors seeking help. This made us to spend the entire savings for the needy. I hope with God’s grace, I can earn back through my customers whatever I have spent for the poor. If needed, I will even pledge my wife’s jewels” Said Mohan.
Nethra has been appointed the Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Association for Development and Peace ( UNADAP) recognising her role in feeding the poor during the COVID-19 lockdown. She said,” the recognition has given me additional energy to serve poor. This experience will help me to serve downtrodden when I become an IAS officer”.
Nethra, according to norms, would be given chance to speak at conferences at New York and Geneva, addressing civil society forums and others. She is the first to earn this coveted offer at a younger age. Pakistan’s, alleged education activist, MalalaYousafzai became U N Messenger of Peace with a special focus on girl’s education at the age of 19.