Mumbai University student invited to lunch at donor's home

Updated: Dec 09, 2019, 07:46 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

Andheri resident, Prabha Iyer came forward to help Santosh Paithane after she read about how unseasonal rains threw his life out of gear

Santosh Paithane with Prabha Iyer at her Andheri residence
Santosh Paithane with Prabha Iyer at her Andheri residence

Santosh Paithane, a Theatre Arts student from Mumbai University (MU), who hails from a small village near Beed had reason to be unbelievably happy on Sunday after his life in the city got easier and brighter. After reading about his and his family's travails in mid-day, senior citizen from Andheri, Prabha Iyer had come forward to help Paithane financially. On Sunday she invited him for lunch and gave him the promised R4,000 as allowance.

Paithane, whose family relies on their two-acre cotton farm, had been under severe financial stress in recent weeks. This year's unseasonal rains ruined this year's cotton crop and hit the family's income. Though his course and hostel fees are paid in advance, Paithane's family was unable to send him his R4000 allowance. mid-day in its November 9 report had highlighted the crises being faced by students studying in the city.

"This gesture has restored my faith in humanity. Iyer ma'am not only offered me financial aid, but also invited me for lunch. In this city where everyone is busy in a rat race, she opened her doors to a stranger. She was very warm and welcoming. The financial aid from her is a great help. But more than that, I have earned a friend in this city," Paithane said.

Paithane, who is pursuing a course in drama at MU's Academy of Theatre Arts, needs money for expenses such as travel and buying course-related material. Aware of the financial difficulties back home, he was scared to even broach the topic of money with his parents. The family had set up a grocery store to aid income. With this year's crop destroyed, the store has become the only source of income.

Iyer, who has seen tough times as a single mother, was touched to know of the youngsters chasing their dreams in Mumbai. She explained that several people had come forward to help her too after her husband passed away and her children were still studying. "I am just passing on the good deeds with the hope that he too will remember this and do the same for someone else," Iyer said. She invited Paithane and his friend for lunch and handed them an envelope with R4,001, asking him to call her whenever he feels homesick and craves home-cooked food.

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