Subscription Subscription
Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Mumbai Rag picker turned journalist gets a car from Cyrus Poonawalla

Mumbai: Rag-picker-turned-journalist gets a car from Cyrus Poonawalla

Updated on: 26 August,2022 07:55 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Jyoti Punwani |

While Maya Muktai humbly said it was enough validation of her work that they wanted to help, the bizman insisted on aiding her in her mission

Mumbai: Rag-picker-turned-journalist gets a car from Cyrus Poonawalla

Maya Muktai with Jaswinder Narang, head of the Villoo Poonawalla Charitable Foundation

It was something totally unexpected for her. The day after mid-day featured Maya Muktai’s amazing story, ‘13-year-old bride went from rag-picking to representing India at UN’ (January 21, 2022), Cyrus Poonawalla, head of the Serum Institute of India, contacted her. He wanted to help her in her mission. He offered to give her a car to help her travel to the villages around Nashik city, bringing issues faced by villagers to the authorities’ attention. On Tuesday, she was presented it.

The rag-picker-turned-video journalist’s determination to follow these issues till they are resolved, means she’s almost always running out of money.

“I was stunned,” Maya told mid-day. “Who goes out of their way to offer help to a stranger merely after reading a newspaper story?” The self-effacing 34-year-old told Jaswinder Narang, head of the Villoo Poonawalla Charitable Foundation, who spoke to her on behalf of Cyrus Poonawalla, that it was enough validation of her work that they had thought of helping her. But Poonawalla was determined to help, and offered to present her a car to enable her to get around easily.

On Tuesday, Maya was presented a brand new Maruti Suzuki S-Presso fresh out of the Maruti showroom in Nashik, by Narang. She has learnt driving and got her licence, another skill among the many she has acquired in her journey from teenage mother, to Indian representative at the UN, to video journalist.

Until now, Maya used  to travel in infrequent public buses or had to shell out a fortune for taxis or rented cars to visit villages. “This car will not only save me a lot of time, energy and money,’’ said Maya, “but it will also be constant encouragement for me to do more.’’ As she wrote in her letter of thanks to Poonawalla, “I assure you that I’ll keep working even harder from here onwards.’’ Maya hopes to meet him one day to thank him personally.

In an email, Maya also thanked mid-day for highlighting her work, and the Network for Women in the Media (NWM) which had shortlisted her for its 2021 Fellowship, awarded to journalists in need of support who work in tough situations outside cities.

"Exciting news! Mid-day is now on WhatsApp Channels Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest news!" Click here!

Register for FREE
to continue reading !

This is not a paywall.
However, your registration helps us understand your preferences better and enables us to provide insightful and credible journalism for all our readers.

Mid-Day Web Stories

Mid-Day Web Stories

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK