Jinali Mehta, India
Kushal Chand on December 20, 2018 in Health & Sanitation
We have got this life as a Human and we should really spend it doing activities befitting the opportunity we’ve got.
“I could have been born as any other species on this planet or as any other person, but I have got this good life as a human and what will I be if I waste it being self-absorbed, on myself” this is how Jinali Mehta started the conversation before talking about her work. Hailing from a Jain philanthropical background growing up she believed her purpose in life would be to manage her opulent family business. A few life changing incidents later, she grew to realize “Everyone is living for his or her own wellbeing. You chase a fancy car, you bag a corner office. What then? How am I different? We all remember Swami Vivekananda for some reason, but if I ask you the name of your ancestors who were alive around his time itself you will be blank.”
To break out of the mediocrity, she could have pursued what everyone else does, she had a knack for arts, research but she chose the off beaten track.
Talking about a recent experience, while she was traveling in a bus, she described the huts people live in as cute and wished to live there with them, experience their daily struggles. On hearing this people laughed at her but she had a different dimension of richness of life of even the people who lived in poverty.
“I didn’t want to touch someone’s life but revolutionize it. Even the people living in slums aspire to become something in life and one cannot revolutionize their life without understanding the circumstances that have shaped them and continue to shape them. For this to happen you have to live with them. Be one of them” is what Jinali believes.
There are many problems in this world that money cannot solve, not by itself anyway. Jinali hailing from her premier social circles could have donated huge amounts of money to these slum dwellers but she was shrewd enough to see that the answer does not lie there. Instead, she believes in analyzing the root cause of the problem people are facing and solve them. If a particular area is struggling because of depleted irrigation and water resources, paper notes were not going to feed them.
“Fortunate people like us that have had loving parents and food on our tables have developed morals and the sense of right or wrong in us, by the virtue of our upbringing and the tenderness of our life experiences. But those who reside in extreme poverty may lack the strength of a solid moral compass because they have nothing to lose. When you’re dying early and watch your kids starving every day and night, appropriateness and social constructs aren’t exactly paid very high on people’s priority list. There are a people that need to be shown that there is more to life than survival mode. And they can aspire for a better way of living too. And that attitude change cannot be inspired by watching from afar without getting her hands dirty.
For her next project, she aims to solve the problems the estranged families in the slums of Mumbai face, like the assault on women by their husbands, child’s education, future support for the family, among others, she decided to work with the kids of these families. She does this by visiting such families and collect information about their children and work towards improving their skills. “These kids have only witnessed ABUSE. They need to be shown kindness and need to be inspired and be made capable for a better way of life. Hence, we start by developing skills that make them employable and support their family”.
She has thought so ahead of this issue that she is willing to team up with some people, who are willing to work with her and connect with the kids of such families, where women are abused by their own husbands in such a dreadful way, so that she could intervene in the family issues with the help of a good lawyer if necessary. So, if you look at this with a high level of perspective, she is willing to teach the children so that they get a job to support their living and get to know about the family and solve the problems they are facing.
Speaking to her I realized how modest she is and the nature of her thoughts. She tells me that she wouldn’t have agreed to talk to me because she feels if she speaks about the good work, she is doing then in future she corrupts her motivation. She uses the metaphor of a soldier in our conversation to explain that how the soldier doesn’t have any option of facing a bullet for their country in the same way she feels that this her DUTY for the society. Jinali is looking forward to building a team so that she is able to bring all these young kids out of that DARK place they have been living in. She is in search of people who are willing to take significant efforts to do anything to transform the lives of these kids. “There’s only scope for closers in our line of work’’
It is true that children who are born in such tough situations don’t get to see the good in the world. They are all surrounded by negative energies which eventually drag these kids into the darkness they are surrounded by. They are learning about such evil things and there is no one to guide them to the right path of life. They are so much imbued with the negative aspects of life that they don’t know that a positive side also exists. Approaching these kids and reconstructing their lives seems to be an arduous task at hand on which Jinali is currently working on. And we wish that she finds the support she is in need of to continue the good deeds she is into.